Cranberry-Apple Pie

Cranberry Apple Pie Since I’ve already confessed my former utter cooking ineptitude to you with the apple chicken post, I figured sharing my first pie attempt with you would fit with the theme. Here goes.

One time, about 3 years ago, I determined that Eric should have apple pie for his birthday. After all, he loves apple pie, and we’d just returned from a year in Korea with no oven, so what better to do than make my husband a pie?

So, 5 p.m., the night before his birthday, I insisted we go to Target so I could buy a rolling pin – a pie necessity, right? One-car family that we are, we drove to the downtown Minneapolis Target just a mile or so from our house. After we determined that we’d picked the worst possible time to be driving in Minneapolis due to the excessive amount of commuters leaving work, we came up with a plan.

Me: Drop me off. I’ll run in really quick and grab what I need, and then we’ll meet right here. I’ll call you when I’m out here. That way we don’t have to pay for parking.
Eric: Sounds good. I’ll just circle ’round the block a few times.

mix ingredients It’s important to note that it began sleeting (or what they ambiguously call a “wintery mix”) at this point in the story….  And that I was wearing flats… and no jacket. And that it was November, so it was dark at 5 p.m.

So in to Target I ran, grabbed the rolling pin, and smugly walked towards the checkout line, knowing that Eric was probably thinking I would dawdle and take 25 minutes instead of 5. As I walked back outside, I whipped out my cell phone and tried to call Eric – it rang. and rang. and rang.

“Strange…” I thought. And speed-dialed him again. and again. and again. About 11 calls later, “Strange” had turned to “What on earth is he doing talking to someone else, ignoring his call waiting, while I stand out here IN THE FREEZING RAIN, in my flats, in the dark, with no jacket?!?!?! mutter, mutter, mutter, etc.

Apples Peeled Meanwhile, back in the car, Eric was also becoming increasingly annoyed at his delinquent wife, having tried to call her approximately 10 times with no answer, thinking perhaps she had gotten distracted by the aisles and aisles of kitchen gadgets in Target.

The voice mail messages, as you can imagine, grew increasingly less gracious and far more muttery.

Finally, after 25 minutes of standing on the side of a busy downtown street, straining my eyes for any glimpse of our ’99 corrolla and giving up any and all hope that I would ever see Eric again, I did what any girl would do. I angry cried. Then I called Heidi. Bam! She picked up the phone right away.

pie ingredients

A desperate-voiced Liz: Heidi, would you please call my husband and ask him what the bleep he’s doing? I’ve called him about 22 times and I’m freezing and I’m so mad and tell him I’m just waiting here by the door about to die.
Heidi: Stop freaking out. Yes, I’ll call him.

Call she did. And her call went through. And a minute or so later, I saw the blessed lights of our car shining my way.

Once we both stopped interrogating each other simultaneously, we realized it was a phone glitch. His phone had never rung. Neither had mine. Curse you, T-Mobile, and your inability to deal with sky-scrapers and sleet.

Back home in our tiny apartment, I made a pie using approximately 8 square inches of counter space. It turned out surprisingly well for a first attempt. And then I didn’t know  I was supposed to refrigerate it, and half of it got moldy.

The end.


Over the years, I’ve gotten better at pie-making (and pie-planning!), but I’m not going to lie, double-crusted pies scare me, so I stick to crumble-top pies. Like this one, which knocked my socks off. In addition to the green beans dish I made for our Somali Thanksgiving celebration, I wanted to bring pie. What’s more American than pie, right? So, I thought of my go-to…apple pie. Then I spied all the bright red cranberries in my refrigerator, looking all coy and autumnal. And so cranberry-apple pie it was. Friends, I love this pie. Just slightly tart from those cranberries, all crumble-toppy and sweet to balance it out. Not hard to pull together, and it just looks so pretty with the cranberries in there. If you’re looking for a change-up to your apple or pumpkin pie Thanksgiving standards, this pie is for you. (Or for me…there weren’t any leftovers on Saturday, which I only regretted slightly.)

Cranberry-Apple Pie

Cranberry-Apple Pie

(adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook and

(yields 8 giant pieces, or 14 mini pieces)

I adapted this recipe by foregoing the crust on the epicurious site and using my old standby crust recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, just because I knew how the latter would turn out and felt confident in it. Additionally, I added an 1/8 c. of extra sugar into the fruit filling because I was scared the cranberries would be too tart otherwise. I'm glad I did.



1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 c. shortening (cut into 1/4-in. cubes)

4-5 tbps. COLD water

Fruit Filling:

2 lbs. (about 5) Gala apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced

8 oz. fresh or frozen (not thawed) cranberries

1/2 c. packed light brown sugar

3 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/8 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

2 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Crumble Top:

3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/4 c. packed light brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 c. pecans, coarsely chopped


Crust Instructions:

Stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or your quick fingers, cut in shortening until clumps are pea-sized.

Sprinkle 1 tbsp. of water over part of the flour mixture. Use a fork to toss it and moisten that portion of dough. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl and repeat, using 1 tbsp. at at time, until the flour mixture is moistened enough to form into a ball.

On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten the dough ball. Roll dough from center to edges until it makes a circle around 12 inches in diameter (or until it is about 1 inch wider than your overturned pie-pan).

To transfer crust, wrap it around the rolling pin. Unroll it into a 9 inch pie plate. Ease dough into pie plate without stretching it. If it rips, just pinch it back together.

Trim pastry to about 1/2-3/4 inches beyond edge of pie plate. I used a fork to crimp mine, or you could do something prettier with it. Do not prick pie crust!

Fruit Filling Instructions:

Stir together apples, cranberries, brown sugar, white sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice. Scoop into pie crust.

Dot with the butter.

Cover the crust and fruit filling with foil and bake at 425* for 30 minutes, or until apples droop.

Bonus Tip! Place a large piece of foil under your pie in the oven because it will drip, and it will make your oven smell like burnt death.

Crumble Top Instructions:

Stir together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Blend in butter pieces with your fingertips until large clumps form, then stir in pecans. Chill until ready to use.

After the pie has baked under foil for 30 minutes, remove foil and sprinkle the crumble topping on. Reduce heat to 375* and bake for an additional 45 mins. to 1 hour, or until pie is bubbling, top is lightly browned, and apples are tender. Cool completely before serving, 2-3 hours.

Enjoy with a steaming cup of coffee and be thankful for pie!

You might also like:

17 thoughts on “Cranberry-Apple Pie

  1. Cranberry and apple have been my go-to combination this year. Jam, donuts, muffins. I can’t get enough. And then you brought me a recipe for pie…amazing.

    I WILL NOT be making this for Thanksgiving this year. Only because I’m too greedy and selfish to share such amazing-ness with anyone else!!! Thanks for another great post!

  2. Your pie looks perfect! I don’t doubt that you could do a double-crust if you really wanted to, but it’s hard to beat a crumb topping.

    p.s. I still do the angry cry thing when my husband loses me inside of Target….he always leaves his phone conveniently in the car.

  3. If I can bring myself to go back to the store to buy store-bought crust, I’m totally making the filling and topping. Looks and sounds delicious! Eric and I were just talking about a cran-apple pie! Hurrah!

  4. I love this recipe…and those photos! It all looks and feels so warm and comforting. And I have cranberries on my list of things to work into recipes. What better way to start than with a pie!

    • gosh…I feel like it’s going to be a cranberry fest around here for the next few weeks. I feel like every recipe I try lately has cranberries in it…stay tuned!

  5. I served this pie to my family tonight–BIG HIT!!! Everyone loved it! After my three year old nephew ate most of my Dad’s, he started jumping up and down saying, “More pie, more pie”! :)

  6. I have just popped this gorgeous pie in the oven here in Dublin, Ireland on a dark, stormy, rainy evening. Various family members are travelling through the storm and this will be part of their welome when they arrive, safe and sound.
    While I can bake, I’m a toddler at photography and can only stare in amazement at your beautiful images.
    Thanks for the inspiration

  7. Pingback: Peach Pie with Lattice Top | Carpé Season

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *