As American As….Apple-Cranberry Pie with Streusel Topping

by Sarah on December 23, 2010

Holidays.  You need pie.  Everyone likes pie.  I like pie, I especially like the ones made with fruit.  What’s great about fruit pies are that you can eat a slice for breakfast and still feel like you ate something moderately healthy.  It’s fruit!  And some oatmeal!  Perfectly logical, I think.

I made this one while in San Jose, and my auntie Anne made a homemade pie crust for me to use–this was a nice change because for whatever reason, I am too too lazy to make it.  Even though it’s really simple.  I think I’ve just psyched myself out in regards to pie crust.   Anyway, this recipe is from The Joy of Cooking, which is a terrific all-around cookbook and I like to give it away to people.  My copy was from my parents and it’s got duct tape holding it together.   It has food splattered all over it and it’s quite filthy but I love it anyway.  I’ll copy the recipe below just in case you don’t have the book yet.  Actually, I think it’s in my Amazon store if you want to order it.

As far as pie making is concerned, make the crust and press it into the dish, crimping the edges.  Don’t pre-bake it.  Peel, core and slice your apples thin (I like to use a combination of a crisp reddish apple like Gala and Granny Smith–those super tart green ones).  Put them in a big bowl with about 2 cups of cranberries.  Add the dry ingredients, toss, then add the lemon juice and vanilla.  Put little chunks of butter all over the top of the fruit.  Then put on the streusel that you’ve made (oatmeal, brown sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg), then put a few more chunks of butter on top of that.  The butter will help the streusel get nicely browned.

Bake it in a hot oven for 10 minutes, then turn it down to 350* and let it continue cooking for about 50 minutes–it will bake for an hour in total.  Let cool.  You can easily make this ahead of time and cover it.


Apple-Cranberry Pie with Streusel Topping

For Pie:

6 cups apples–1/2 Granny Smith, 1/2 Gala or similar

1/2 cup each white and brown sugar

1-2 tsp cornstarch (depending on how juicy the apples are)

1/4 tsp each cinnamon and nutmeg

1-2 Tbsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp vanilla

3 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces

For Streusel:

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup (approx) flour

1/2 cup (approx) oatmeal

1/4 cup (approx) brown sugar

1/4 tsp each cinnamon and nutmeg

1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

For Pie Crust

2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup cold water

2/3 cup shortening (or use half shortening, half cold butter)


Preheat oven to 450*.  Prepare the pie crust and press into pie dish.  Crimp edges and refrigerate until needed.  Peel, core and slice the apples thin.  In a large bowl, mix the apples and cranberries with the dry ingredients plus the lemon juice and vanilla.  Mix through.  Pour fruit mixture into the pie crust. Scatter half of the pieces of butter around the fruit.  Pour streusel on top, then scatter the rest of the butter on top.

Bake pie at 450* for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350*.  Let continue to cook for another 50 minutes, so that it bakes an hour in total.   The pie should be golden brown.  You can cover the edges with foil if they begin to get too brown.



Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with your hands or a pastry cutter until the butter is dispersed and it resembles coarse meal.  It should have little chunks of butter coated with the other ingredients.  The streusel should feel dry in your hands.  If it is greasy, just add more oatmeal or flour.  This is an inexact science.


Pie Crust from Joy of Cooking

Sift together the flour and salt.  Measure 1/3 cupful of the mixture and place it in a small bowl or cup.  Stir water into it, to form a smooth paste.  Cut into the flour mixture in the first bowl, with a pastry blender, until the grain in it is the size of small peas.  Add shortening and stir the flour paste into the dough.  Work it with your hand until it is well incorporated and the dough forms a ball.


We put it all into a food processor and pulsed it until the dough came together.  We had to adjust the flour/water a little bit, then kneaded it by hand.  Way easier than the instructions above.

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