Cranberry Apple Pie. It’s everyone’s favorite pie with a tart twist! In this recipe we use Honeycrisp apples, sweet and juicy with firm flesh that holds up well in the oven. For the cranberries, you have two options: whole or chopped. With whole cranberries, the filling stays pale yellow, dotted with pops of red. With chopped berries, the filling turns deep rose, infused with tart flavor in every bite.
Either way, we pre-cook the filling before adding it to the crust. This has several benefits. First, it’s a great way to break up the, sometimes daunting, task of making a double-crust pie. Now, you can make the filling in advance and save it in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to use it.
Second, pre-cooking the apples solves the problem of under-cooked apples. As often happens with apple pie, when the crust is golden, the apples are still crunchy. By pre-cooking the apples, the filling and crust can finish at the same time.
Third, pre-cooking the apples solves the problem of sinking apples. Apples release juice and steam as they cook, and can shrink down to almost half their original height. The crust will either sink down along with the apples (leaving a sad, sunken pie), or the apples will sink and the crust will stay in place (leaving a large gap when you go to cut it). By precooking the apples a bit on the stove, they stay flush with the crust while baking.