Cranberry Apple Pie
This Cranberry apple pie takes all of my favorite fall flavors and combines them into one of my favorite pies of all time! Think the classic apple pie can’t be improved on? Think again!
I have to admit there are many pies I would turn to for a holiday celebration before I would choose apple pie. French Silk Pie or Maple Pecan Pie, to name a few. That is until I started adding cranberries to my apple pie.
Cranberry Apple Pie has quickly become my favorite Thanksgiving Pie or fall celebration dessert in general. The tartness of the cranberries are exactly what apple pie needs to kick it up a notch! And throw in some warming spices and a pop of orange zest and you are on your way to a symphony of holiday flavors!
Why Cranberry Apple Pie Works?
- Apple pie feels nostalgic for many people. This variation elevates the classic just enough that it feels special and unique.
- Apple pie can feel a bit one deminsional with its flavor profile. Cranberries add a pop of tartness and a bit of texture that the traditional pie is missing.
- A bright pop of orange zest compliments both the apples and cranberries beautifully.
Can I use Frozen Cranberries? What about Dried Cranberries?
Frozen cranberries work beautifully in this pie! Just keep them frozen until right before you add them to the filling so they don’t release too much liquid before baking.
Dried cranberries could also be used, though I think fresh or frozen add the best pop of tart flavor and add the best texture. If you do want to use dried cranberries, I recommend soaking them in orange juice for a few hours before adding them to the filling to help plump them up.
For the Crust
- 360 grams (3 cups) all-purpose flour
- 5 grams (1 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 170 grams (12 tablespoons, 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
- 60 grams (6 tablespoons) shortening
- 115-168 grams (8-12 tablespoons, 120-180 milliliters) ice water
For the Filling
- 700 grams (1 1/2 pounds) sliced apples (peeled or unpeeled, this is the amount going into the pie so account more weight when purchasing, I like to use granny smith, honeycrisp, golden delicious are all good)
- 200 grams (2 cups) fresh or frozen cranberries
- 200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 30 grams (1/4 cup) cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest
- 30 grams (2 tablespoons) orange juice
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
To Top the Pie
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons granulated or turbinado sugar
For the Crust
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
- Add the shortening and cold butter to the bowl and toss with your hands so all of the fat is coated with flour. Use the tips of your fingers and thumbs to press down on all of the pieces of fat, creating little sheets of fat throughout your mixture. Continue working the fat through the flour until all of the fat has been worked through and ranges in size from peas to walnuts throughout.
- Add the ice water little by little into the mixture. Fold the mixture gently with a silicone spatula to incorporate. You may not need all of the water. Once large clumps of dough start forming, gather the dough up and press it together. If it crumbles then you need to add a little more water. If it holds together then you are ready to chill the dough.
- Bring the dough together on your counter and press into one mass. Divide the dough in half.
- Press each piece of dough flat into a round disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes, but preferably an hour, to allow the gluten to relax and the flour to fully hydrate.
- Lightly flour a clean work surface and place your chilled dough on top. Lightly flour the top of the dough and your rolling pin. Roll the dough out to about 1 ½-inches (4 cm) wider than your pie dish all the way around.
- Set the rolling pin in the middle and fold the dough in half over the rolling pin. Gently transfer it into the pie plate, unrolling it off the rolling pin.
- Lift up on the sides of the crust to allow it to fall naturally into the pie plate without having to stretch it.
- Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
To Assemble & Bake
- Position an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and place a sheet pan or baking stone inside to preheat. The pie will bake on the preheated surface which will prevent a soggy crust.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/205°C.
- You can either leave the peel on the apples or peel them before slicing. I personally like the texture of leaving them on.
- Add the granulated sugar into a large mixing bowl and rub the orange zest into it. Next add the cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt and stir to combine. Add the sliced apples, cranberries, and orange juice to the bowl and toss to combine.
- Spoon the filling into the prepared crust. Dot the pieces of butter on top of the filling. Place in the refrigerator until ready to add the top crust.
- Roll out the second piece of dough on a floured surface. Cut into 1" - 1 1/2" strips if you would like to make a lattice top, or you can leave it whole. Once the top crust is ready, remove the pie from the refrigerator and arrange the dough on top. Use kitchen scissors to trim the edges about 1/2" large than the pie plate. Crimp the edges by folding over and use a fork or your fingers to crimp. If you did not make a lattice top, cut 4-5 vents in the top of the crust.
- For the Egg wash: Whisk the egg together with about 1 tablespoon of water until very well combined.
- Lightly brush the top of the pie crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with granulated or turbinado sugar.
- Place the pie on a sheet pan lined with foil (to catch any spillage) and place it on the preheated surface. Bake at 400°F/205°C for 30 minutes then turn down the heat to 350°F/175°C and bake for an additional 20-35 minutes until the filling is rapidly bubbling in the center, not just on the edges. Watch the crust and lay a piece of foil over the top of the pie once it is finished browning, usually around the 45-minute mark.
- Remove from the oven to a cooling rack and let cool for a minimum of 3 hours before slicing to allow the filling to thicken.
- The pie can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.