Thursday, December 24, 2015

Homemade Cranberry-Apple Pie

Celebrate your holidays with this traditional, elegant and delicious pie 
filled with crisp and sweet apples and juicy cranberries
between layers of buttery and flaky crust
These holidays, treat your family and friends with this irresistible pie. The classic pie with a fruity and juicy filling, sandwiched in buttery and flaky crust. The ever perfect dessert without which no holiday dinner is complete. Especially for you, cranberry lovers! Every bite of this goodness will burst in your mouth with the classic flavor of apples, the added tartness of fresh cranberries, the comforting aroma of cinnamon, all sweetened with a golden apple syrup. Every one of your taste buds will be screaming in delight. Asking for more!

When it comes to baking I normally go for a tart or a crostata. Not a pie. Maybe because I'm Italian and that's just what we do. Or maybe because tarts seem a little easier or a little faster to make than pies. In reality, the difference is only in the extra layer of dough covering the filling, tucked under the bottom crust and sealed with a fun fluted edge. The top is then glazed with a beaten egg, drizzled with crystallized sugar and cut with a few slits that allow the steam to escape the pie while baking. Not too hard!

That's not all! I added one more step to the traditional apple pie recipe that will turn a great dessert into a mouthwatering delicacy. I saw this on the Joy of Baking some time ago, and thought it was a brilliant idea. While waiting for the dough to chill in the refrigerator, let the apple slices sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, coated in lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar. The apples will release a lot of their juice, so that they will not shrink as much in the oven and won't leave a big gap in between the top crust and the filling. And not throw away this flavorful juice. Finish it with two tablespoons of butter and simmer for a few minutes until you get a thick, golden syrup to drizzle on top of the apples and cranberries. Simply delicious!
Here is my video recipe:

Have a wonderful Christmas. May this Holiday season be filled with joy and love :)

Ingredients: to make a 9 inch (23 cm) pie serving about 8 people
For the crust:
  • 2.5 cups (375 gr) of all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon of salt 
  • 3 tablespoons (45 gr) of sugar 
  • 6 oz (170 gr) of unsalted butter 
  • about 8 tablespoons (115 ml) of chilled water 
For the filling:
  • 2.25 lb (1 kg) of apples - I used two large Pink Lady, and 4 medium Golden Delicious 
  • 1/4 cup (50 gr) of brown sugar 
  • 1/3 cup (65 gr) of granulated sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 
  • juice of half lemon, about 1 tablespoon 
  • 6 oz (170 gr) of cranberries 
  • 2 tablespoons of butter 
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch 
  • 1 egg for wash 
  • crystallized sugar (for decoration - optional) 
Preparation time: 45 minutes to prepare, plus about 2 hours inactive

1. Let's start with the dough: In your food processor add the flour, salt and sugar. Pulse a couple of times until the ingredients are mixed together.

2. Add the butter (right from the refrigerator), cut in pieces. And pulse a few more times until the butter is cut down in small pea-size pieces. 

3. Add about 6 tablespoons of chilled water. Pulse only a few times and check. Add more water if necessary - I ended up with two more tablespoons (total of 8). Pulse a few more times and stop as soon as you see the dough comes together in a ball. Do not over mix!

4. Split the dough in two parts. Make them into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour or longer. You can also prepare the dough a day in advance and store in the refrigerator.

5. While you wait for the dough to chill, work on the filling. Peel the apples and cut in slices of about 1/4 of an inch (half cm). Place in a large bowl, and combine with lemon juice, brown and white sugar, and cinnamon. Let the apple sit for at least 30 minutes. 

6. Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C). When dough is ready, roll both pieces on a clean surface sprinkled with flour. Make two circles of about 12 inches (30 cm) each. Transfer one pastry to a 9 inch pie pan, helping yourself with a rolling pin. Cover the pan with the dough, pushing down gently, without stretching. Trim off any excess pastry around the edges. 

7. Drain the apple slices in a strainer, collecting the juice. 

8. Simmer the juice collected with two tablespoons of butter, for about five minutes. You will get a golden slightly dense syrup.

9. Add the cornstarch and the cranberries to the apple slices, and mix. 

10. Pour the apple/cranberry mixture onto the pie crust. Pack it with your hand and even it out. Drizzle with the syrup that you just prepared.

11. Helping yourself with the rolling pin, pick up the top pie pastry. Cut any excess pastry from the edges, making sure you have enough to tuck under. Fold the top dough under the bottom crust. All around the pie.

12. Seal the edges by decorating with a fluted patter. Using your index finger on one hand, push the dough through the index and middle fingers of your other hand, as shown in my picture.

13. Beat one egg, and brush the egg wash on the top and edges of the pie. Sprinkle with crystallized sugar if you like.

14. Cut a few slits in the center of the pie, using a pointed sharp knife. You need these to let the steam out from inside the pie. 

15. Bake at 400° F (200° C) for 30 minutes, in the lower third of the oven. After the 30 minutes, check the pie. Cover with a pie shield or with aluminum foil if the edges or top are starting to golden too soon. Lower the oven temperature to 350° F (175° C). Place the pie back in the oven. I moved mine down to the lower rack of my oven. Bake for an additional 20 minutes or so.Check the bottom, if cooked, and the top should be perfectly golden brown.

Serve warm or a room temperature.... maybe with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream!
You can store at room temperature for up to a day, or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Enjoy :)


  1. That cake is awesome, Holly! The hearts are so cute and it really does look delicious. apple pie Got to pin this one, for sure. Have a beautiful weekend!

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