Cranberry Apple Pie
If you’re looking for the perfect fall pie, look no further than my cranberry apple pie. It has tender sweet apples and tart cranberries enveloped in a buttery, flaky pie crust. The filling is easy to make and you can use homemade pie crust or store-bought. This dessert will look beautiful on your dessert table this fall and holiday season!
Apple cranberry pie has one of the best combination of fall flavors in my opinion. I love cinnamon-coated apples paired with cranberries that are bursting with tart juices. Tuck the filling away in a buttery, flaky crust and you have the perfect holiday dessert.
Why this recipe works
Apples and cranberries are both in season during the fall months, which means they are readily available for holiday baking. The orange zest, cinnamon and nutmeg are flavors that naturally complement the cranberries and apples (just like my cranberry orange muffins). But perhaps the best thing about this pie is that you can make it ahead of time and freeze it for Thanksgiving!
- Apples: Granny Smith, Honeycrisp or Braeburn apples are the best for baking because they keep their texture. I prefer to do a mix of two for depth of flavor.
- Cranberries: Fresh or frozen cranberries may be used. If using frozen, defrost them first and discard the juices.
- Orange juice: Fresh orange juice will provide the best flavor. I do not recommend orange juice from the bottle as it often has added sugars.
- Pie crust: I suggest making homemade pie crust because it has more butter flavor and a flakier texture. However, if your on a time-crunch, store-bought pie crust will work in a pinch!
For the filling, you can play around with the ratio of apples to cranberries. This recipe uses more apples than cranberries. You can decrease the apples to 3 or 4 (depending on how big they are) and use 2 cups cranberries if you prefer.
There are a couple different routes you can take with the pie crust for this cranberry apple pie. I like a lattice pie crust, but if you prefer you can leave the top crust uncut and place it on whole. Be sure to cut a few air vents in the center to let the steam out. If you want a cranberry apple pie with crumble pie topping, use the recipe from my apple crumble pie and bake according to its instructions.
How to make cranberry apple pie
- Place the apples in a bowl and add orange juice and orange zest. Toss until apples are coated.
- Add cranberries, flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to the bowl.
- Toss filling ingredients until combined. Let filling sit for 15 minutes to let juices release and apples get tender.
- Transfer filling to pie plate with pie crust.
- Add the lattice top to the pie. Place half the strips vertically on top of the pie.
- Add horizontal strips pulling back every other vertical strip. Repeat until all the strips are used.
- Tuck the strips into the edge where the filling meets the dough. Fold in the edges of the bottom crust to form a thick edge crust. Crimp edges with your fingers.
- Add the egg wash by whisking together the milk and egg. Use a pastry brush to spread egg wash on top of crust. Sprinkle with sugar.
This pie is simple to make, but I urge you to use fresh ingredients that are in season if you can. They provide the best flavor, which makes this the best cranberry apple pie! When making the filling, remember to discard the juices otherwise you will have a mushy bottom pie crust.
For a sparkly golden crust, use the egg wash and sprinkle coarse sugar on top right before baking. After the first 20 minutes of baking, check on the crust and if necessary add a pie crust shield or aluminum foil to prevent the crust from burning.
Finally, let the pie cool completely so the filling sets. You can always reheat it if you prefer your cranberry apple pie a la mode.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cranberry apple pie is best when eaten the day it is baked. However, it may be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Yes, let the pie cool completely. Wrap the entire pie and pie plate in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before bringing to room temperature.
Place pie uncovered in the oven at 300° F for 15 minutes.
There are a couple explanations. Certain types of apple can produce more juice and create a mushy filling. I suggest sticking with Granny Smith, Braeburn and Honeycrisp. Remember to discard the juice after the filling sits. The flour acts as a thickener so make sure you use that. Finally, the pie needs to rest for at least 3 to 4 hours so the filling sets.
Whether you’re prepping for Thanksgiving or just want a new pie recipe to try, here are some recipes to try next:
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Cranberry Apple Pie
- 1 recipe homemade pie crust, or store-bought
- 5 apples, about 5 to 6 cups when sliced
- 1 cup (175 g) fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
- 2 to 3 tablespoons all purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
Apple Cranberry Filling
- Core, peel and cut the apples. I used an apple peeler to cut the apples to cut 1/4-inch thick slices quickly.
- Place apple slices in a large bowl. Pour orange juice and orange zest on apples first to prevent browning. Add cranberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt on top. Use a wooden spoon or hands to combine mixture until apples are evenly coated.
- Let apple cranberry mixture sit 15 minutes so juices form and apples get tender.
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- If using my homemade pie crust recipe, remove the chilled dough from the fridge. On a well-floured board, roll out the dough to about 1/8 of an inch thick and 12 inches in diameter. Place it in a pie plate letting the excess dough hang over the edges. Add filling to the pie and discard any juices. Place the pie in the fridge while preparing the lattice top.
- Roll out the second dough to about 1/8 of an inch thick and 12 inches in diameter. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut 1-inch thick strips. Remove pie from the refrigeratore and place half the strips vertically on top of the pie. Add horizontal strips pulling back every other vertical strips (read notes for more detail on how to make a lattice pie crust). Tuck the strips into the edge where the filling meets the dough. Fold in the edges of the bottom crust to form a thick edge crust and flute using your fingers.
- Make egg wash by whisking egg and 1 tablespoon milk in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to brush mixture on pie crust (you probably won’t use all the mixture). Sprinkle crust with coarse sugar.
- Place pie plate on a baking sheet and bake it on the middle oven rack at 400° F. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350° F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes longer. To prevent a burnt crust, add a pie crust shield or aluminum foil to the top of the pie after the first 20 minutes of baking. Pie is done when the filling is bubbling and apples are tender when pricked with a toothpick.
- Let the pie cool on a rack for 3 to 4 hours so the filling sets. If you wish to serve the pie warm, place it in the oven at 300° F for 15 minutes.