Cranberry Apple Pie

Another riff on Rose’s famous apple pie. Having served many versions of this pie to friends over the past couple of years, I think I can say with confidence that this one is the crowd favorite; one of the first to disappear and the first to earn talking-with-your-mouth-full praise.

This version I made in a 7-inch, deep-dish pie pan for a really stacked and fruit-packed slice o’ pie (it also uses less pastry for the carb- and butter-o-phobic).  I also cut out apple shapes with a cookie cutter and dusted them with granulated sugar for a crunchy, festive lattice-style top.  The added advantage of this top is that, when the fruit sinks upon cooling, the top crust sinks with it, leaving no gap between the crust and the fruit.  It makes for a gorgeous slice of pie (which I would be able to show you if I had had time to snap a picture before the pie disappeared), with bright red cranberries, pink-stained slices of apple, and sparkly gold crust. So bust out that frozen bag of cranberries leftover from Thanksgiving, dig a couple of apples out of the root cellar (or the fridge, or the market) and give this pie a try. You won’t be disappointed.

————————————————————–

Adapted from Rosy Apple Cranberry Pie in The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum

Cranberry Apple Pie

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 recipe of Rose’s Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust (see Options for the cream cheese variation)
  • 2 lbs baking apples
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 and 1/2 tbsp (0.75 oz) cornstarch
  • 2 and 1/2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen, thawed)

METHODS

  1. Roll and shape the dough to 1/8-inch thickness into a 7-inch deep-dish pie dish. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.  Reserve the remainder dough in the refrigerator for the top crust.
  2. Peel, core and slice the apples; add to a large bowl with the lemon juice and sugars. (Save the peels and cores to make apple cider vinegar or apple pectin stock.) Toss the apple slices in the lemon and sugar as you go, to prevent browning. Add salt, cinnamon, and lemon zest to the apples. Toss to combine and allow the apples to macerate in the sugar for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.
  3. Transfer the macerated apples to a large colander and drain the exuded juices; transfer to a small saucepan. Add the 2 tbsp butter and cook over medium heat, swirling the pan but not stirring, until the juice is reduced, syrupy and thickly bubbling (about 10 minutes).
  4. Meanwhile, toss the cornstarch with the apple slices until it disappears. Remove the top crust dough from the refrigerator.
  5. Pour the reduced juice/syrup over the apple slices. Toss to mix.  Add the cranberries and mix.
  6. Once warmed sufficiently (about 10 minutes) roll the top crust out to 1/8-inch thickness and cut out apple shapes (or stars, leaves, simple circles) using a cookie cutter.  Reroll the scraps and continue until you have enough to cover the pie (or you run out of dough).  Place the cutouts on a board or plate and lightly brush with milk, apple cider or water, just to get damp enough for a sprinkling of sugar to stick.
  7. Transfer the apple-cranberry mix to the bottom crust/pie dish.  Shake the pie pan a little to settle the apples, then lay the cutouts over the top of the pie. Sprinkle with fine-grained sugar. If you have time, cover the pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour prior to baking to chill and relax the pastry.  This will maintain flakiness and help to prevent the crust from shrinking.
  8. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (400 degrees F convection). Set the pie directly on a baking stone, or on the bottom rack of the oven, on a rimmed baking sheet or on top of a large piece of aluminum foil to catch drips.  Bake for 20 minutes, then check the crust to see if it is browning too quickly. If so, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (325 F convection) and/or cover with foil or a crust shield.  Continue to bake until the juices bubble through and the top crust is nicely browned, about 45 to 60 minutes in total. Cool on a rack  for at least 2 hours before cutting.

Yields 6 – 8 servings.

OPTIONS

  1. You can substitute an all-butter pastry crust for the Cream Cheese version, but the cream cheese gives the dough a slight tang that works well with the sweet apples, and the dough is more tender, making it easier to roll out and shape.
  2. Dried cranberries would work here as well, if you do not have any fresh.  Since their flavor is more concentrated, I would use only 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups.

STORE

At room temperature, up to 3 days.  Refrigerated, the crust will become soggy; it can be recrisped in a 425 degree F oven, but will lose some flakiness.  Frozen, a fully made pie will last up to 3 months.  If baking from frozen, do not thaw first; simply place the frozen pie in its pie dish and into the preheated oven.

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5 comments

  1. Pingback: Better Than More » Blog Archive » Thanksgiving Pie

  2. I know you wrote this nearly a year ago, but I hope you’re “still there!”

    I was all set to make the Appleberry Pie from Carole Walter’s Great Pies & Tarts cookbook when my sister alerted me to the nearly identical Rosy Apple Cranberry Pie recipe from the Pie & Pastry Bible that you’re reviewing here. Have you ever tried that recipe?

    I’ve had mixed results with Berenbaum’s Cake Bible (maybe some of the recipes are too advanced for me, maybe she assumes I know things or doesn’t explain well enough, who knows!) so I’m leery about her pie recipe — BUT — my sister says she makes this every year and she is like the Peculiar Purple Pie Chick of Porcupine Peak. Okay, she’s not purple and she isn’t Strawberry Shortcake’s nemesis, but you get the idea.

    Your pie looks gorgeous and I love how you did the cookie cutter “lattice” top.

    Since you obviously are more of a pie afficionado than I am, can I ask you about freezing? I’m hosting a huge Thanksgiving with a complicated menu. I’m planning to bake my pumpkin pies the day before, but I was hoping to make and freeze a cranberry apple pie this week that I could just pop in the oven and bake the day before the feast. I have never tried to freeze a pie and bake it later, but I found a post on the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Banter blog about it that got me thinking about it: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2010/12/09/freeze-the-fastest-way-to-fresh-baked-fruit-pie/

    …SO, the KAF people say “Place the pie in the refrigerator overnight, to thaw. Tent the plastic bag up a bit, so it doesn’t rest right on the pastry. Wait a minute – why not simply bake the pie right from the freezer? Isn’t that what Mrs. Smith has you do? I tried it. And found that by the time the filling had thawed and cooked completely, the crust was unpleasantly dry. Thawing first cuts back on baking time, and yields a moister, more tender pie.” You say to put the pie in the oven straight from the freezer, though. Do you notice any difference in the crust? And when you put a frozen pie directly into the oven, how much longer does it take to bake? I’m nervous about screwing this up. Should I just make and freeze the filling this week, and roll out the dough and assemble everything the day before? There’s just so much else to do that day, I was hoping to streamline the workload as much as possible.

    Sorry so long-winded!

  3. Hi Rebecca,

    Yes, this recipe is slightly adapted from the Rosy Cranberry Pie recipe by Rose LB (as noted above in the headnotes).

    I’ve always heard to bake pies directly from frozen, so I have not tried thawing first. I suspect the crust would get too soggy. Although I do freeze rolled pastry at times, I definitely have better luck with baking it fresh (maximum flakiness & tenderness). Also, I’m not a big fan of apple pie filling once it’s been frozen; freezing breaks down the cell structure in the fruit and releases a lot of water. The pie ends up watery and the fruit less tasty.

    So – my recommendation would be to make up the filling this week and refrigerate. Since apples & cranberries are quite acidic, and sugar acts as a preservative, the filling will keep fine in the refrigerator for a week or so. Make the pastry dough and freeze (or simply refrigerate for up to 3 days). Then allow the dough to thaw overnight the day before you want to bake; roll out the dough, allow time to rest, then fill & bake.

    Hope that helps and have a great Thanksgiving!
    Kaela

  4. Pingback: How to Create the Perfect Thanksgiving Menu (+Infographic) - Savvy Eats

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