Friday, October 22, 2010

Cranberry-Apple Crumble Pie #39

I don't want to be hasty and say that this is the end-all for apple pies (especially since it's only the second one in this little series of apple pie recipes), but it's definitely the best one on this blog to date. 

How good is it? Well, let me say this, the crust is spectacular. The apple variety was perfect (and so much better than the last one). And despite my skepticism, the crumble was an excellent topping (especially since apples tend to cook WAY down during the baking process, so it was nice to have the crumbles right on top of the apples and not some domed crust hovering above). Also I feel like the crumbles may have soaked up a bit of the extra juices too, which was an added bonus.

So the texture, taste, and equal-top-crust-to-apple-ratio all scored big with me and with those who ate it. Our friends, who have probably tasted more of my pies than anyone else, said that it might be their favorite pie this year.

And with that type of recommendation, what else needs to be said?

Here, look again:
Those of you who are already thinking about Thanksgiving, take note about this pie: the cranberry, apple, pecan combination would make a great dessert. 

And for those of you who are just thinking about pie, make a note that you should put this one in your pie queue for any fall occasion--even if that occasion is as unglamorous as having a slice of pie for breakfast (which, by the way, I'm not against).

One other note I have about this pie is that I didn't think it aged well. I thought it was best on the day it was made it (we ate ours about 12 hours after it was made), but on day number two the crumbles were a little soggy and I didn't enjoy it AS much--though I still licked my plate. But since I always lick my plate, that might not be as solid of a recommendation as the one before. 

Even still, it was a great pie and I hope you get to find that out for yourself.

Cranberry-Apple Crumble Pie
(Adapted from

For pastry dough:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening (trans-fat-free)
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

For crumble topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

For fruit filling:
2 pounds Gala apples (about 5), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
8 ounces fresh or frozen (not thawed) cranberries
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Equipment: a 9 1/2-inch glass deep-dish pie plate (6-cup capacity)

Make pastry: Blend together flour, butter, shortening, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size butter lumps. Drizzle 3 tablespoon ice water evenly over mixture and gently stir with a fork (or pulse) until incorporated.

Squeeze a small handful: If dough doesn't hold together, add more ice water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, stirring until incorporated. Do not overwork dough or pastry will be tough.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 4 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather all dough together (using a pastry scraper if you have one) and form into a 5-inch disk. If dough is sticky, dust lightly with additional flour. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.

Make crumble topping: Stir together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Blend in butter with your fingertips until large clumps form, then stir in pecans. Chill until ready to use.

Make fruit filling: Stir together apples, cranberries, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice in a large bowl.

Assemble pie: Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in lower third.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round, then fit into pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang under and crimp decoratively. Transfer fruit filling to pie shell and dot with butter. Loosely cover with foil and bake until apples droop slightly, about 30 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Sprinkle crumble topping over filling and bake, uncovered, until crumble is browned, filling is bubbling, and apples are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour more. Cool completely, 2 to 3 hours.


  1. yummy...I was thinking of this pie for thanksgiving as I have made it before and I will give your reciepe a try! Perfection!

  2. Wahoo! I have found my fruit pie for Thanksgiving. Your blog is great, by the way. I am a pie lover through and through.

  3. For the crumble 3/4 stick butter means 3/8 c., right? not 3/4 cup?