Cranberry Apple Pie (Sourdough Pie Crust)

If I could choose any pie to bring to Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Pi Night or whenever I see cranberries in season at my local grocery store, this is it! Fresh cranberry apple pie with an amazing flaky sourdough pie crust is delicious. The cranberries add a little tartness to the sweet apples, and that hint of almond extract keeps me coming back for more. It is truly a slice of heaven and will be a standout pie at your next gathering. I hope you enjoy this fresh cranberry apple pie as much as we do!

Sourdough Discard in Pie Crust

This pie could be made with a store-bought or homemade pie crust but I love this sourdough version that gives just a little bit more flavor. Chilled sourdough discard gives this pie crust more flavor, which pairs so well with this cranberry apple pie. If you prefer a stronger sourdough flavor, use sourdough discard that has been sitting longer in the refrigerator. For a more mild crust, use bubbly sourdough starter (chilled) or discard that is only a day or two old. It is also important for the sourdough discard to be 100% hydration with equal parts flour and water. If you use sourdough discard that is not 100% hydration, you’ll want to add ice water or more flour depending on how thick your sourdough starter is. I’ve written up an entire recipe post devoted to sourdough pie crust. Find all the details here.

Mixing the Pie Dough

My sourdough pie crust has a unique way of being mixed. Mix together half of the flour (including sugar/salt) and butter together, coating the butter in the flour, effectively locking the fats and discouraging gluten development when the water from the sourdough discard is mixed with the pastry. Add the rest of the flour and mix until the dough resembles crumbs. Then mix in the sourdough discard and any extra ice water that may be needed until the dough forms large clumps and can stick together. Separate into two balls of dough and flatten into discs. Refrigerate for 20 minutes until rolling out for the pie.

Cranberry Apple Pie Filling

Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apples make this pie truly delicious, though you can use any of your favorite baking apples. Peel and core the apples using an apple peeler or a hand peeler. Using an apple peeler to make an apple pie is a game changer! Slice apples into chunks and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the fresh cranberries, sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, almond extract and lemon juice. The almond extract is one of my favorite additions to this pie. I will sometimes increase the almond extract to 2 teaspoons just because I love the flavor so much. It adds a uniqueness that really makes this pie standout. Mix together the filling and set it aside while you roll out the pie dough.

Chilling and Rolling the Sourdough Pie Dough

Once the pie dough has been mixed and separated into two discs, it’s important to chill the dough before rolling it out. This chilling process helps relax the gluten in the dough (remember, less gluten development means tender, flaky pie dough) and solidifies the butter. Once the dough has been chilled for about 20 minutes, very lightly flour a pastry mat and roll the dough out, turning it about 30-45 degrees at a time until you have a nice round circle of pie dough. Fold the dough into quarters and then place the dough into the pie dish. Repeat the process for rolling out the top crust, making the pie dough just a little bit bigger to fit over the mounded filling. Place some pats of butter on top of the pie filling and then spread the top crust over the pie filling.

A Whole Lot of Pie Filling

Don’t skimp on the amount of filling to put in this fresh cranberry apple pie. Mound the filling up high in the middle fo the pie plate. The apples and cranberries will all cook down as the pie bakes. When the pie cools, the real magic happens when the cooked apples, cranberries and sugar gel together to make a delicious pie filling.

Crimping the Edges

Decorate the pie however you would like to. I like to crimp the edges of the pie, sealing in all the juices as they bubble in the oven. To do this, I use kitchen scissors to cut the pie dough around the edges and then take the top layer of pie crust and fold it under the bottom edge of crust. This seals the pie shut. At that point I crimp the edges using my knuckles and one finger to decorate around the pie. I like to egg wash the pastry before baking. Whisk together an egg with a splash of water and use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash on top of the pie. Sprinkle about a Tablespoon of sugar over the pie for a beautiful finish.

Baking the Pie

Cranberry apple pie bakes for a long time. It is necessary for the apples and cranberries to bake down and gel with the sugar in the pie to form the pie filling. Place a rack in the middle of the oven, closer to the bottom than the top. Place a baking sheet on the lower rack of the oven to catch any of the juices that will bubble over. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake the pie for 90 minutes. After about 45 minutes, check on your pie and see how the pastry is browning. If it is browning too quickly, place a few pieces of aluminum foil over the edges of the pie crust. You could also use a pie shield.

The Most Difficult Part: Letting the Pie Cool

Once the pie is bubbling, you are ready for the most difficult part: letting the pie cool! If you plan to bake this pie for Thanksgiving, make it the night before or the morning of so it has time to properly cool. All of the fruit and sugar needs to gel together to make a perfectly delicious pie filling. Allowing the pie proper time to cool is a big part of the process. Once the pie has cooled you can slice it and heat individual slices, if desired, or serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I hope you enjoy my very favorite Thanksgiving pie of all time. Let me know how you liked it in the comments below!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this pie without the sourdough crust?

You can use any favorite crust recipe for this pie. I love this sourdough discard pie crust but even a store-bought crust will work.

Could I use dried cranberries instead of fresh cranberries in this pie?

I wouldn’t recommend it. I love the freshness of whole cranberries in this pie. They add a tart burst of flavor that works beautifully with the apples.

Why should I let the pie cool completely before eating?

While the pie cools, the cooked apples & cranberries gel with the sugar to form a delicious pie filling. If you cut into the pie before it has cooled, the bottom of the pie will get soggy and the pie filling will not set up correctly. This takes 3-5 hours for the pie to cool completely. Once the pie has cooled, you can warm up a slice if you want to eat it warm.

Can I make this pie ahead of time?

I recommend making this pie a day before or at least the morning before you’d like to serve it. Once the pie has baked and cooled, cover it and let it sit at room temperature before serving the next day or that evening.

How do I store leftover cranberry apple pie?

This pie can be left covered at room temperature for 2 days. After that, place it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or freeze the pie for up to 3 months. Individual slices can be thawed and reheated.

Cranberry Apple Pie with sourdough crust

Cranberry Apple Pie (with Sourdough Pie Crust)

Sweet apples, tart cranberries, a hint of almond and all nestled in a delicious flaky, buttery sourdough discard pie crust. This is the perfect pie for your Thanksgiving table or anytime apples and cranberries are in season.
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Cool Time 3 hrs
Course Dessert, pie
Cuisine American
Servings 1 9 inch pie

Ingredients
  

Sourdough Pie Crust

  • 325 grams all purpose flour divided into 150 grams and 175 grams (about 1 cup/1.25 cups total)
  • 16 grams sugar 1 Tablespoon
  • 6 grams salt 1 teaspoon
  • 222 grams unsalted butter 1 cup, cold
  • 135 grams sourdough discard 100% hydration, chilled is best, 1/2 cup
  • 20-40 grams ice water as needed (about 2-4 Tablespoons)
  • 1 medium egg reserved for egg wash
  • 16 grams granulated sugar for sprinkling on top of the pie before baking, (1 Tablespoon)

Cranberry Apple Pie Filling

  • 1000 grams honeycrisp or granny smith apples sliced, 8 cups or 7-8 apples
  • 150 grams fresh cranberries 1 1/2 cups
  • 250 grams granulated sugar 1 1/4 cup
  • 70 grams all purpose flour 1/2 cup
  • 8 grams salt 1 teaspoon
  • 6 grams ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon
  • 4 grams almond extract 1 teaspoon
  • 20 grams freshly squeezed lemon juice about 2 Tablespoons/half of a large lemon
  • 22 grams unsalted butter cut into small chunks, 1-2 Tablespoons

Instructions
 

Cranberry Apple Pie (with Sourdough Pie Crust)

  • In a large bowl, mix together 150 grams flour with sugar and salt.
  • Cut the cold, unsalted butter into small chunks (about 16 pieces per stick of butter) and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until all of the butter is moistened by the flour and forms into a thick paste (pictures and more detail in this post).
  • Add the remaining 175 grams (1 1/4 cup) of flour and use the pastry cutter to distribute the flour until the mixture looks crumbly.
  • Pour the chilled sourdough discard on top of the flour/butter mixture and stir to combine. Use your hands to form the dough into a ball. If the dough is too crumbly, add ice cold water a Tablespoon at time until it comes together.
  • Cut the ball in half and form two balls of dough. Wrap the balls in plastic wrap, press down on them to form a disc shape and stick in the refrigerator to chill. Chill the dough for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. The dough can be chilled for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
  • While the dough is chilling, make the pie filling. Peel and core the apples using an apple peeler or a hand peeler. Slice apples into chunks and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the fresh cranberries, sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, almond extract and lemon juice.
  • Pull the chilled dough out of the refrigerator. Lightly flour a pastry mat (or countertop). Roll out the first disc of dough a little over 10 inches round, turning about 30-45 degrees after every roll so you have an even circle of dough. Fold the dough into quarters and place it inside a pie plate, unfolding it and fitting it to the pie plate. Allow the pie crust to hang over the edges. Roll out the second/top crust to the same size or a little bit larger and set aside.
  • Fill the pie with the cranberry apple pie filling, mounding it up in the middle. Dot the pie filling with small chunks of butter (1-2 Tablespoons). Place the second pie crust on top of the pie filling. Use kitchen scissors to cut the overhang of the pie dough. Gather the edges around, folding the top crust edges under the bottom crust to form a seal for the pie and keep the juices from escaping.
  • Place the oven rack in the middle to lower half of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Crimp the edges of the pie and decorate the pie crust as desired. Slice two or more slits in the pie crust to allow steam to escape while baking.
  • Whisk a medium egg with a splash of water and spread the egg wash on top of the pie. Sprinkle the top of the pie with a Tablespoon of granulated sugar. Place a baking sheet in the bottom of the oven to catch any dripping from the pie as it bakes. Bake the pie for about 90 minutes until bubbly and brown on top. Put a few pieces of aluminum foil or a pie shield over the pie crust about halfway through if the pie crust is browning too quickly.
  • Let the pie cool completely before serving. This is important for the juices to gel together and prevents a soggy pie crust. Cool for about 3 hours. Slice and enjoy!

Notes

Sourdough Discard: This pie crust recipe works best with chilled sourdough discard straight from the refrigerator. Throw away any “hooch” that has collected on top of the discard. Smell the discard to make sure you are okay with the flavor it will bring (I don’t like to use discard longer than 2 weeks old in my discard recipes because the sour flavor can be overwhelming). Stir the discard and use in the recipe. The extra chill from the cold discard keeps the butter cold as you incorporate it into the crust. You can also use bubbly sourdough starter in this recipe if you don’t have any sourdough discard. 
Apples: I like this recipe best with tart/firm apples that hold up well for baking. Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples are my favorite in this pie.
Keyword apple pie, cranberry apple pie, sourdough apple pie, sourdough cranberry apple pie, sourdough crust, sourdough discard recipe, sourdough pie crust, sourdough recipe

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a very small amount from qualifying purchases.

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas. Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake.

2 responses to “Cranberry Apple Pie (Sourdough Pie Crust)”

  1. Kris Avatar
    Kris

    This is so delicious! It earns my vote! 🥧🍎🍏

  2. […] tender, flaky and can stand up to any of your favorite fillings. It’s the perfect crust for my favorite cranberry apple pie and I love it in this summer Southern Tomato Pie […]

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Sourdough Pie Crust

It has taken me years to master a really good pie crust. I’ve always enjoyed this simple “press-in-the-pan” version but the flaky “Thanksgiving pie crust” or “Pi-day” pie crust seemed elusive. I’m happy to say that this sourdough discard pie crust has stepped up my pie game. Flaky layers, the tiniest bit of tang (if you want it) and just the easiest dough to work with. It’s so delicious and — even better — uses up that cold sourdough discard that is lurking in your refrigerator. Win-win! This sourdough pie crust is tender, flaky and can stand up to any of your favorite fillings. It’s the perfect crust for my favorite cranberry apple pie and I love it in this summer Southern Tomato Pie too.

The Science Behind Flaky Pie Crust

The secret to flaky pie crust: stop the gluten from developing in the flour. To do this, I use a two step process when making pie dough. First cut the butter into half of the flour mixture to form a thick paste. The butter completely coats all of the flour, coating each piece of flour in fat. Think of what happens when you have butter on your hands and you go to wash them: it’s hard to get your hands clean unless you use soap. Gluten strands start to form when the flour comes in contact with water. Butter makes it difficult for the flour to absorb water which in turn prevents the development of gluten in the pie dough. After you’ve got a thick paste, add the rest of the flour and mix the dough until you have small crumbs before adding in the sourdough discard and a little extra water if you need it. This process results in a dough that is very easy to work with and will bake up into long thin layers of flaky dough.

Sourdough Discard in Pie Crust

I love making this pie crust with sourdough discard straight from my refrigerator. Make sure you are using 100% hydration sourdough discard (equal parts flour/water). If your discard is not 100% hydration, you may need to add more or less ice water/flour to the dough. The extra chill from the cold discard keeps the butter cold as you incorporate it into the dough. You can also use bubbly sourdough starter in this recipe if you don’t have any sourdough discard. Older discard gives a beautiful, almost cheesy flavor to the pie crust which compliments savory pie, like this tomato pie perfectly. For sweet pies, I like to use a fresh discard that doesn’t have lingering sour notes and add a little extra sugar to sourdough pie crust giving it the perfect flavor. It’s important to use cold starter and ice water (if needed) to keep the butter cold and the pastry easy to roll.

How to Make Flaky Sourdough Pie Crust

1. Use a pastry cutter or food processor. cut in the butter with half of the flour mixture. It will form a thick paste.
2. Add the rest of the flour and use the pastry cutter to distribute the flour mixture evenly throughout the dough. It will resemble crumbs.
3. Pour in the chilled sourdough discard and use your hands to incorporate and form the dough into a ball. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters and clump together. If the dough is too crumbly, add a Tablespoon of chilled water at a time until the dough clumps together and forms a ball.
4. Cut crust in half, flatten into a circular shape and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or up to 3 days. This recipe makes two crusts, a top and bottom. You can freeze the crust for up to 3 months. Pull out and refrigerate to thaw before using.

Rolling Out the Sourdough Pie Crust

On a very lightly-floured pastry mat or surface, roll out the chilled pie crust. Turn the crust after every roll about 45 degrees so that you get an even, circular shape. I love using a pastry mat to roll out pie crust on. It’s so much easier to make sure the crust is the right size for your pie plate. I often use a glass pyrex pie plate for my pies because I can see them baked all the way through, and that’s the way my mom did it — there’s something to be said for tradition! Fold the pie crust into quarters and transfer the pie dough to a 9 inch pie plate. For a pie with only one crust, crimp the edges, prick with a fork and bake blind. You can use pie weights to help the crust stay in place if you aren’t filling the crust and baking it right away. If you are using a double crust, fill the bottom crust with pie filling. Roll out the second crust and lay it on top of the pie, crimping the edges as you go. Bake pie according to recipe’s directions.

Freezing or Refrigerating Pie Crust

This sourdough pie crust recipe makes two crusts, a top and bottom. The dough can be refrigerated for 3 days–the longer it sits in the refrigerator, the more flavor the crust will have. It could lend to a more sour flavor as well, so be careful how long you leave it in the refrigerator. Sourdough Pie Crust can also be wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months. Pull it out of the freezer and set in the refrigerator to thaw before using.

Crimping the Edges

Bottom or Single Crust: For a pie with one crust, use kitchen scissors to cut away the extra crust that is overhanging the pie plate. Save it for patching the crust as needed or to bake into little “pie chips.” Roll the crust under just a bit to make a uniform circular edge. Then take your knuckles on one hand and a finger on the other. Put your knuckles on the inside or outside (either works) of the crust and press in between the knuckles with your finger, creating a crimped edge. Repeat this process around the pie.

Top Crust: For a pie with a top crust, prepare the bottom crust without crimping the edges. Roll the top crust under the top edge of the bottom crust, sealing the pie shut. Then proceed to crimp the edges. Slice a few holes in the top of the pie with a large knife to vent steam while the pie bakes.

Baking Sourdough Pie Crust

Blind Baking: For a single pie crust, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake with parchment paper/pie weights for about 20 minutes. Take the pie weights out of the pie, prick the bottom of the crust with a fork and continue baking for 10-15 minutes until pie crust is lightly browned and baked through.

Baking a Pie with Top/Bottom Crust: For pies with top and bottom crusts (often fruit pies), bake at 425 degrees for the first 20 minutes. This high heat gives a flaky and even crust. Then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking about 60 minutes until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown. Use a pie shield or pieces of aluminum foil over the crust if it is browning too quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with leftover pie scraps?

I love brushing a little egg wash on leftover pie scraps. I’ll sprinkle them with some cinnamon/sugar and bake at 375 degrees until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. These little “pie chips” are delicious and fun to snack on while we wait for the pie to bake and cool.

My pie only calls for 1 crust. What should I do with the leftover crust?

Refrigerate the crust for up to 3 days or wrap and freeze the pie crust for up to 3 months. You can use the leftover scraps to make “pie chips” or you could make an extra pie 🙂

Is sourdough pie crust better for sweet or savory pies?

I like it in both. Use a Tablespoon of sugar and fresh sourdough starter/discard in sweet pies for less of a “sour” flavor.

My pie crust is too crumbly and won’t roll out. What should I do?

Add a little more ice water about a Tablespoon at a time. Don’t be afraid to mix the dough with your hands until all of the dough is moistened and forms a ball.

My pie crust is too wet. Can I add more flour?

Add flour a Tablespoon or two at a time until you reach the perfect consistency to roll out.

I love making these little “pie chips” with extra Sourdough Pie Crust pieces. Enjoy!

Sourdough pie crust

Sourdough Pie Crust

Sourdough pie crust is tender, flaky and can stand up to any of your favorite fillings. It's light, buttery and just all around delicious in a savory or sweet pie.
Prep Time 30 mins
Course Dessert, pie
Cuisine American
Servings 2 crusts

Ingredients
  

  • 325 grams all purpose flour divided into 150 grams and 175 grams (about 1 cup/1.25 cups total)
  • 16 grams sugar 1 Tablespoon (see recipe notes)
  • 6 grams salt 1 teaspoon
  • 222 grams unsalted butter 1 cup, chilled
  • 135 grams sourdough discard 100% hydration chilled is best, (1/2 cup)
  • 20-40 grams ice water as needed (about 2-4 Tablespoons)

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, mix together 150 grams flour with sugar and salt.
  • Cut the cold, unsalted butter into small chunks (about 16 pieces per stick of butter) and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until all of the butter is moistened by the flour and forms into a thick paste (see pictures in the recipe post).
  • Add the remaining 175 grams (1 1/4 cup) of flour and use the pastry cutter to distribute the flour until the mixture looks crumbly.
  • Pour the chilled sourdough discard on top of the flour/butter mixture and stir to combine. Use your hands to form the dough into a ball. If the dough is too crumbly, add ice cold water a Tablespoon at time until it comes together.
  • Cut the ball in half and form two balls of dough. Wrap the balls in plastic wrap, press down on them to form a disc shape and stick in the refrigerator to chill. Chill the dough for 20 minutes if using right away or for up to 3 days if using later. Wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Use according to pie recipe directions.

Notes

Pie Crust: This recipe makes two 9 inch pie crusts. Use in any pie recipe that calls for a homemade pie crust.
Sourdough Discard: This pie crust recipe works best with chilled sourdough discard straight from the refrigerator. Throw away any “hooch” that has collected on top of the discard. Smell the discard to make sure you are okay with the flavor it will bring (I don’t like to use discard longer than 2 weeks old in my discard recipes because the sour flavor can be overwhelming). Stir the discard and use in the recipe. The extra chill from the cold discard keeps the butter cold as you incorporate it into the crust. You can also use bubbly sourdough starter in this recipe if you don’t have any sourdough discard. 
Sugar: For a savory pie crust, decrease the sugar in the recipe to 1 teaspoon or about 5 grams).
Keyword beginner sourdough, sourdough pie crust, sourdough recipe

2 responses to “Sourdough Pie Crust”

  1. Kris Avatar
    Kris

    Looking forward to enjoying this on our Thanksgiving day table! 🥧 🦃❤️🙏🏻😋

  2. […] see cranberries in season at my local grocery store, this is it! Fresh cranberry apple pie with an amazing flaky sourdough pie crust is delicious. The cranberries add a little tartness to the sweet apples, and that hint of almond […]

Leave a Reply

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a very small amount from qualifying purchases.

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas. Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake.

2 responses to “Sourdough Pie Crust”

  1. Kris Avatar
    Kris

    Looking forward to enjoying this on our Thanksgiving day table! 🥧 🦃❤️🙏🏻😋

  2. […] see cranberries in season at my local grocery store, this is it! Fresh cranberry apple pie with an amazing flaky sourdough pie crust is delicious. The cranberries add a little tartness to the sweet apples, and that hint of almond […]

Leave a Reply