Cranberry and Harvest Apple Pie

The recipe was given to my mom, Karen, from my Auntie Ulla at least 15 years ago (the origin of the recipe could not be determined but my mom has since made it her own with many substitutions from the original). For the last 15+ years, we (my parents & I) have hosted Thanksgiving at our home for 25-30 people. Out of all the homemade food that graces our tables, the one item that everyone looks forward to every year is my mom's Cranberry-Apple Pie. Even though everyone is stuffed by dessert, there is rarely even a slice leftover from the two pies she makes. She claims the reason is because she makes her pie crusts from scratch. I concur - everything from the crust to the fruit to the crisp topping is something I look forward to all year long.

I'm not big on helping out in the kitchen but one thing I've always helped out with, when in town, is the slicing and peeling of apples. I even got my mom the apple corer and peeler from Williams-Sonoma to make it easier! (She tells me she still prefers "her way" better - or what I like to call the "hard way" - but I enjoyed using the peeler nonetheless).

This pie is a staple in my family and a tradition that will keep me frequenting my parents' house for Thanksgiving for years to come!

...everything from the crust to the fruit to the crisp topping is something I look forward to all year long.

Lauren Boos

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients for pie filling:

  • 12-inch deep-dish frozen pie-shell, thawed
  • ¾ cup lightly packed golden brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored,
  • cut into ¼ inch wedges
  • 1 ¾ cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Ingredients for topping:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup lightly packed golden brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (about 4 ounces)

Preparation for pie filling:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Mix brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt in large bowl. Add apples, cranberries and lemon juice and toss well.
  • Transfer mixture to pie shell, mounding in the center. Bake until apples are almost tender, about1½ hours.
  • Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes more.Transfer to rack. Uncover and cool.

Preparation for topping:

  • Melt butter with sugar and milk in a heavy skillet over low heat, stirring frequently.
  • Increase heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Mix in the almond extract and almonds.
  • Pour mixture into bowl. Let stand until slightly thickened and just cool, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  • Spoon topping over pie, covering completely. Let stand at room temperature until topping sets, about 30 minutes.
  • Can be made a day in advance.