Cranberry Apple Slab Pie (Small Version)

This cranberry apple slab pie is a smaller version of traditional slab pie. Baked free-form style on a baking sheet, this flatter pie barely has to cool before digging in! Juicy sweet cinnamon apples and tart cranberries taste fantastic with a buttery flaky golden pie crust. You need 2 crusts and you can use your favorite or store-bought version, but I encourage you to try my beloved pie crust recipe.

cranberry apple slab pie cut into 8 pieces

I don’t say this a lot but here goes nothing: sometimes it’s ok to break the baking rules!! And we’re definitely doing that today with this pie. This is a free-form style pie with no boundaries. 😉 Just make sure the top and bottom crusts are rolled thin enough and secured/pinched together to prevent excess leaking.

We’re basically making a giant pop-tart that’s welcome on the Thanksgiving table.


Why You Will Love This Cranberry Apple Slab Pie

  • Smaller version of a traditionally large slab pie– serves 8.
  • Slab pie is cut into bars/rectangles so it’s easy to slice, serve, and freeze.
  • It’s shallow, so there’s no need to fully cool before slicing and serving.
  • No par-baking the bottom crust.
  • Altogether flaky, buttery, sweet, tart, fruity, and spiced!
  • You can swap cranberries for more apples or another fruit.

I suppose you could say this is like my apple galette, only a bit thicker and with a top crust. And it’s a smaller version of this apple slab pie and includes cranberries. It’s really just… its own special thing!

apple cranberry slab pie with lattice crust on baking sheet

rectangle slices of cranberry apple slab pie

Pie Dough

You can use your favorite pie crust recipe, but I encourage you to try mine. You need the full pie crust recipe, which makes 2 crusts. (1 for bottom of pie, 1 for top of pie.) I use a mix of shortening and butter because they work together to make the BEST crust. Butter adds flavor and flakiness, while shortening helps the dough stay pliable which is helpful when you’re rolling and shaping it. Plus, its high melting point is advantageous because it helps the crust stay tender while still maintaining shape. If you don’t want to use shortening, try my all butter pie crust recipe instead– it also yields 2 crusts.


3 Success Tips

  1. Keep the Filling Compact: You don’t want many air pockets in the filling, so do your best to pile the filling tightly onto the bottom pie crust. This filling recipe yields a lot and keeping it compact ensures it will all fit!
  2. Bake On Sheet Pan: This is a free-form style pie baked on a large baking sheet with extra room to spare. It’s best to bake this pie on a half sheet pan, preferably one with rimmed sides. None of my test pies leaked enough juices to reach the edge of the pan, but if you don’t have a tight seal on the pie dough edges, the juices could certainly spill over. If you need a recommendation, I use and love (affiliate link) these half sheet pans.
  3. Tight Seal on Edges: Cranberries leak a lot of juice, so tightly seal the dough edges as best you can. Plus, since this pie doesn’t reach the edges of a half sheet pan, it essentially has no structure support! Seal those edges by crimping them with a fork or fluting with your hands. (You can watch me flute the edges in the video below.) If the pie dough becomes too warm and fluting/crimping is impossible, stop and refrigerate the pie for 10-15 minutes before trying again. The refrigerator is pie dough’s best friend.

Can I Bake This in a 9×13 Inch Pan?

You can, but the best option is a quarter sheet pan like this quarter sheet pan. The pie will take up the entire size of the pan, much like the full size apple slab pie takes up an entire half sheet pan. The lower sides help make sealing the pie dough edges a little easier. If you have and want to use a regular metal or glass 9×13 inch dish, you absolutely can! Avoid ceramic because the bottom crust will not cook through completely.

Step-by-step photos below the recipe!

stack of 2 pieces of cranberry apple slab pie

Tested Variations You Can Try

  1. Only Apples: It’s easy to leave out the cranberries if you want plain apple slab pie. Replace with 1 more cup of chopped apples. Feel free to skip the orange zest and replace with lemon zest for a bit of fresh flavor.
  2. Substitute Cranberries: Instead of replacing the cranberries with more apples, try 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, cherries, blackberries, or sliced pears.
  3. Lattice Top: The video tutorial below shows a lattice topping for this cranberry apple slab pie. My 6 pie dough strips are about 2 inches wide, but feel free to cut your strips thinner so you can use more. If you’re new to lattice, here’s my How to Lattice Pie Crust tutorial. I also have directions in the recipe below.
  4. Full Crust Top: If you’d rather skip the lattice crust and use a full top crust, you can find those instructions below as well. (And photos below the recipe!)
  5. Larger Size: For a full size slab pie (the total size of a half sheet pan), I recommend following the crust and filling for this apple slab pie. Replace 1 and 1/2 cups of the apples with fresh or frozen cranberries. Feel free to add some orange zest and/or skip the icing.
  6. Regular Pie: Want these same flavors but in a regular pie dish? Here’s my apple cranberry pie recipe– it has slightly more filling to fit into a pie dish.

cranberry apple pie serving on white plate with vanilla ice cream

What Are the Best Apples to Use for Baking?

Firmer apples are ideal for baking so avoid soft, mealy, and mushy apples. And when a recipe calls for more than 1 or 2 apples, like today’s slab pie, apple crisp, or this apple crumble pie, it’s best to use a mix of tart apples and sweet apples.

  • Tart apples for baking: Granny Smith (my absolute favorite apple for baking), Braeburn, Jonathan, and Pacific Rose
  • Sweet apples for baking: Jazz, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, and Fuji
Print
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cranberry apple slab pie cut into 8 pieces

Cranberry Apple Slab Pie (Small Version)

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: serves 8
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Baked free-form style on a baking sheet, this juicy, sweet, and tart cranberry apple slab pie barely has to cool before digging in! You need 2 crusts and you can use your favorite or store-bought version, but I encourage you to try either linked pie crust recipe below. Review recipe notes and watch the video tutorial before starting.


Ingredients

Crust

  • Homemade Pie Crust or All Butter Pie Crust (both recipes make 2 crusts, 1 for bottom and 1 for top)
  • extra all-purpose flour for work surface, hands, and rolling pin
  • egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk

Filling

  • 5 cups (about 550g) peeled and chopped apples (1-inch chunks that are 1/41/2 inch thick)*
  • 1 cup (110g) fresh or frozen cranberries (do not thaw)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (14gcornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon (14g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

Instructions

  1. The crust: Prepare either pie crust recipe through step 5.
  2. The filling: In a large mixing bowl, stir the apples, cranberries, sugar, cornstarch, orange zest, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg together until combined. Set aside as you roll out the bottom pie crust. (Butter is used in step 5.)
  3. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside. Make sure you have enough room in your refrigerator for the pan because the assembled pie must chill for at least 15 minutes before baking.
  4. Roll out the chilled pie dough for bottom crust: Remove 1 disc of pie dough from the refrigerator. Keep the other in the refrigerator until you’re ready for the top crust. On a lightly floured work surface using a lightly floured rolling pin, begin rolling the dough out into a rectangle. Make sure to turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls and to really ensure the dough isn’t sticking to the work surface, flip it over a few times during this process. Keep everything lightly floured. I find anywhere around a 10×14 inch rectangle is great. Dough should be about 1/8-inch thick. Tip: Your hands are your best tool in this step. Use your hands and fingers to smooth cracking edges and keep the sides straight. You can watch me do this in the video. Carefully transfer the rolled out dough to the lined pan.
  5. Add filling & fold dough edges: Using a spoon or your hands, tightly pile the filling onto the rolled out pie dough leaving a 1.5 inch border around the edges. Keep filling tight and compact to minimize air pockets. Discard any leftover juices in the filling bowl. Dot the pieces of butter on top of the filling. Fold dough edges over filling and pinch edges.
  6. Roll out 2nd chilled pie dough for top crust: For a lattice top as shown in the video, roll out pie dough into a large oval, about 1/8 inch thick. (Exact dimension doesn’t matter, but thickness does). Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut 6 2-inch strips of dough. See video starting at 3:35 for a visual of the following lattice weaving– lay 3 strips diagonally and evenly spaced on top of the filling. Use a longer strip in the center of the pie and shorter strips on the ends. Fold center strip back. Place 4th strip diagonally in opposite direction over the end strips and under the center strip. Fold center strip back over 4th strip. Fold end strips back. Lay 5th strip in opposite direction on top. Unfold the 2 strips back so they lay over the 5th strip. Fold bottom center strip back. Place last strip in opposite direction over end strips and under center strip. Fold center strip back on top. For a full crust top as shown in photos below, roll out pie dough into the same size rectangle as the bottom crust, about 10×14 inches. Drape over filling.
  7. Seal edges: If you have excess top crust dough that lays over the bottom dough edges, no need to trim it. Instead, fold the excess dough back to make a thicker edge and pinch together with the bottom pie dough to seal. Flute the edges with your fingers or crimp with a fork. If edges aren’t sealing well and fluting or crimping is too difficult, the dough may be too warm at this point. Stop what you are doing and refrigerate the pie for 10-15 minutes then try again.
  8. Egg wash: Brush the pie dough with egg wash. If you used a full top crust (not lattice), use a sharp knife to cut 3-5 slits in the top crust for air vents. Refrigerate pie uncovered for 15 minutes as oven preheats. (Or refrigerate up to 1 day. Cover lightly if refrigerating longer than 15 minutes.)
  9. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  10. Bake pie for 45-55 minutes or until the top crust is golden brown and the filling’s juices have been bubbling up through the lattice/vents for at least 5 minutes.
  11. Remove pie from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
  12. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Special Tools (affiliate links): Apple Peeler, Zester, Rolling Pin, Half Sheet Pan (this is my favorite), Parchment Paper (I love these sheets), Pastry Brush, Pizza Cutter
  2. Make Ahead / Freezing Instructions: There are a couple ways to make this pie ahead of time. Assemble the pie through step 8 and refrigerate assembled pie for up to 1 day. Or assemble and bake the pie 1 day in advance– after pie 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 and cooled pie also freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving. (Feel free to warm the slices in the microwave.)
  3. Apples: You need 3-4 medium apples. I recommend a mix of tart and sweet apples– I like using Granny Smith and Honeycrisp.
  4. Chilling Assembled Pie Before Baking: Chilling the shaped pie in the refrigerator before baking helps it maintain shape in the oven. Remember, cold pie dough is always best. I usually refrigerate the assembled pie for 15 minutes as the oven preheats. If you’re nervous to chill the baking sheet in the refrigerator then bake it (which can cause warping), after chilling it, you can very slowly and carefully lift the parchment/baking mat as a whole–with the chilled pie on top– and place it all on another (not cold) baking sheet to bake.

Keywords: cranberry apple slab pie

Let Me Show You a Few Steps

For the filling, I recommend cutting the apples into chunks instead of slices. Since slab pie is thinner than regular pie, you can’t really layer the slices together to get enough apple in each bite. 1-inch chunks that are between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick are ideal for this pie.

chopped apples in glass bowl and shown again with other pie filling ingredients

Set filling aside as you work on the bottom crust.

pie dough before and after rolling out on a baking sheet

Tightly pile the filling on top leaving a 1.5 inch border around the edges. Dot with small pieces of butter. (I forgot to take a picture of the filling with butter on top but you can see me add it in the video.)

pie dough rolled out into a rectangle with apple cranberry filling on top

Now it’s time to decide how you want to top your slab pie– do you want a full top crust, a lattice top, braided pie dough, or other decorative pie crust design? I’m showing you two versions in the following photos and you can find instructions for both in the recipe above.

Full Top Crust:

Don’t forget to cut slits in the top for air vents.

rectangle pie with top crust on a baking sheet and shown before baking

baked slab pie on baking sheet

Lattice Top Crust:

A little more challenging, but doable! As you can see in the video above, I do not trim excess pie dough from the edges. I like folding excess dough back onto the edges of the pie so there’s more dough to work with when crimping/fluting. If you ever need help with pie dough edges, you can see me do this up-close in the How to Lattice Pie Crust video starting at the 1:59 mark.

cranberry apple slab pie with lattice crust before baking

apple cranberry slab pie with lattice crust on baking sheet

Have fun with this one!

How to Join the November Sally's Baking Challenge

Make the cranberry apple slab pie recipe or any of the variations listed above the recipe. If you aren’t into this recipe, here is the alternate baking challenge recipe:

  1. any previous challenge recipe you haven’t made yet OR
  2. Chocolate Pecan Pie. This alternate recipe still gives you a chance to work with pie crust, but has a much different flavor/filling.

After you make the pie or alternate recipe, email us your recipe photo. For a bonus entry, leave a review on the recipe below.

By emailing your recipe photo to us, you are automatically entered in the baking challenge. 1 winner receives a $250 Amazon Gift Card. The challenge is open to the whole world. Challenge ends on November 30th at 5pm eastern. The winner will be selected at random, emailed their prize, and posted in the December Baking Challenge blog post on December 1st 2021.

Visit the Sally’s Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions about Sally’s Baking Challenge. Sign up for Sally’s Baking Challenge emails so you’re alerted as soon as new challenge post is published!

130 Comments

  1. This recipe is so delicious and perfect for fall. It would be great for a dinner party dessert.
    I have never made pie crust before and it was much easier than I thought!

  2. Wonderful and surprisingly simple recipe! I’m a super fan of your Pie Crust, so I will ALWAYS make from scratch, but this recipe would be even breezier with store bought!
    I did learn doing this I personally prefer a traditional pie as opposed to the “slab” version, but I am so happy I tried this and now have it as a possibility when the time is right. I loved the spice and flavor, apple suggestions were key too (Granny Smith and Fuji were my choices this time).
    Thank you Sally for another awesome recipe!

  3. this was delicious! it was fun doing the challenge. i’ve hardly ever made my own pie crust and never did a lattice pie. but i did the crust one day and the rest a few days later so it was manageable. the steps were easy to follow and it came out delicious – a wonderful fall pre-TG dessert!

  4. Loved trying out this recipe! It was worth it all. The pie came out delicious.

  5. Another great recipe Sally! The combination of apples and cranberries was perfect. Your videos are so helpful. I always watch them a few times before I begin as well as during the process. This slab pie is a great fall dessert to share with family and friends.

  6. I liked that this recipe was fruit based and low sugar. It was a bit of a process to put the pie together, though, and I think this challenge reminded me that I don’t particularly like pies. Still, I am thankful for the challenge because I learned from it!

  7. This recipe is honestly so easy and so good. It is perfect for anyone looking for a funky pie that the whole family will enjoy. Perfect for thanksgiving! Thanks!

  8. I wanted to make this for Thanksgiving, but I needed to serve 12, so I doubled it. It looks beautiful and rustic. The filling is good, I used Fuji apples, probably would have been great with a less sweet apple, but it’s dessert right?!
    The pie crust is lovely! I did replace some water (maybe 50%) with vodka. I took a baking class and this is the only tip I remember from that class. I forgot how easy making a pie crust is.

  9. The filling was good. Nice spices and not too sweet! But the BEST part of all was the crust. My first time using Sally’s butter shortening recipe. Nobody has ever noticed my crust before, but suddenly the were raving over it! I am hooked! I will always use the crust recipe from now on!

  10. This is so delicious. The crust is tender and flakey. The filling is juicy and tart. I love that
    there is a small amount of sugar.
    Another great recipe from Sally’s.

  11. I made the Cranberry Apple Slab Pie for Thanksgiving dessert and it was a big hit! It was simple to make and the flavor was amazing. It reminds me of Christmas at Thanksgiving I am glad I had all the ingredients on-hand and was able to participate in this month’s challenge.

  12. Love the flavors of apple and cranberry! It was a hit at thanksgiving and my 4 year old ate it like a piece of pizza 🙂

  13. This was so good! I used the all butter crust and it was the best pie crust I’ve ever had! The pie was really good and I liked the apples mixed with the cranberries. I made it the day before Thanksgiving and just stuck it in the oven an hour before we wanted to eat it. So easy and so yummy!

  14. Absolutely delicious. Used Granny Smith apples and cranberries I love the tartness. The crust was amazing, too.

  15. I made this for one of our Thanksgiving desserts and my husband really enjoyed it. I’m personally not a cooked fruit pie person, so I deferred to him to rate and review. I used a mix of honeycrisp and granny smith apples and he liked those in combination with the cranberries. The cranberries made it more interesting than a typical apple pie, and the tartness gave more depth of flavor. Easy to put together, and a crowd pleaser!

  16. Very delicious, fall flavors. Not too sweet. I was frustrated rolling out the crust (Sally’s recipe) because it was a warm day, but it was easy to hid my patches. I had to refrigerate several times. Making crust is an act of patience, but so worth it.

  17. Excellent recipe! I made this today for Thanksgiving and it was spectacular! This is for people who like a lot of crust…and I love great pie crust. I used two granny smith and one pink lady. After I did the egg wash I put a lot of sparkling sugar all over the lattice because I love that crunch and I suspected the filling would be tart. It was a bit tart but with the sparking sugar and the vanilla ice cream it was just perfect. Another Sally recipe for the win!

  18. Delicious thanks Sally

  19. This was a nice easy recipe and so delicious – I used the all butter homemade pie crust recipe and actually presented mine in a fluted tart tin so it looked quite pretty. I did struggle to fit all the filing in though

  20. Great quick recipe! I don’t have a lot of time to bake these days and once the apples were chopped it was easy enough for my little lady to help. We used a store bought crust due to time and it still turned out great. I’m not a big fan of apples pies but the addition of cranberries definitely made it repeat-worthy. I had trouble with the fluting, but I’m also not a pie maker. Great recipe!

  21. Wonderful recipe! This was my first slab pie and it’s just wonderful. I used a mixture of sweet + tart apples as recommended along with fresh cranberries and the 50-50 shortening-butter crust and it turned out awesome! My pie did leak a bit because I didn’t crimp the crust (I tried to flute the edges), but I’m still super happy with this recipe that I might not have otherwise tried. Thank you!

  22. This pie was delicious! I had quite a bit of leakage, but I think it’s because I was rushing a bit on Thanksgiving and didn’t follow the directions completely about sealing the edges properly. It still turned out delicious and Sally’s pie crust recipe is perfect and I use it every time I make pies. Lovely recipe; definitely a crowd pleaser!

  23. Cranberries and apples make me feel the autumn more than anything. This is the first time I tried the lattice top. I wanted to try the homemade pie crust but I cannot find shortening here. Can I substitute it with coconut oil?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We don’t recommend coconut oil in our pie crust. Lard could work in its place or you could use our all butter pie crust instead. Enjoy!

  24. Lauren Collier says:

    I made this with the all butter pie crust, and did a full crust on the top – the more crust the better! It was a huge hit with my family on Thanksgiving. They all said that the tartness of the cranberry was a nice addition and liked it better than traditional pie because the apple-to-crust ratio was better and it wasn’t overwhelmingly apple-y. My secret pie tip is to brush the crush with the extra juices left over from the apples and sugar. It gives the crusts a nice sweet finish!

  25. This pie is wonderful! My husband loved it and told me that I was now the pie maker in the house. ( He is a wonderful cook and had always been the one to make wonderful pies.) Love the cranberries and apples together and the spices are spectacular.

  26. I used a previously frozen different pie crust recipe that unfortunately was a bit small and fell apart easily. But still tasted great. I couldn’t find cranberries this time of the year (northern Alberta) so I used frozen blueberries. I loved it! I would definitely make it again and try Sally’s pie crust recipe.

  27. I brought this to a Thanksgiving dinner with friends! I made with the lattice crust. The recipe sounded intimidating; however, it was much easier than I anticipated. The crust was a breeze to work with! Topped with some whipped cream. Everyone loved it! Next time I make, I will sprinkle the top with some demerara sugar before baking. Thank you!

  28. Made this for the baking challenge, my whole family loved it! Definitely recommend serving warm with vanilla ice cream!

  29. Great recipe, I love the cranberry and apple combination! The step by step photos of the assembly were very helpful.

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