Apple Cranberry Deep Dish Pie with Toasted Walnut Streusel

An absolutely delicious apple cranberry deep dish pie with the assertive tang of fresh cranberries and appealing crunch of caramelized walnuts. I dare you to eat just one piece!

pple Cranberry Pie with Toasted Walnut Streusel |LunaCafeWe are now well into September, which at LunaCafe, we call Apple Pie Moon.

Autumn is coming on rather more abruptly than usual in the Pacific Northwest. But not fast enough for me. As soon as I see the first golden leaf on the ground, I am dreaming of fragrant, cayenne-spiced mulled cider, apple cranberry pie, curried pumpkin soup, gingered cranberry pear sauce and toasted hazelnuts. To name only a few of the treasures that autumn brings each year.

Apple Cranberry Deep Dish Pie with Toasted Walnut Streusel | LunaCafeEvery year it’s the same. I run to the nearest farmers market, expecting to find heaps of winter squash, a huge variety of just picked apples, freshly pressed cider, and new crop hazelnuts and walnuts. And then I’m disappointed  when the vendors tell me, “Not yet lady, maybe in a few more weeks.” It is no consolation that there is still an abundance of fresh peaches, nectarines, blueberries, strawberries, and corn.

Apple Cranberry Deep Dish Pie with Toasted Walnut Streusel | LunaCafeI’m ready to cook all my favorite autumn dishes NOW. And I’m sure you are too. (Yesterday at Remlinger Farm in Carnation, Washington, they still had a large display of fresh RHUBARB. How is this possible? However, they did say that the fresh cider would arrive next week.)

Apple Cranberry Deep Dish Pie with Toasted Walnut Streusel | LunaCafeLuckily, I still have two seemingly perfect bags of frozen cranberries, which is a big surprise. So I am thrilled to be able to share with you one of my favorite apple pie creations–a little in advance of cranberry season. When you see the first bags of fresh cranberries in the market, grab a few. I know you will want to make this pie again and again this autumn.

NOTE   Check out these fresh primers: Fresh Apple PrimerFresh Apple Cider Primer, and Fresh Cranberry Primer.

Apple Cranberry Deep Dish Pie with Toasted Walnut Streusel | LunaCafeApple Cranberry Deep Dish Pie with Toasted Walnut Streusel

An absolutely delicious autumn apple pie with the assertive tang of fresh cranberries and appealing crunch of caramelized walnuts. I dare you to eat just one piece!

This is best served warm–with a generous scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. (But heck, I eat it any old way, including cold from the frig. Just one bite–just one more–what’s one more going to hurt?).

Sweet Short-Crust Pastry
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into ½-inch cubes
3 tablespoons shortening, chilled
5-6 tablespoons ice water

Apple Cranberry Filling
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
finely minced zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

4-6 medium-large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and quartered (6 cups cubed, as specified below)
2 cups whole fresh cranberries (frozen cranberries may also be used; don’t thaw)

Walnut Streusel
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Prepare the pastry (traditional method*)

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl and cut in the chilled butter and shortening with a pastry cutter until a coarse meal is achieved.
  2. Drizzle half the ice water over the dough and lift the grains with your fingers to evenly distribute. Add additional water as needed until the dough feels a little damp and will hold together when smeared between the fingers. (Don’t add too much or the pastry will be tough.)
  3. Gather up into a ball and then flatten between sheets of plastic wrap. Seal and refrigerate for 2 hours or freeze for 1 hour.
  4. Roll out using a lightly floured pastry cloth and rolling pin cover to about 1/8-inch thickness and fit into a 10-inch deep-dish (6-cup capacity) pie plate.
  5. Trim the excess dough to a ½-inch edge overhang, then fold the ½-inch under all the way around and crimp or finish the edge as desired.
  6. Put the prepared pastry into the freezer while preparing the filling and streusel.

Prepare the filling

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  2. Cut each quarter apple piece in half lengthwise, and then cut each of these sections into thirds width-wise. You should end up with about 6 cups of cubed apples.
  3. As you cut the apples, add them to the mixing bowl and toss to coat. This will help prevent oxidation (turning brown).
  4. Add the cranberries and gently combine.

Prepare the streusel

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  2. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or the tips of your fingers until a coarse meal is achieved. Add the walnuts and combine. Reserve.

Put it all together

  1. Toss the fruit mixture once more to evenly coat with sugar and juice, and then spoon into the prepared pie shell.
  2. Tap the pie down on a counter firmly to settle the fruit, and then evenly sprinkle the streusel topping over the top.


  1. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 375° for 30 minutes.
  2. Uncover and continue baking for 30-35 minutes, until the apples are quite tender and the topping is bubbling and crisp. (Make sure the juices are fully bubbling, which indicates that the cornstarch is activated and has thickened the juices. If the topping is browning too quickly or too much, cover it with foil.)
  3. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before cutting.

Serves 6.


This traditional method pastry crust (ala Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Volume One (1) (Fortieth – 40th – Anniversary Edition)) is the one that I have taught to students and made myself for many years. It has an excellent buttery flavor and a crisp, sturdy texture. Very good, in other words.

However, I have always longed for a flakier pastry crust, which of course can be produced by using all shortening or lard. But then the buttery taste is lost. In my search for an answer to this conundrum, I FINALLY ran across the solution in Cookwise: The Secrets of Cooking Revealed, by food scientist extraordinaire, Shirley Corriher.

This volume is now indispensable to me. I will document the process that I now use in a later post, (HERE IT IS: Quick & Easy, Flaky, All Butter, Short-Crust Pastry.)

But essentially it involves the same ingredients and proportions with the added step of layering very thin sheets of butter into the dough (similar to the process for making rough puff pastry). Not at all difficult, just a little more time consuming. The result is the most flakey, most tender, most buttery pastry crust you have ever eaten.

If you can’t wait for my post, you now know where to find the directions. Incidentally, the Divine Miss C has another cookbook coming out soon available now, titled, BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking with Over 200 Magnificent Recipes.

LunaCafe Apple Recipe Archive

Apple Cranberry Deep Dish Pie with Toasted Walnut Streusel | LunaCafe

Copyright 2008 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.

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  1. Solpria says

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  2. says

    Thank you. I love cooking anything with cranberries. Your Apple Cranberry Deep Dish Pie is a 10+. My husband and I invited several couples over for New Year’s Day Dinner. We chose this recipe to be our dessert and everyone loved it.

  3. Roger G says

    Thank you for the correction. I just made two of these pies and everybody is scarfing them up and raving. Thanks for the recipe. It’s really special!

  4. Roger G says

    It is unclear in the streusel ingredients whether one is supposed to use a half cup or some number of tablespoons of sugar, brown sugar, and flour. It would be great if someone could clarify this. Thanks.

    • Susan S. Bradley says

      Hi Roger, good catch. The recipe is now corrected to 1/2 cup each of sugar, brown sugar, and flour. Best…Susan

  5. says

    This was absolutely amazing!!! I love making apple pies and after coming back from the orchard with a few bags of apples last week, I’ve been looking to make something a little different…just for a change. I’m a huge cranberry fan too and love mixing apples and cranberries (when we had our dog bakery, our cranberry apple biscotti treats were so extremely popular). I sometimes mix them in a crisp. But this was really great to make a pie with both apples and cranberries and then adding the streusel on top…incredible! My family loved it, I think this will be something I’ll make often, even when fall is over :)

    Your recipes are so creative and I enjoy reading your posts and learning tips and new ideas. Keep up the great work, I’ve got your site bookmarked!

    .-= Dana ´s last blog ..Is your dog afraid of Thunderstorms? A Superhero Cape or ‘Thunderwear’ may help! =-.


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