Tag Archives: apple

Cranberry Apple Pie

Welcome back to pie season! In the last couple of weeks I’ve posted my go-to Cream Cheese Pie Dough, a Pumpkin Pie that is super light and fluffy thanks to the addition of whipped egg whites, and a showstopper Black Bottom Pear & Almond Pie. Yum! Make sure to check them out while you’re writing your Thanksgiving menu! Today, I’m bringing you a pie that is sweet and tart thanks to a mixture of apples and juicy fresh cranberries. Apples, cranberries, orange, and spices? Sign. me. up.

This recipe starts out like most do, by rolling out pie dough. Fit it in a pie plate, and trim the edges to 1-inch. Since this is a double crust pie, we need extra long edges for a good crimp. Put the bottom crust in the fridge to chill while we make the filling.


Peel some apples. In this pie, I used two Granny Smith, two Honey Crisp, and one Golden Delicious. In a regular apple pie, I’d use more tart apples (like Granny Smith), than sweet, but as we’re adding all those tart cranberries, I figured it was better to go sweet. Dice the apples into 1/2-inch pieces and set them in a large mixing bowl. In a traditional apple pie, I would slice the apples, but here I recommend chunking them so that they are similar in size and shape to the cranberries–this promotes even baking. Rinse some fresh cranberries and pick over them to remove any that aren’t in great shape. Place the cranberries in the bowl with the apples. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and arrowroot powder. I use arrowroot powder as the thickener in my fruit pies, but if you don’t have any, use an equal volume of cornstarch or instant tapioca. Zest and juice an orange. Pour your sugar and spice mixture, orange zest and juice into the bowl with the apples and cranberries. Use your clean hands to toss everything together.

Let the filling sit at room temperature for thirty minutes to release some excess liquid. If we put the filling into the crust without letting some of the liquid drain off, our filling will seep out of the crust while the pie bakes and bake/burn itself onto the bottom of the oven. No thank you! Also, our filling will shrink down below the top crust, leaving a huge gap between the top crust and the bottom. Again, no thank you! So, once the filling has sat for a while, drain off the excess liquid (there will be a lot!) before putting the filling in the prepared bottom crust. Dot the filling with butter (I forgot and had to dot with butter after the top crust was on ūüėĀ). Put the filled pie plate back in the refrigerator and roll out the top crust.

Roll out the top crust dough to a 12-inch diameter. From here, you can either place the whole crust over the top of the pie or get a little fancier. For a full top crust, lay the rolled dough over the filling, trim and crimp the edges, and cut a few vents (lest you have an exploding pie) before proceeding. If you want to do something a little more exciting, cut your dough into 1/2-inch strips. Lattice crusts are classic and simple to weave. Deb Perelman has written a great tutorial, if that’s the route you’d like to take.

I have been into braided top crusts lately. To achieve a braided top, take three strips at a time and lay them on a floured surface. Gently (very gently) braid the strips together. Set the finished braids aside while you complete the rest of them (I made five). Lay the braids (or the lattice) on top of the pie and trim the ends.


Remember those extra long edges we left on the bottom crust? Fold them in toward the filling, effectively enveloping the ends of your decorative top crust. Once this is finished, crimp the edges and brush the exposed crust with cream before sprinkling with additional sugar. Put the pie in the fridge while you preheat the oven. Bake the pie for 45 minutes to an hour, until the apples are tender, the cranberries are bursting, and the crust is golden brown. If the crust starts to get too dark during baking, loosely tent it in foil.

Let the pie cool for at least four hours before slicing and serving. I know warm pie is tempting, but the pie needs to be room temperature or cold to slice nicely. Each slice can be quickly warmed in the microwave, if you’re not into cold pie. I don’t know about you, but I am into pie at any temperature.

Cranberry Apple Pie is fantastic with whipped cream. Or a la mode. Or with caramel sauce. Or with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar. Or plain. Or with yogurt for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving. What?! There’s fruit in there! It’s totally breakfast-appropriate. Trust me.

Cranberry Apple Pie
makes one 9″ pie

1 recipe Cream Cheese Pie Dough*
2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
5 cups peeled, diced apples (1/2-inch dice)*
1 cup fresh cranberries
juice and zest of one large orange
3-4 tablespoons arrowroot powder*
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
Cream or milk, for brushing

On a floured surface, roll 1 disc of cream cheese pie dough so that it is 12 inches in diameter. Fit it in a standard pie plate, and trim the overhang to 1 inch. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, cinnamon, spices, salt, and arrowroot powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the sliced apples and fresh cranberries. Toss with sugar/spice mixture and orange juice and zest. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for about thirty minutes to release excess liquid. When the time is up, dispose of the excess liquid. Transfer the filling to the bottom pie crust. Dot with butter and refrigerate.

Roll out the second crust to a 12-inch diameter. Slice the dough into 1/2-inch thick strips. Lay them on the top of the pie in a decorative pattern.* Fold the bottom crust overhang over the ends of your strips so that the edges are about 1/2 inch all the way around. Crimp the edges. Brush the exposed crust with milk or cream, and sprinkle with sugar. Refrigerate the pie while the oven preheats.

Place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the pie on the top rack and bake for 45-60 minutes, until the cranberries are bursting, the apples are tender, and the crust is cooked. If the top crust starts to get too dark at any point, loosely cover the top of the pie with foil for the remainder of the baking time.

Let pie cool on a rack for at least three hours before slicing and serving. Pie will keep covered at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to four days.


1. I prefer my Cream Cheese Pie Dough, but any good pie crust will do.
2. I use a combination of sweet and tart apples, the majority being sweet. I recommend Honey Crisp, Macintosh, or Golden Delicious for the sweet variety, and Granny Smith for the tart. See more information on baking apples here.
3. If you do not have or do not want to use arrowroot powder, I recommend an equal volume of cornstarch or instant tapioca. Looking for arrowroot in Brooklyn? Take a trip to Sahadi’s.
4. I have linked to a lattice top tutorial in the content above. If you would like to braid your crust, braid three strips at a time and lay them over the filling before proceeding. 

Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls

Updated 10/22/2019 to add better photos, change the size of the pan, and simplify the glaze.Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls

I woke up at 7:30am yesterday needing apple pie. This wasn’t just a craving–I needed it. Quickly. And for all the great things that can be said about pie, its speed of preparation is not one of them. My first thoughts were putting apples in oatmeal, or making an apple compote to go over yogurt. And while both of those are great options, they just sounded too…healthy. So instead, I stuffed all the flavors of apple pie into cinnamon rolls and ate two before 10:30am. It was the right thing to do.Apple Pie Cinnamon RollsThese rolls are just…so good. The dough is soft and sweet, with a little extra chew and puff from the addition of bread flour. The filling is full of soft apples, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. And the glaze. Oh, the glaze! It’s made with fresh pressed apple cider and touch of heavy cream to bring these rolls over the top. The very best part? They can be on your table in two and a half hours or less without too much effort. The recipe is long, but there is very little active prep time. Perfect for a lazy autumn weekend breakfast. Or, if you’re me, an autumn Thursday morning breakfast.Apple Pie Cinnamon RollsLet’s start with the simple yeast dough. Yes, I used “simple” and “yeast” in the same sentence. Yes, I did it on purpose. Yeast can be intimidating–I was too afraid to try working with it until three years ago when I watched my boyfriend fearlessly make fantastic pizza dough. After that, I decided to be brave and make some myself, and you know what? Yeast is nothing to be afraid of. It’s just another leavener, like baking soda or baking powder. For this recipe, we use instant yeast, which is even easier to use than regular active dry yeast. To make the dough, you just stir together all purpose flour, bread flour, sugar, salt, and one packet of instant yeast. You warm milk, water, and butter just until it is hot to the touch, and then stir that and an egg into the flour mixture, adding a little more flour to achieve a soft, smooth dough. Knead it all for five minutes or so, then let the dough rest for a few minutes. This is only a rest–because we are using instant yeast, this dough only needs one rise! While it’s resting, make the filling.

To get the soft-but-not-gummy texture of good apple pie filling, saut√© apples in butter for twenty minutes. While those are cooling a bit, stir dark brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and a little salt into softened butter. Then roll out your dough, spread on the butter, and sprinkle it all with the soft apples. Then all you have to do is roll up the dough, slice it, and place it in a 9×13″ pan to rise for 60-90 minutes, until the rolls have doubled in size.

Take a break. You just made scratch cinnamon rolls–you deserve a break. Make yourself some coffee, read the paper, stalk your friends on Facebook. When the rising time is up, put the rolls in a 375F oven for 30 minutes while you make the glaze.Apple Pie Cinnamon RollsThe glaze is super easy and totally amazing. Just whisk together apple cider, confectioner’s sugar and a pinch of salt. That’s it. Easy. You can make it as thin or thick as you like by adding more apple cider or confectioner’s sugar. When the rolls come out of the oven, pour the glaze over, put a roll (or two) on a plate and prepare for pure autumnal breakfast bliss.Apple Pie Cinnamon RollsThese keep well for two days, covered at room temperature. The glaze may soak into the rolls, but they will still be soft, sweet, and totally decadent when you grab the last one out of the pan on your way to work on Monday. The apple flavor will even improve over time. Make these for your family and friends this weekend! And invite me over, please ūüėä Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls

Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls
adapted from Easy Cinnamon Rolls and Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls on Sally’s Baking Addiction
makes 12-13 rolls

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 large apples, peeled and cut into a 1/2 inch dice*
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

1 1/4-1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour*
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast*
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup milk (I use whole milk)
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg, room temperature

1/4 cup apple cider
2 cups confectioners sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt

Start making the filling. Cut four tablespoons of butter into small cubes and set aside to soften.

Melt one tablespoon of butter in a medium sauté pan over low heat. Add in diced apples and cook, stirring frequently, until they are soft. Spread apples on a plate and set aside to cool until they are no longer hot to the touch.

Mash softened butter cubes with a fork. Stir in dark brown sugar, spices, and salt. Set aside.

Start making the dough. Set aside 1/2 cup of the all purpose flour. In a large mixing bowl, stir together 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour, bread flour, granulated sugar, salt, and yeast. In a small saucepan*, heat water, milk, and 2 1/2 tablespoons of butter over low heat until the mixture reaches 115F. Remove from heat and stir into the flour mixture. Stir in egg. Add reserved all purpose flour in 2 tablespoon increments until the dough is smooth and soft*, pulling away from the side of the bowl when stirred. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-6 minutes. Form dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

Grease a 9×13-inch pan and set aside. Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Roll dough into an 8″x14″ rectangle. Spread softened butter mixture over the entire surface of the dough. Scatter apples over the softened butter.

Starting at the long edge of the dough furthest from your body, roll the dough tightly toward yourself until you have one long tube. Using a large, sharp knife (not serrated) cut 1″ rolls. Place cut rolls in prepared pie plate. Loosely tent with foil.

Place rolls in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 60-90 minutes, until they have doubled in size.

Once the rolls have risen, preheat the oven to 375F. Bake rolls for 25-30 minutes, tenting with foil at 15 minutes if the tops are getting too brown.

Mix together the glaze. Using a fork, whisk together apple cider, confectioner’s sugar and salt until smooth*. Pour over warm rolls. Enjoy.


  1. I use one tart apple, like Granny Smith, and one sweet apple, like Honeycrisp.
  2. I use Fleischmann’s RapidRise Instant Yeast.
  3. If you do not have bread flour, all purpose flour may be substituted. Your rolls may not be as soft and chewy as if you’d used the bread flour, but they will still be delicious.
  4. You can also heat the milk mixture in the microwave in 20 second increments. I do not have a microwave, so I do not know how long it will take to reach 115F.
  5. I usually need 6 tablespoons of the reserved flour to achieve the desired consistency.
  6. Add more apple cider or confectioner’s sugar for a thinner or thicker glaze.
  7. Apple Pie Cinnamon RollsApple Pie Cinnamon RollsApple Pie Cinnamon Rolls