Apple Cranberry Pie

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This Apple Cranberry Pie recipe is sure to be a hit this holiday season. Crisp, sweet apples married with tart cranberries nestled in a tender, flaky pie crust.

side view of a slice of apple cranberry pie on a white plate

Your favorite pie lover here coming to you with a delicious apple cranberry pie recipe that you can enjoy now or freeze for early Thanksgiving prep.

I have a deep love for apple pie and it’s been too long since I’ve had one. Apple slab pie and apple pie with brown butter crust are two of my favorites. But sometimes I like to go a little extra. This pie is super festive. It will be a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving table – like my cranberry pie.

Have you tried my Cranberry Orange Muffins or my Easy Apple Crisp – two of my favorite fall treats. But a holiday table requires something a little extra special.

What says fall, holidays and festive better than apples and cranberries?! These two marry together so perfectly, and create a sweet, crisp pie filling that is taken over the top with a light and tender pie crust.

Cranberries on their own can be tricky because they are so tart. I solved for that by adding apples and sugar. However, the apples and cranberries produced so much liquid that they made a soupy pie filling.

The idea of letting the fruits sit and drain off the water seemed worth trying. I let the mixed fruits sit in a bowl for an hour, and was shocked at how much water drained off. It was the perfect solution!

Either scoop out the fruits with a slotted spoon and discard the liquid or let the fruits sit in a mesh strainer over a bowl for the hour before putting the fruit into the prepared pie crust.

Be sure to read through all my tips so you can have success with this apple cranberry pie recipe.


Recipe Snapshot

  • TASTE: All the flavors of fall
  • TEXTURE: Flaky, buttery crust with soft apple and cranberry filling.
  • EASE: The lattice pie work requires a little extra effort
  • TIME: About 6 and a half hours, including cooling.

What You’ll Need

This apple cranberry holiday pie requires a relatively long list of ingredients but don’t let that deter you – they are all easy to find.

Ingredients

  • Pie Crust– Make this flaky tender pie crust or you can use store-bought
  • Apples – I prefer Fuji apples, but use any sweet variety – peeled, cored, and sliced thin
  • Cranberries – These can be fresh or frozen and thawed
  • Lemon – Fresh juice and zest
  • Vanilla extract – Use a high-quality natural store-bought version.
  • Sugar – Both granulated and light brown sugar are called for in this recipe. Vanilla sugar or plain coarse sugar is used for the topping.
  • Thickener – All purpose flour and cornstarch are used to thicken the filling.
  • Ground cinnamon – For flavor
  • Salt – A touch of salt to balance the flavors.
  • Egg wash – egg and milk are used to brown the crust perfectly.

Recommended Tools

overhead view of a baked apple cranberry pie

How to Make Apple Cranberry Pie

I love a simple recipe. This one is not that. It’s not difficult, but it does involve a few steps. Read through in advance! Preheat the oven to 400°F when you fill the pie.

Be sure to check out the full recipe and ingredient list below

  1. Prepare the crust – Roll out the pie dough and press it into a 9 and ½ inch pie pan without stretching it. Trim the edge and tuck the 1″ overhang under so it sits up on the rim. Roll out the second disk of dough and use a sharp knife to cut into 8 ½-inch strips. Refrigerate both crusts for 30 minutes.
  2. Mix the filling – In a large bowl, combine the apples, cranberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Gently stir to coat. In a separate bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt. Sprinkle over the apple mixture and gently stir to coat.
  3. Drain the filling. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Drain the liquid off using a slotted spoon before transferring it to the pie crust.
  4. Make the lattice topping. Thread the dough strips over and under to create a lattice look. Press the edges of the strips into the bottom crust edges to seal. Use a small knife to trim off any excess. Brush the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with vanilla sugar.
  5. Bake. Place the pie dish on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 350°F and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes. Cover the top edges with foil or a pie shield if they become too dark before the pie has finished baking.
  6. Cool. Cool the pie on a wire rack for 3 hours before serving.
overhead view of apple cranberry pie filling in a glass bowl
overhead view of apple cranberry filling in an unbaked pie shell
overhead view of an unbaked apple cranberry pie with a lattice crust

Handy tip:

This pie can be prepared and baked ahead of time and frozen for a holiday dinner. Let the pie cool completely before wrapping in plastic wrap and tin foil and placing in the freezer for up to 3 months. Take out and let thaw on the counter or in the fridge, remove plastic wrap and warm in the oven before serving.

Tips For Success

  • Plan ahead! There are a few steps that take quite a bit of time. Read through the instructions and plan accordingly.
  • Save time by making the crust the night before or use a store-bought crust.
  • Don’t skip letting the filling sit for an hour. This is crucial for extracting excess juice that will cause a soupy pie.
close up of a slice of apple cranberry pie on a white plate

Storage & Freezing

Tightly cover the baked pie and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

side view of a slice of apple cranberry pie on a white plate

Apple Cranberry Pie

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Additional Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes

Apple Cranberry Pie is sure to be a hit this holiday season. Crisp, sweet apples married with tart cranberries on a tender, flaky pie crust is absolute perfection!

Ingredients

  • 2 flaky tender pie crust or you can use store-bought
  • 2 pounds (907 g) Fuji apples, or any sweet variety – peeled, cored, and sliced thin
  • 4 cups (400 g) fresh cranberries, or frozen and thawed
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (110 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ cup (43 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 4 tablespoons vanilla sugar, or plain coarse sugar

Instructions

  1. Prepare the dough as directed in the recipe and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the apples, cranberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Gently stir to coat.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together both the granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt. Sprinkle over the apple mixture and gently stir to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, on a lightly floured surface, roll 1 disk of dough into a 12-inch circle. Press it into a 9 and ½-inch pie pan without stretching it. Trim the edge so there's a 1-inch overhang then tuck the overhang under so it sits up on the rim of the pan.
  5. Roll the second disk of dough into a 10-inch circle and use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut 8 1-2 inch strips. Refrigerate both crusts for 30 minutes.
  6. Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and preheat the oven to 400°F.
  7. There will be a lot of excess liquid in the bottom of the filling bowl. Drain the liquid off or use a slotted spoon to scoop the filling and transfer it to the prepared pie crust. Discard the liquid.
  8. Carefully thread the dough strips over and under to create a lattice look. Press the edges of the strips into the bottom crust edges to seal. Use a small knife to trim off any excess. Flute the edges as desired
  9. Whisk the egg and milk together. Brush it over the top of the crust and sprinkle with vanilla sugar.
  10. Place the pie dish on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 350°F and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes. Cover the top edges with foil or a pie shield if they become too dark before the pie has finished baking.
  11. Cool the pie on a wire rack for 3 hours before serving.

Notes

Make ahead tip

  1. Tightly cover the baked pie and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  2. The pie dough can be made up to 2 days in advance.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 158Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 172mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 3gSugar: 19gProtein: 2g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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12 Comments

  1. Jo Haemer says:

    Oops I should have said to boil the leftover fluid til it’s transparent. Not clear. Cornstarch dissolved in liquids should be boiled until it’s not cloudy. Otherwise you taste the corn starch not the fruit.

  2. Save the liquid left after draining the apples and cranberries and boil it in a separate pan until It bubbles clearto make a topping for ice cream or a glaze for ham,chicken etc.

    1. or reduce the liquid and pour it back into the pie for extra apple cranberry flavored goodness. or as a simple syrup for holiday cocktails. i was shocked she said throw it away.

  3. Sounds good. Years ago I made a apple rhubarb pie that called for tapioca. It was really good, but took a while. I wonder if that would work for cranberries as well to soak up the juice.

    1. I haven’t tried using tapioca before but it’s possible it could work.

  4. Can this be made and stored in the refrigerator and baked later? For instance, can I make the pie in completion in the evening, wrap it, store it in the fridge, and bake it the next day?

    1. I wouldn’t recommend that. The filling will make the crust too soggy if it sits overnight like that. Instead, bake the pie, let it cool, then store the baked pie in the refrigerator.

  5. That looks so yummy!!! But I do have a question. I have a family member who can’t have cranberries. Can I replace with raspberry or blackberries?

    1. I haven’t tried it with anything other than cranberries but I imagine it would be okay.

  6. Wow, this one looks super yummy. The crust looks just perfect and I really like the idea of adding cranberries! as a lil twist! Thank you for that lovely recipe! Will try it asap!

  7. I can’t wait to try this apple cranberry pie! Love the look of the sugar on top of the crust!