Apple Cranberry Pie

apple cranberry pie in a glass pie dish with a slice cut

Greetings from Napa!

Soaking up the beautiful sunshine, brilliant eats, even better wine, and great company on a work trip this week. Kevin came along too because… Napa. Feeling unbelievably grateful that my almost 5-year-old blog (omg almost 5!) has brought so many unbelievable opportunities like this. I really have YOU to thank.

But anyway, welcome to recipe 4 in pie week! What’s been your favorite so far? Have you tried any of them or are you waiting until Thanksgiving?

slice of apple cranberry pie on a white plate with a fork

In the past 5 years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve gone from wildly intimidated by pie crust to this braided + lattice beauty. It’s taken some practice and even more shriveled mistakes (literally shriveled), but I want to show you that it’s possible. And it certainly won’t take YOU 5 years to get here.

This apple cranberry pie is why I love baking (and eating!) dessert so much. Not only is apple pie my favorite dessert to eat, it’s my favorite dessert to bake. Making the dough from scratch, creating beautiful decorations for the crust, and playing around with filling flavors is the best. The entire process is almost therapeutic. Do you feel that way about baking too? It soothes my soul.

apple cranberry pie filling in a glass bowl

To get started, you need homemade pie crust. In the sake of time and to prevent my fingers from falling off, I won’t repeat why this homemade buttery flaky pie crust is my favorite. I always make the crust the night before to save time the next day. Or, better yet, make the pie crust today, freeze it, then put it in the refrigerator the night before making the pie. Save even more time later!

My number 1 tip? Keep the dough in the refrigerator anytime you are not working directly with it. So after you roll out the bottom crust and place it into the pie dish, stick it in the refrigerator. When you’re waiting for the oven to preheat, stick the whole thing in the refrigerator, etc etc.

The filling is easy and made from fresh (or frozen!) cranberries, about 3-4 apples, sugar, cornstarch, and spices. You know what pairs well with cranberries? Orange. Add a little orange zest to the pie. The flavor is unreal. For even more mass appeal, dot the filling with butter before arranging the top crust. Buttery, cinnamon-spiced, and orange scented apple cranberry filling.

apple cranberry pie filling in a pie dish

You see all this? ↑ ↑ Put it in the refrigerator while you roll out the top crust.

overhead image of apple cranberry pie with a lattice pie dough topping before baking

Now, I do not expect you to make an intricate pie crust like this but it was pretty fun! Steph, my assistant, came over and we baked this pie together. If you want to recreate this design, here’s what you need: apple cookie cutter and this ribbon cutter set. It’s actually a fondant cutter set, but works for cutting scalloped or super thin (and even!) lines in pie dough.

We used a lattice pie crust topping and braided detail. The braid is actually just placed around the edges– just slightly press it down onto the edge. We made the braid in two sections, then just placed an apple shape over where the two braids connect to hide it. (Sneaky!) Here’s my tutorial for how to braid pie crust and you can see more braided dough in my ginger peach pie. (Favorite!)

If you plan to make a lattice + braid + apple shapes, I recommend having an extra pie crust on hand just to make sure you have enough pie dough to work with. You should really stock your freezer with pie dough now. You know, for braided lattice apple cranberry pie emergencies. Those exist, right?

Brush the whole top with egg wash, place the pie in the fridge while the oven preheats, then bake.

overhead image of apple cranberry pie with latticed pie crust after baking

But none of this detail works unless the pie tastes good. You remember that buttery cinnamon spiced apple orange scented cranberry business I mentioned up there? Of course it tastes good! You’ll love how the tart cranberries balance out the sweet cinnamon apples. It’s like Thanksgiving gave you a big warm hug. And then you ate it. That was a disturbing comparison but hopefully you get me.

slice of apple cranberry pie with a scoop of ice cream on a white plate with a fork

Enjoy enjoy enjoy!

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overhead image of apple cranberry pie with latticed pie crust after baking

Apple Cranberry Pie

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 7 hours (includes cooling)
  • Yield: 8-10 servings
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Cranberries, apples, cinnamon spice, and a buttery homemade pie crust makes this apple cranberry pie one of my favorite fall recipes.


Ingredients

  • homemade pie crust (my recipe makes 2 crusts; 1 for bottom 1 for top)*
  • 3 large apples, cored, peeled, and sliced into 1/2-inch slices (about 67 cups)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (187g) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (14g) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk

Instructions

  1. The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
  2. Make the filling: Stir the apples, cranberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, orange zest, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Set filling aside as the oven preheats.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  4. Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (keep the other one in the refrigerator). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9×2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. Spoon the filling into the crust, leaving any excess liquid in the bowl (you don’t want that in the filling– discard it). Dot the pieces of butter on top of the filling. Stick in the refrigerator until ready to cut the lattice.
  5. Arrange the lattice: Remove the other disc of chilled pie dough from the refrigerator. Roll the dough into a circle that is 12 inches diameter. Using a pastry wheel, sharp knife, pizza cutter, or this fun ribbon cutter, cut strips 1 or 2 inches wide. Remove the pie from the refrigerator and carefully thread the pie dough strips over and under one another, pulling back strips as necessary to weave. Press the edges of the strips into the bottom pie crust edges to seal. Use a small knife to trim off excess dough. Crimp the edges with a fork, if desired. See recipe notes for making the braid or apple shapes! (Alternatively, you can simply cover the filling with the 12-inch pie dough circle. Cut slits in the top to form steam vents. Trim and crimp the edges. Or a crumble or streusel topping would be great as well.)
  6. Lightly brush the top of the pie crust with the egg wash mixture.
  7. Place the pie onto a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Keeping the pie in the oven, turn the temperature down to 350°F (177°C) and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes. After the first 20 minutes of bake time, I place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges from browning too quickly.
  8. Allow the pie to cool for 3 full hours at room temperature before serving. This time allows the filling to thicken up. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: A couple ways to make ahead of time! Make 1 day in advance– after it cools, cover tightly and keep at room temperature. The pie crust dough can also be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Baked pie also freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving. Prepared filling can also be frozen up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
  2. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls | Peeler | Pastry CutterGlass Scalloped Pie Dish | Pastry Brush | Pie Crust Lattice Cutter |  Fall Shapes Pie Crust Cutters | Lace Trim Chambray Napkin
  3. 3 Pie Crusts: If you’d like to make the apple shapes and/or the braided edge, I recommend working with 3 pie crusts in total. 1 for the bottom, 1 for the lattice, and 1 for the braid + apples. So make my pie crust recipe twice.
  4. Pie Crust Apples: On a floured work surface, roll the crust out into a large circle, about 1/8 inch thickness. Using an apple cookie cutter, cut into shapes. Place directly on top of pie crust before baking OR bake separately. To bake separately, brush each lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar (that’s optional). Place onto a parchment paper or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and set aside to cool before decorating pie.
  5. Braided Pie Crust Edge: With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut six 14 inch long, 1/4 inch wide strips. Gently braid three strips. Brush edge of crust with egg wash, the carefully place braid around half of the pie and press lightly to secure. Repeat with remaining strips, then attach the two braids by pressing one into the other. Brush it all with egg wash. Here’s a video tutorial for more inspiration.

Keywords: apple cranberry pie, cranberry apple pie

40 Comments

  1. I’m not a big pie baker but I’m planning to make this pie for Thanksgiving! We have an abundance of local fresh cranberries in Maine! Just one question, the directions say to turn the heat down after 20 minutes, keeping the pie in the oven, but also at 20 minutes you put the pie crust shield on. So how do you do that without taking it out of the oven? And for the first 20 minutes the pie is on a baking sheet, and so for the next 30-35 minutes is it also on the baking sheet? Thanks!

    1. Hi Mary! You can remove the pie from the oven to place the crust shield on top, but usually I just reach in and place it on top 🙂 Leave it on the baking sheet the entire time it bakes.

  2. This looks absolutely delicious! What would you recommend for baking time if using mini pie dishes and what kind of apples do you use?

    1. I’ve made this pie a couple times since I posted it– and I’ve used a mix of Granny Smith and either Fuji or Honeycrisp. I suggest half granny smith and half of a sweeter variety. For mini pie dishes, I’m unsure exactly. What are the measurements? You want a nice deep golden brown on the top crust.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving, Sally! I made this pie yesterday, and it was a hit for dessert today! One question I had about the filling: when I spooned the apples into the crust, they way overflowed the pie plate, so I just piled them up high and put the lattice on top. It all sank down as it cooked, but I ended up with dry apples and cranberries up top and the liquid on the bottom…should the uncooked pie filling generally be level with the top of the pie plate, or is it ok to have it higher? I’m thinking I just used too many apple slices. Thank you!

    1. Happy Thanksgiving Catherine! I always pile them nice and high. What variety of apple did you use? Some are juicier than others which could have been the issue. Less apples could fix your issue though if you decide to try it again!

  4. Kaela Steeely says:

    Thank you for this awesome recipe! I made one for Thanksgiving and it was so fun and yummy!

    I do have one question, the filling was very, very runny in my pie. When I put the filling into the pie crust before baking there was virtually no liquid at all. Could it have been the apples I used? (honeycrisp) 

  5. The first time we made this the pie was very liquidy, the next time we made it, perfection! Our apple choice was too watery for the recipe. Absolutely delicious! Have made twice in a month, can’t get enough of it!

  6. Shirley Cribbs says:

    I tried this on Saturday- AMAZING!! So wonderful, thanks for putting the recipe out there.

  7. This pie came out so runny…I’m not sure what I did wrong! I feel like I followed the recipe to a T. For the apples I used 2 braeburn 1 granny smith. Crust and flavor was all good, but texture of filling wasn’t right. The fruit was dry and undercooked and there was a huge amount of liquid at the bottom of the pie. Any ideas on what went wrong? I’m going to try and put it back in the oven now even though it’s already cooled..

    1. I wonder how! There’s no added liquid to the filling– did you leave the excess liquid of the filling int he bowl when filling the pie crust?

  8. I plan to make this Wednesday to serve Thursday. Should I put it in the refrigerator after it’s cooled or leave it on the kitchen counter at room temperature?

    I’m obsessed with your site!!!!!! Please let me know

    1. Hey Ali! Leave it at room temperature (loosely covered with foil) overnight.

  9. I haven’t made a fruit pie in years as I often find them shall we say lackluster. Runny filing, gummy or overbaked crust and frankly a flavor that just left me wishing that I had not even bothered. However I decided I would make a pie for the decorated crust challenge. Wow. So good here. A very holiday flavored pie. Perfect from say mid-November till year-end. It did take at least 30 minutes longer than the recipe said for it to actually finish baking (golden crust, bubbling filing) but it set up perfectly. No runny center at all.

    1. I’m so glad you gave fruit pies another try! I LOVE this one 😉

  10. Jennifer Curry-Pitcher says:

    How would you recommend changing this recipe to make smaller pies…such as something that will fit in a muffin tin? Do you think more crust would be needed?

    1. Hi Jennifer! More pie dough would be helpful to have on hand. You can try making hand pies, like I did with these apple hand pies, or use a muffin pan. The bake times will be similar between the hand pies and the muffin pan pies.

  11. Hi Sally,
    I struggle with having enough crust on the sides of my pie. If I use a normal glass pie dish, 9 inches, What should be the diameter of my rolled out bottom crust? I want to allow for shrinkage but not have so much that it falls off the sides. Thanks!

    1. Hi Megan! I always recommend rolling the bottom dough out into a 12 inch circle.

  12. Jenna Murphy says:

    Hi Sally!

    Would I be able to make this into a galette rather than a full-on pie? I’m concerned the cooking time would be too long. Any idea?

    1. Hi Jenna, I have a few galette recipes! This would be too much filling for one galette but you can always add cranberry to my apple galette and leave off the salted caramel: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/salted-caramel-apple-galette/

  13. Hi Sally! Fresh cranberries aren’t so available on this side of the world (Madrid)… any ideas on how to substitute dried? I want to make this for a cake auction at my daughters school 🙂 Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Ana! I recommend skipping the fresh/frozen cranberries, adding 1 cup of dried cranberries and adding another cup of sliced apples. 🙂

  14. Sally, I need to make an apple blueberry pie…do you think I could swap out the cranberries for blueberries with this recipe?

    1. Yes, definitely! Blueberries will work wonderfully in place of the cranberries. Sounds delicious.

  15. Hi Sally!
    Could I make this recipe but instead of a crust topping – use your crumble topping from your ‘Apple Crumble Pie‘?

    1. YES I do it all the time– I love this pie with the crumble topping! Follow the baking instructions in the apple crumble pie. (Step 6)

  16. Hi Sally! Quick question—I’m planning to use a variant of this filling for some galettes this weekend, using your pastry recipe for the dough. Do you think that the baking time will be about the same, or do you think the changed proportions/structure will be a problem for getting the filling and crust both done optimally?

    1. It all depends on what size your galettes are! Here is my recipe for salted caramel apple galette– you can use this as a starting place for bake time/to compare sizes/etc. Yours should be really delicious!!

  17. Bronwen Davis says:

    To make this with frozen cranberries, do I need to thaw the cranberries first?

    Thank you!
    Bronwen

    1. No need to thaw them first.

  18. I made this for Christmas last night and it was perfect for the occasion!! Definitely a festive pie. My parents thought it had a touch too much clove but I thought it was great. Thanks sally for helping me with Christmas !!! I had some extra filling and extra cranberries that I made into a little sauce for ice cream or pancakes or oatmeal- delicious!

  19. Thank you, Sally! I am an avid baker of all things but pie. I was one of frightened, scared ones. I have gone back and forth with using a pastry blender vs food processor. Your step by step recipe, tips, and zen energy got it this time! I had to improvise on the fly when I realized I overworked my dough for the top piece (I wasn’t feeling adventurous to try a lattice), so it became a crumble!! We haven’t tried it, it is cooling, but it smells amazing. I went with the bottom rack for the first 20, then middle for 32 minutes.

    Thank you for settling me down, making the pie was fun, despite the little turn!!

  20. Sally, I’m wanting to make a few 6 inch pies for Thanksgiving as we are not having guests this year due to COVID. My question is, do you think if I halved this recipe, it would work for one 6 inch pie? Thank you Sally, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    1. Hi Debbie, halving this recipe for a 6 inch pie dish should be plenty. I’m unsure of the best bake time though. I love this idea by the way!

  21. This pie came out great! The spices with the apple and cranberry made for a delicious combo of sweet and sour!
    Thank you for the recipe!

  22. Came across this recipe and I’m so happy I did. This is going to be a permanent add to my Thanksgiving menu along with your whipped cream.

  23. I made this recipe using blackberries instead of cranberries for a Mother’s Day pie. It turned out wonderful. I did halve the cinnamon and omitted the cloves, and swapped the orange for lemon zest. I also added another tablespoon of cornstarch since I knew the blackberries wouldn’t gelatinize as much as cranberries. The amount lemon zest was a bit strong, but other than that, it turned out amazing! Thank you for a great recipe.

  24. Hi! I’m from the distant, dystopian future of 2021… But I want to make this recipe for our Thanksgiving get-together this year! Lol My question is, what type of apple do you use for this? I normally bake with green apples for the tartness… but if cranberries bring the tartness in this dish, should I be using a sweeter apple? Thanks!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We’ve made this pie a couple times using a mix of Granny Smith and either Fuji or Honeycrisp. We suggest half Granny Smith and half of a sweeter variety. Hope you enjoy it!

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