Christmas Apple Cranberry Slab Pie

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Do you watch the great British Bake Off? I am smitten, especially when the brits are baking with big flavors and fruits at Christmas time. They seem to punch up their Christmas bakes more than we do with cardamom, cinnamon, orange, and nutmeg.

This Christmas apple cranberry slab pie reminded me of the flavor profiles on the show.  The cranberries add a necessary tang to all the sweet and combine beautifully with the apples.

I’m not new to slab pies, as I made a summer version with blueberries and peaches here.

The key to this Christmas pie is flavors and cooking down the apples with butter, cinnamon, orange zest, vanilla, cardamom, and nutmeg. You can choose to mix it up anyway you like, but keep the cinnamon!

Pushing the flavors of old time Christmas, the cranberries do their job.  I used two kinds of apples. The granny smith which cooked down, yielding a lot of juice. To those I added 3 gala apples which don’t cook down in the same way.

This is the first time I’ve mixed my apples, and I rather like it. Gala apples are usually my apple of choice because they keep some of their crispness. You can mix up your apples (see notes in recipe).

The filling for the apple cranberry slab pie is absolutely delicious.

It tastes like an old fashioned pie you might eat in Europe, so rich in flavors.

I trimmed the dough around the sheet pan, but you could do something more decorative if you choose. I felt I had enough dough and the corner pieces would have too much.

Blind bake Apple Cranberry Slab Pie for 15 minutes. 

Since my apple filling was pre-cooked, I blind-baked the bottom crust for 15 minutes to ensure it remain crisp when cut. It worked perfectly, and there was no soggy bottom.

Use any cookie cutters you like. I like these Christmas cookie cutters.

This is the perfect crowd pleaser. Pre-cut into squares in the pan before serving. This pie also freezes well.

I’ll be adding this to my Apple Desserts with Decorative Crusts

Summer Slab Pie Here

More Apple Recipes from Spinach Tiger

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Bourbon Caramelized Apple Hand Pie

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Caramelized Apple Tart with Stove Top Brown Sugar Apple Filling

Apple Cranberry Slab Pie from Spinach Tiger
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Apple Cranberry Slab Pie

Winter Apple pie with cranberries baked in a sheet pan.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 15
Author: Angela Roberts

Ingredients

Apple Cranberry Pie Filling

  • 8 apples
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries can sub with raspberries
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar may need a few tablespoons more
  • 1/2 orange for juice and zest
  • 4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar (See Notes)
  • 1/2 orange
  • 2 tablespoons sifted corn starch
  • Pie Dough
  • 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour 448 grams plus more for dusting
  • 12 ounces Unsalted Butter 24 tablespoons or 3 sticks
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup iced cold water 2 more tablespoons, (if needed

Instructions

  • Make Pie Dough below first and refrigerate for one hour while making apple filling.

MAKE APPLE FILLING

  • Peel and core apples. Y≈
  • Slice apples about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Zest orange and juice orange.
  • Put 4 tablespoons butter in frying pan with 2 tablespoons brown sugar.
  • Toss apples with sugar, juice of half orange, orange zest. Add 1 tablespoon corn starch.
  • Cook apples and cranberries on top of stove on low in large frying pan, until somewhat softened. The granny smith apples will cook down more than the gala apples. There will a lot of liquid, after about 15 minutes.
  • Drain liquid and use in another recipe.
  • MAKE PIE DOUGH
  • Cut butter into small pieces. Freeze for 10 minutes.
  • Mix flour, sugar, salt in food processor or kitchen aid mixer. You can whisk and do this with your hands.
  • Cut butter into flour mixture. I prefer my kitchen aid mixer but a food processor works well too
  • You can, however use a pastry cutter and mix butter into flour, making sure to keep the pieces pea sized.
  • Add in ice cold water. Mix just enough to be able to squeeze dough together.
  • If the dough stays together when you press, it’s processed enough.
  • Put in plastic bag, separating it into 1/3 and 2/3. Bring it together in bag. Refrigerate for one hour. You can do this a day in advance of recipe.
  • Bring out twenty minutes before rolling.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange rack in oven on bottom third.
  • Once you are ready to assemble, first roll out 1/3 dough to make stars. You can make 15 large stars or 18 smaller stars. You can use more dough from the other section if need be. The recipe will make the stars and the remaining dough is just enough for the sheet pan.
  • Make the cut outs and place in refrigerator, while rolling out the dough for the bottom.
  • Roll into rectangle and place in sheet pan.
  • Fork holes all over the bottom. Place in freezer for a few minutes.
  • Arrange apples cranberry mixture.
  • Before placing stars over fruit, using your finger, rub milk over each star, and sprinkle raw sugar
  • Bake for 35 minutes. Check halfway through and turn pan around.
  • Check at 30 minutes and loosely cover with foil if it’s already golden brown.
  • Allow to cool before cutting.
  • Keep at room temperature, covered with foil.
  • Can be frozen for 60 days. Take out and allow to defrost at room temperature. Can be reheated in oven.

Notes

Apples: I mixed my apples, but you can use all gala which stay a little crisper and require less sugar. If you use all granny smith apples, you will need all the sugar. Taste filling as you go, since it’s cooked stovetop. 

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2 Comments

  1. Instead of making in a sheet pan, could this filling be used in a traditional pie crust? I assume the amounts might be less or perhaps divided into two pies? Your thoughts?

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