Welcome to day 4 in our annual PIE WEEK! So far we’ve reviewed plenty of different pie crust designs and a dark chocolate pecan delight you must try at least once this holiday season. Are you ins-PIE-red yet?
(Trying to force the word “pie” into inspired and it totally didn’t work. Nerd glasses on.)
But what can I say? Obviously the best pie on the planet is of the apple variety. (Don’t you dare fight me on that, pumpkin!) Surely you knew an apple pie was coming this week, right? Today we’re jazzing it up by adding all sorts of fun like tart cranberries and the smooth ‘n’ sweet flavor of almond.
This is a mega festive and indulgent pie recipe and I’ve been dying to share it with you since I first made it back in JULY.
So let’s get right into it. I have plenty of photos and a video for you today because (1) I’m obsessed with photographing pie and (2) I want to walk you through the process start to finish. Ok and (3) I can’t get enough cranberry almond apple pie. ♥
Today’s recipe is a lot like my apple cranberry pie. I’m not trying to pick faves or anything, but today’s version totally ROCKS. No offense 2016 apple crannie pie!
We’re doing things a little differently this year. First, there’s more apples and a little less cranberry. Cranberry simply adds a POP of color and burst of freshness, rather than taking over the pie’s flavor. We want to concentrate on the almond. Which brings me to…
1 Very Special Ingredient!
We’re also using a V.S.I. (Very Special Ingredient, of course.) Almond paste. Do you bake with almond paste often? I mostly use it during the holiday season, but have been enjoying using it year round lately. Its flavor is deliciously awesome. My go-to? Odense Almond Paste. When I was testing recipes for Sally’s Cookie Addiction last year, it was clearly evident which almond paste brand reigned supreme in the baking aisle. I kept going back to Odense. Imported from Denmark, Odense has the best flavor, best texture, and is easiest to work with. No others compared. In fact, they don’t even come close.
Odense almond paste transforms ordinary apple pie into the apple pie that no one will stop raving about. Trust me. I tested and baked this pie 4 months ago, brought it over to my friends for taste-testing and they *still* ask me about it.
The pie’s easy. The filling combines apples, cornstarch, cranberries, sugar, and spices. You’ll spoon it all over the almond paste. See the photo above? That’s the almond paste all flattened out on top of the pie crust. It will melt down and get super friendly with all that apple and spice flavor, creating one incredibly unique filling. One that’ll make you go “wait, is this apple pie? why does it taste better than ANYTHING I’VE EVER HAD BEFORE?” That’s the magic of Odense almond paste. ♥
Once the almond paste and filling are all set, get to work on your top crust. Since the November Baking Challenge focuses on pie designs and decorations, I encourage you to have lots of fun with this step. Get creative, take your time, enjoy it, and don’t stress!
My Lattice Topping
I made an easy lattice-type crust with 1/2-inch strips grouped together in three’s. Then, with the remaining pie dough, I grabbed my leaf cookie cutters and added some pretty autumn-inspired shapes to arrange around the edges.
Here’s a super quick video. Pie in 1 minute!
Oh! And I just realized I didn’t even mention anything about the pie crust we’re using. Though, if you’ve read my blog before, I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you: buttery flaky homemade pie crust for the win.
Brush your gorgeous pie topping with egg wash, sprinkle with coarse sugar for a lil’ sparkle, then place the pie in the fridge while the oven preheats. Remember, cold pie dough is successful pie dough. And I can’t stress that enough.
My friend who tried this cranberry almond apple pie back in July just texted me asking when I’m posting this recipe so she see all the pictures, save the recipe, and bake it. I’m not even kidding. It’s the pie everyone will talk about this year and I’m so excited for you to fall in love with it too. Odense almond paste, you change everything. 🙂Print
This cranberry almond apple pie is the Thanksgiving dessert that everyone will be talking about! The flavor is divine and it couldn’t be easier to make.
- Homemade Pie Crust (my recipe makes 2 crusts; 1 for bottom 1 for top)
- 4 large apples, cored, peeled, and sliced into 1/2-inch slices (about 7–8 cups)
- 1 cup (100g) fresh or frozen cranberries (do not thaw)
- 1/2 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons (14g) cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 7 ounces Odense Almond Paste
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk
- optional: coarse sugar for sprinkling
- The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
- Make the filling: Stir the apples, cranberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Set filling aside as the oven preheats.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
- 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.
- Unwrap the almond paste. Flatten it out into a 9-inch disc to fit snug into the bottom of the pie. Place on top of the pie crust. Spoon the filling on top of the almond paste, 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 arrange the lattice.
- 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 sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut 24 1/2 inch strips. Remove the pie from the refrigerator and carefully thread the pie dough strips over and under one another to create the look in the pictures pie, 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. Flute the edges or crimp with a fork. With any leftover dough, cut into fall-inspired shapes and place on top of the lattice. (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.)
- Lightly brush the top of the pie crust with the egg wash mixture and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls | Pastry Cutter | Rolling Pin | Pizza Cutter | Cute Leaf Cookie Cutters | Glass Scalloped Pie Dish | Pie Crust Baking Shield | Pastry Brush | Coarse Sparkling Sugar | Eat Dessert First Fork
- Apples: I prefer to use two types of apples when I make pie. Half a tart variety (like Granny Smith) and the other half a sweeter variety such as Honeycrisp, Fuji, Pink Lady, or Jazz.