Apple Cranberry Pie
One of our favorite apple pies to make for Thanksgiving is one that includes dried sweetened cranberries with the apple filling, and a little bit of brandy too.
My father originally found a recipe for apple cranberry pie years ago in Bon Appétit magazine (Oct, 1998). We’ve modified it somewhat over the years, experimenting with different crusts and baking temperature and times. We love the sweet and sour interplay of apples and cranberries in this pie!
As you peel, core, and slice the apples, put the apple slices in a bowl and sprinkle with a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to prevent them from discoloring.
The crust recipe given includes ground almonds which give the crust a lovely flavor that works well with the apples and cranberries. You can also use our favorite sour cream pie crust that is easy to put together and makes an especially flaky crust.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
- 1/3 cup finely ground blanched almonds or almond flour
- 16 Tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 heaping teaspoon brown sugar
- 3 to 6 Tbsp ice water
- 1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you want the filling to be)
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice or cinnamon
- 2 1/4 pounds of an assortment of good cooking apples such as Granny Smith, Pippin, Golden Delicious, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices (about 7 cups of apple slices)
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp whipping cream
1 Make the pie dough: In a food processor, combine flour, almond flour, salt and brown sugar, pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add water 1 Tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready, if not, add a little more ice water and pulse again.
Remove dough from machine and place on a clean surface. Carefully shape into 2 discs. Do not over-knead the dough! You should still be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These bits of butter are what will allow the result crust to be flaky. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
2 Preheat oven to 375°F with a rack in the bottom third of the oven.
3 Make the apple filling: Whisk together the sugar, flour, and allspice or cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the dried sweetened cranberries and toss to coat with the sugar flour mixture. Add the apples and toss to coat and make sure that the cranberries are well distributed throughout the apples. Sprinkle with the brandy and vanilla extract.
4 Roll out the bottom crust: Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle some flour on top of the disk. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12 inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick.
As you roll out the dough, use a metal spatula to check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. Add a few sprinkles of flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Place on a 9-inch pyrex pie dish. Press down to line the pie dish with the dough.
5 Place the apple filling in the pie dish.
6 Roll out top crust, top the pie, crimp edges: Roll out second disk of dough, as before. Gently place on top of the apples in the pie. Pinch top and bottom of dough rounds firmly together. Trim excess dough with kitchen shears, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang. Fold dough under itself so that the edge of the fold is flush with the edge of the pan. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with a fork.
7 Brush pie with egg wash: In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolk and cream until well blended. Use a pastry brush to brush over the top of the pie. Use a sharp knife to cut slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape as the pie bakes.
8 Bake: Bake the pie at 375°F for 30 minutes. Then place a sheet of aluminum foil over the pie and lower the oven temp to 350°F. Bake for another 45 to 55 minutes or longer, depending on the type of apples you are using.
When done the crust should be golden brown and the apples soft and cooked through. Remove the pie and let cool on a rack for at least one hour. Serve pie warm or at room temperature.