Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, and it’s time to focus on the most important part of the meal: pie, of course! Apple cranberry crumble pie is a must-bake this year, with flaky all-butter crust enveloping tender apples and cranberries. The secret to this pie is caramelizing the fruit first with a touch of brandy and maple syrup – this added step tempers the tartness of the cranberries, softens the apples, and adds dimension to the filling.
With a buttery lid of oatmeal-brown sugar crumble topping, this is one fine pie to share and savor with your family this Thanksgiving.
Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1-2 Tbsp vodka
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tsp arrowroot starch
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 heaping cup fresh cranberries
- 9 cups apples, peeled and diced
- 1 1/2 Tbsp brandy
- 1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
- Prepare dough: Grate 1/4 cup butter into a small bowl; cut remaining 1/4 cup butter into small cubes and place in a second bowl; chill bowls in freezer for 15 minutes. Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl; place bowl in freezer to chill for 15 minutes. Chill buttermilk and vodka in freezer for 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle cubed butter over chilled flour mixture and toss with a spatula to coat. Use a pastry blender to cut in butter until the biggest pieces are the size of peas; fold in grated butter. Drizzle buttermilk over flour mixture; use a spatula to gather dough together until it forms large clumps. If needed, add vodka 1 tablespoon at a time, then gently knead just to form a ball. Wrap dough in plastic and flatten slightly to form a disc. Chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days, or place in a freezer bag and freeze 1 to 2 months).
- Prepare crumble topping: Whisk together oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until large crumbs form. Chill until ready to use.
- Place dough on a floured board and dust dough with flour. Roll out dough (roll dough in one direction, then lift up dough and rotate a quarter turn and roll, then repeat) until dough is a 12 to 13-inch circle. If dough starts to stick, use a bench scraper to lift dough from board. Transfer dough to a 9-inch pie pan (see note below); trim overhang to one inch and crimp edges. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Place a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil in the oven and preheat to 350°F.
- Prepare filling: Whisk together sugar, brown sugar, arrowroot starch, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Melt butter in a large skillet; add cranberries and apples and cook over medium-high heat until apples are slightly tender and cranberries begin to split. Add brandy and maple syrup, and cook 1 minute more. Add fruit to sugar mixture and toss together until combined.
- Spoon filling into chilled bottom crust and sprinkle with crumble topping. Place pie on preheated baking sheet and bake for 65 minutes, until golden and filling is bubbling. Cool pie on a wire rack for at least 4 hours before serving (filling thickens as it cools).