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Fall Apple Cranberry Pie Recipe with an Easy Leaf Crust

Let the baking season commence. Hummingbird High created an Apple Cranberry Pie with an Easy Leaf Crust to celebrate the start of autumn.

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Fully bake pie in ruffle white dish with gold rack of plates in background

Pie is a year round dessert, but my personal favorite pies are made with the fruits of the autumn harvest. Nothing beats the first apple pie of the season, made with freshly picked apples and lots of cinnamon and sugar.

Freshly baked pie with set of dishes in background

Making a pie can be intimidating for a lot of folks, but I'm here today to show you how to do an easy leaf design crust that is perfect for the fall season (the pie’s golden leaves always remind me of the foliage on the trees and ground!) and doesn't require any fussing with intricate lattices.

Setting pie crust into pie dish with copper measuring cup and rolling pin beside it

Start with your favorite pie crust recipe — it can be store-bought, or made from scratch. Make sure you have enough dough for a double-lidded pie as you'll need dough for a base crust and dough for the pie crust leaves. Roll out half the dough and lay it out onto your pie plate.

Mixing fruit in bowl to make pie filling

Next, make the filling. I love to throw in a few fresh cranberries to give my apple pie bursts of tartness and color. Scoop the filling into the rolled out base crust and transfer to the refrigerator to chill as you make the leaf crust topping. Now comes the fun part — making the leaves!

Hands cutting leaf patterns on cutting board

You don't need to be an artist to make cool looking leaves. Simply take a small paring knife and use it to carve out the rough shape of a leaf. If it's your first time and you're not confident in your knife skills, start by carving out larger leaves; it's a lot more forgiving! And be sure to cut out your leaves as close to each other as possible so you don't have to gather the pie dough scraps and roll constantly.

Cut out leaf patterns in dough

After you've cut out enough leaves, gently peel away the excess dough. You can save the dough and roll it out again to make more leaves. Score the center of each dough leaf to create center stems. Score the edges of the dough to create leaf texture — again, you don't have to be precise or make the leaves identical. Variation is good and more realistic!

Placing dough leaves on pie before putting in oven

Once you've scored all the leaves, lay the leaves in a random pattern across the pie filling. Brush with egg wash and demerara sugar, and transfer to the oven. An hour later, you've got a beautiful and seasonal autumn apple pie!

Pie on wood pedestal

Print Recipe
Apple Pie with a Leaf Crust
Votes: 6
Rating: 3.17
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
1 double lidded, 9-inch pie
Ingredients
Pie Dough
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling dough
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup very cold unsalted butter cut into rough 1-inch cubes, 2 sticks
  • 1/2 cup ice cold water
Apple Filing
  • 5 inch medium apples peeled, cored, and roughly chopped into 1 1/2 to 2 cubes, about 2.5 lbs
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Zest and juice from 1 small lemon
  • A pinch of salt
Egg Wash and Sugar Topping
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 3 tablespoons demerara sugar
Servings
1 double lidded, 9-inch pie
Ingredients
Pie Dough
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling dough
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup very cold unsalted butter cut into rough 1-inch cubes, 2 sticks
  • 1/2 cup ice cold water
Apple Filing
  • 5 inch medium apples peeled, cored, and roughly chopped into 1 1/2 to 2 cubes, about 2.5 lbs
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Zest and juice from 1 small lemon
  • A pinch of salt
Egg Wash and Sugar Topping
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 3 tablespoons demerara sugar
Votes: 6
Rating: 3.17
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Pie Dough
  1. In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, and salt several times to combine. Add butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-sized pieces remaining.
  2. Sprinkle with 4 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed with fingers; if necessary, add up to 2 tablespoons more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Be careful not to overprocess or add too much liquid! Pulse until it just holds together.
  3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide dough into two even halves. Form each half into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
Apple Filling
  1. In a medium bowl, combine apples, cranberries, dark brown sugar, cornstarch, ground cinnamon, lemon zest and juice, and a pinch of salt. Toss to combine.
Assembly
  1. First, make the base crust. Remove one of the pie dough disks from the refrigerator and roll into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate and trim any excess overhang. Use your fingers or a fork to crimp the pie edges.
  2. Next, scoop the apple filling over the the rolled out base crust and transfer to the refrigerator as you make the leaf crust topping. Remove the second pie dough disk and roll into a rough circle about ¼-inch thick. Use a paring knife to carve out as many leaf shapes as you can, gathering and rerolling any scraps as necessary. Use the paring knife to score the center and edges of the leaf shapes to create leaf texture. If the dough is getting too soft and hard to work with, transfer to the freezer to chill for 10 to 15 minutes. Lay the leaves in a random pattern across the pie filling, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and transfer to the freezer to chill for 1 hour, but preferably overnight for best results.
  3. When you’re ready to bake the pie, center a rack in the oven and preheat to 425 (F). Place the frozen pie in the center of a baking sheet. Quickly make an egg wash by whisking together 1 large egg and 1 teaspoon of water in a small bowl; use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash over the leaves, and sprinkle immediately with demerara sugar.
  4. Transfer the baking sheet with the pie to the center rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes, before lowering the oven temperature to 350 (F) and continuing to bake for another 45 to 50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the fruit juices bubble. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for about an hour or so, to allow the juices to set. Serve slightly warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream. Enjoy!

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