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
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Meanwhile, toss the cornstarch with the apple slices until it disappears. Remove the top crust dough from the refrigerator.
- Pour the reduced juice/syrup over the apple slices. Toss to mix. Add the cranberries and mix.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Fall through winter.