This Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie is an absolute flavor bomb. It's soft and sweet on the inside and crunchy and crumbly on the outside, the perfect combination. Granny Smith and Golden Delicious Apples are combined with fresh cranberries and then topped with a crumble for an absolutely delicious pie.
I love making pies. It was something I avoided for a while since my mom was such a good pie maker, but once I started I discovered it was easier than I thought. But my secret is that I started by making galettes and hand pies. If you're a little intimidated by making pies from scratch, start with my Apple Galette with Hazelnut Frangipane or my Apple Hand Pies.
Why This Recipe Works
I'm a big believer that in order to have a delicious pie the crust has to be delicious. My all-butter pie dough bakes up tender and flaky with this filling. The recipe uses both Granny Smith and Yellow Delicious apples, but in addition, orange zest is added which adds a nice citrusy floral note to the pie. The crumble is easy to make and adds a nice cinnamon crunch. The trick to this pie is to use firm apples and keep your pie dough cold until it goes into the oven.
Cranberry Apple Pie Ingredients
The ingredients are just like an apple pie but with the addition of tart fresh cranberries.
- Granny Smith Apples. Granny Smith apples are tart and are perfect with pies because the tartness goes so well with the added sugar.
- Golden Delicious Apples. Golden Delicious apples are a sweet with a little tartness. They pair perfectly with the Granny Smith Apples.
- Fresh Cranberries. The cranberries add a pop of color and nice tart bite among the sweet apple filling. If you can't get fresh cranberries, frozen cranberries work for this recipe.
- Orange Zest. Orange pairs well with apples and cranberry. The zest adds a nice citrusy and floral note to the pie.
- All-Purpose Flour. The flour helps thicken the filling.
- Granulated Sugar. The granulated sugar adds sweetness and when combined with the flour thickens the filling.
- Light Brown Sugar
- Ground Cinnamon. Ground cinnamon pairs perfectly with apples. It's one of my favorite combinations.
- Ground Nutmeg. Nutmeg has a warm note with some sweetnes, and a hint of clove. I usually combine with cinnamon in a lot of my recipes.
How to Make This Pie
Start by making the Pie Dough. This all-butter pie dough is the recipe that I use for most of my pie recipes. If you have a favorite pie dough recipe, you can use it with this recipe.
The dough will need to chill for at least 30 minutes after making it and then for another 45 minutes after rolling it out and just before adding the filling. It can be made 2 days in advance and up to 1 month in advance and frozen until you're ready to use.
How to Make the Crumble Topping
This crumble topping is my go-to recipe. It's a delicious combination of flour, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt. If you want a little more crunch add chopped pecans or hazelnuts.
Like the pie dough, the crumble topping can be made in advance. You can make it up to one month in advance and refrigerate it until ready to use. Just be careful not to eat too much before using it on your pie.
Mix the dry ingredients together. This recipe calls for ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Feel free to adjust these amounts to your taste. I love cinnamon, so I add it to a lot of my recipes.
Add the melted butter and use a silicone spatula to mix it into the dry ingredients. Use your fingers to break the crumble into a combination of large and small pieces.
How to Make the Apple Cranberry Filling
Apple pie filling is very easy to make from scratch and better than canned filling.
Start by peeling the apples. Stand the apple up, and cut the cheeks off the apple, slicing around the core. Dispose of or compost the apple cores. Lay the apples on their flat side and slice them 3/8-1/4-inch thick.
Slicing the apples thin will create nice compact layers as the pie bakes and create a beautiful visual when the pie is sliced. Place the sliced apples and the cranberries in a large bowl.
Place the sugar in a bowl. Zest the orange directly into the sugar until you have about one (1) teaspoon and use your fingers to rub the sugar and zest together. Add the flour and ground spices to the sugar and whisk to combine.
Sprinkle the flour-sugar mixture over the apples and use a spatula to gently combine it with the apples until they are coated with the mixture. A few of the apples may break, but that's okay.
Gently pour the apples into the prepared pie dough. Use your fingers to spread the apples across the pie dough so they're in an even layer. Then spread the crumble across the top of the apples.
Bake the pie at 400F for 20 minutes and then without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 375F and bake until the filling starts to bubble. That's when you know it's done. Remove the pie from the oven, place it on a cooling rack to completely cool.
Pro Tips for Making This Recipe
- Use apples that are still firm. Apples that are still firm will be more tart, which will staste wonderful in this pie.
- You can make the pie dough two days in advance.
- Chill the pie dough for at least one hour after it is shaped into the pie plate. This extra chilling time will help ensure that the edges hold their shape when the pie bakes.
- The filling is enough for a 9-inch pie plate. If using a deep dish or larger dish you may need to double the amount of filling.
- You may need to add a foil tent (covering) to the pie during baking so the crumble doesn't get too dark during baking. Take a large piece of foil, fold it half then open it so it resembles a tent. Carefully place this over the pie so it doesn't touch the surface of the crumble.
Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
Apples that are a good combination of tart and sweet and specifically made for baking are great for pies. Some apples are just good eating straight or apple sauce. Granny Smith and Golden Delicious make a great tart/sweet combination. You can also use Fuji, Honeycrisp, and Braeburn apples.
No, you don't need to cook the apples before adding them to the pie. Combining the apple slices with sugar and flour plus baking at high heat will ensure that the final filling is thick. The flour absorbs the liquid and acts as a thickener.
Some apples are just made for eating. Softer apples, like a Red Delicious, break down too much when baked in a hot oven and turn into sauce.
If You Love This Recipe Try These Other Apple Recipes
Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie
Brown Sugar Crumble
- 3/4 cup (105 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (114 grams) unsalted butter, melted
Apple Cranberry Filling
- 6 cups (600 grams) Granny Smith and Golden Delicious, thinly sliced apples
- 1 cup (100 grams) cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/4 cup (35 grams )all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Brown Sugar Crumble
- Place the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and kosher salt in a medium-sized bowl and whisk the ingredients until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Be sure to hit the bottom of the bowl to capture the ingredients that have fallen to the bottom.
- Place the butter in a saucepan and melt on low heat until the butter is melted. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the butter into the dry ingredients.
- Use a spatula to stir the butter into the dry ingredients. Once it’s all mixed in use your fingers to break the crumble into small and large pieces.
- The crumble can be made up to 1 month in advance. If making it advance, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Make the pie dough according to the instructions in the All-Butter Pie Crust recipe. Chill the dough for at least 45 minutes and up to 2 days.
- For a 9-inch pie plate roll the dough until is it 1/8-inch thick and 12-inches round on a lightly floured surface. Fold the dough in half and then half again so that you have a quarter. Place the dough in the pie plate do the corner of the dough is centered. Gently unfold the dough so the pie plate is completely covered, and the dough is overhanging the plate.
- Trim the dough so that there is about a 1-inch overhang all the way around. Fold the dough under so that it rests on the edge of the pie plate. Crimp the dough using a fork or create your own design.
- Refrigerate the prepared dough for at least 60 minutes.
Apple Cranberry Pie Filling
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a half baking sheet in the oven while the oven is preheating. The baking sheet is used to catch any of the fruit juices that bubble over, but baking the pie on a hot baking sheet also helps ensure that the bottom of the pie browns.
- Peel and core the Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples. Thinly slice them, about 1/4-inch thick and place them in a large bowl with the cranberries.
- Place the sugar in a small bowl and zest the orange directly on top of the sugar until you have about 1 teaspoon. Use your fingers to rub the orange zest into the sugar. Add the flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg and whisk to combine. Pour the dry ingredients over the apple-cranberry mixture and gently fold in the dry ingredients.
- Spoon the apple filling into the prepared pie dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar crumble over the fruit. Place the pie on the hot half baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 375°F and bake the pie for another 35-40 minutes until the apple-cranberry juices start to bubble. You’ll see small bubbles breaking through the brown sugar crumble.
- Remove the pie from the oven, place it on a cooling rack and let it cool to room temperate. Of course there is nothing to stop you from digging into a hot pie, but the pie needs time cool and set up so the filling doesn’t run everywhere when you cut into it.
- Store the pie at room temperature for 1 day and then refrigerate it for up to 1 week.