Healthy Cranberry Apple Pie
Yields: 1 pie, 10 slices
This pie is perfect for Thanksgiving or any fall party dessert! It has a buttery flaky crust, and the filling is the perfect combination of sweet apples, tart cranberries, and warm spices. It’s best if served within 24 hours of when it’s made, but it’ll keep for at least 2 days if stored on the counter or at least 4 days (if not longer!) if stored in the refrigerator.
  1. To prepare the crust, whisk together the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter, the back of a fork, or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl, stir together the milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and ½ teaspoon of ice water. Sprinkle the liquid mixture over the flour mixture, and stir until fully incorporated. Continue to add ice water, ¼ teaspoon at a time, until the mixture comes together to form a dough.
  2. Place a large sheet of plastic wrap on the counter. Using your hands, form the dough into a 1”-thick circle. Place the dough in the center of the plastic wrap, and lay another large sheet of plastic wrap on top. Fold up the excess plastic wrap, and refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes. (If chilled longer than 1 hour, let the dough “thaw” on the counter for 5-15 minutes, depending on how much longer it was chilled, before rolling it out.)
  3. While the dough chills, prepare the filling. (NOTE: I typically wait to slice the apples until now to save time!) Toss together the apple slices, cranberries, cornstarch, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg until the spices are evenly distributed on the apples. Drizzle in the maple syrup and water, and toss the fruit again until it’s evenly coated.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425°F, and place a dark metal baking sheet into the oven on the middle rack. Lightly coat a regular 9” pie plate (not deep dish!) with cooking spray.
  5. Leaving the dough between the sheets of plastic wrap, roll it out until it’s 1” to 2” wider than the top of the pie plate. Peel off the top layer of plastic wrap, and gently invert the pie dough into the prepared pie plate. Peel off the second layer of plastic wrap, and gently press the pie dough into place. Trim the overhang.
  6. Transfer the filling on top of the pie dough, and gently but firmly press down to eliminate as much space between the apples and cranberries as possible. (I use my hands to do this!) Cover the top of the entire pie plate with foil, trying to “bump up” the center so it’s not touching the apple slices.
  7. Place the foil-covered pie plate on the dark metal baking sheet in the oven. Bake the pie at 425°F for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 350°F, and continue to bake for an additional 40 minutes. Carefully remove the foil from the top of the pie plate, and continue to bake at 350° for another 15-20 minutes (for a total of 70-75 minutes) or until the outer crust is golden in color. Let the pie cool completely to room temperature before slicing and serving.
Notes: Before beginning, measure your pie plate! This recipe was designed specifically for a standard-sized 9” pie plate—not a deep dish 9” pie plate. If you measure the inside of your pie plate, it should be 1 ⅜” tall. This is the pie plate that I used. (And this is my favorite rolling pin!)

White whole wheat flour, regular whole wheat flour, or all-purpose flour may be substituted for the whole wheat pastry flour. I haven’t tried any gluten-free flour blends with this pie crust, so I’m not sure how that would turn out.

Any milk may be substituted for the nonfat milk.

Honey or agave may be substituted for the pure maple syrup.

I use red Fuji apples because they have a strong natural sweetness, and their firm texture holds up while baking (so they don’t disintegrate!). I haven’t tried any other varieties of apples, so I’m not sure how the pie will turn out if you substitute another variety. (But I do not recommend using green Granny smith apples because the filling will be completely tart!)

If you’re not a big fan of fresh tart cranberries, then reduce them to 1 cup (110g), and substitute an additional 1 cup (122g) of ⅛”-thick Fuji apple slices that you’ve cut in half.

I don’t recommend substitute dried cranberries for the fresh.

As written, the filling is on the not-so-sweet side, and the tart cranberry flavor truly shines. For a sweeter filling, substitute additional maple syrup for an equal amount of water (i.e. 1 tablespoon of maple syrup for 1 tablespoon of water). Alternatively, add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of this liquid stevia to the filling. (Or serve with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream for added sweetness!)

There should appear to be more apples and cranberries than will fit in the pie dish—that’s good! You want there to be a small mound of fruit extending up past the rim of the pie plate. The fruit shrinks as it bakes, so you should end up with a flat top once your pie has finished cooling.

You must let the pie cool to room temperature before serving! This allows the cornstarch to thicken the fruit juices, and the filling also turns moisture and softer while it cools. (It tastes a bit dry if you eat it hot out of the oven, but I promise it tastes much moister if you wait!) If you prefer to serve your pie warm, then reheat individual slices one it has fully cooled to room temperature for the best taste and texture.

For a vegan version, substitute Earth Balance buttery sticks in place of the butter. Coconut oil melts at a much lower temperature, so it doesn’t produce the same flaky texture in the crust.

The set of pie crust cookie cutters that I used for the leaves in the photos above is no longer sold in stores, but these are somewhat similar!

For more information regarding the ingredients and instructions, please see the Nerd Alerts (#1-10) in my blog post above.

{clean eating, low fat, vegan option}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at