I love, love, love apple pie. This chai spiced apple cranberry pie is the ultimate cozy apple pie and is perfect chilly weather comfort food. With the warm, spiced flavors of chai and orange, with sweet and tart apples, and a tart pop of cranberries, this pie is addictively delicious. Make this pie for all your fall gatherings - it is a crowd pleaser.
What really makes this apple cranberry pie pop is the chai spices. Including cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and cardamom, these spices give this pie so much flavor, They're well balanced, not overpowering and make this pie so, so delicious.
My favorite apple to bake with is granny smith, so in this recipe, I used a mixture of granny smith and honeycrisp apples. Honeycrisps taste amazing - they're one of the sweeter varieties of apples and they have a great crisp texture. They are great to bake with as they retain their texture well. Granny Smith apples are tart and crisp, with more of acidic flavor that balances well with the sweet honeycrisps. Other great apples for baking include Fuji, Braeburn, Gala or Pink Lady apples.
How to make chai spiced apple cranberry pie
My chai spiced apple cranberry pie starts with a foundation of a tender, flaky and flavorful crust. I used my favorite all butter pie dough for this pie.
Prepare the crust and lattice
- On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of dough until you have a circle 12" in diameter.
- Place the dough onto a 9" pie dish. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Roll out the second disk of dough, also to a 12" diameter.
- Cut 10-12 evenly sized strips using a pizza cutter or a knife. Lay the strips on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Prepare the filling
- Combine the apples with the orange juice, zest, spices, sugars and salt and leave them in a colander over a large bowl to macerate, or drain off the juice, for about 40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425F and place a large cookie sheet on the middle rack.
- Place the reserved liquid from the apples and butter into a small saucepan. Simmer the mixture until thickened and reduced to ½ cup. Let the mixture cool until it is just warm.
- Toss the apples together with the reduction, cornstarch and cranberries.
- Pile the mixture into the pie crust in the pie plate, layering, or shingling, the apples to reduce any empty space.
Finishing the pie
- Lattice the top pie crust (For a full tutorial, check out my post How to Make A Pie Crust Lattice.) or place the second rolled out dough round on top. Cut 3 - 1" slits on the top to release steam.
- Roll the dough edges under so that the rolled dough sits on the edge of the pie plate. Crimp the edges.
- Brush the pie crust with a mixture of egg and water to help the crust bake up to be perfectly golden brown.
- Sprinkle demerara sugar over the crust for extra crunch and sweetness.
- Bake the pie at 425F for 30 minutes.
- Reduce the temperature to 350F and bake until the juices are bubbling, about 35-45 minutes . This ensures that the pie is fully cooked and also has activated and cooked the cornstarch.
- The pie filling will set up more as it cools. Let it cool completely for 3-4 hours before serving.
Baking fruit pies at a higher temperature first is to help "set" the crust. This allows for the pie dough to bake a bit faster, and not become soggy from just stewing in the fruit juices. It also allows for the crust to start to brown as well, so when the pie is finished baking, it's a deep golden brown. The temperature is then reduced to allow the pie bake the pie fully, without the potential for the crust to burn.
When the pie comes out of the oven, the filling will be bubbling and your kitchen will smell incredible. Let the pie cool for a few hours in order to thicken up and set the filling. The pie is best served slightly warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Tips for Perfect Chai Spiced Apple Cranberry Pie
- Not up to making your own pie crust, or trying to save some time? Store bought works just fine here too.
- Don't skip macerating the apples. In addition to using the liquid to make a sauce, macerating the apples drains the apples of excess liquid, which helps keep the apples from getting too soft and mushy when baking.
- Apples tend to shrink a bit when baking, which can leave a gap between the crust and the apples when the pie is cooling. Layering, or shingling, the apples with the cranberries also help reduce any excess space. Mounding the apples and overfilling keeps the pie more full once baked.
- Cooking the pie on a preheated cookie sheet will help catch any spilling. It will also help in baking the pie evenly.
Storing and Freezing
Store leftover pie, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or on the counter for up to 2 days.
Unbaked pie, tightly wrapped, can be frozen for up to 3 months. Bake directly from the freezer, adding an additional 15-20 minutes onto the baking time.
If you make this chai spiced apple cranberry pie, let me know! Drop a comment or tag me on Instagram. I love seeing your creations.
For more pie recipes, check out these posts:
Chai Spiced Apple Cranberry Pie
- 1 recipe, All Butter Pie Dough
- 8 apples (about 3 lbs), peeled and sliced to ¼" I used half granny smith and half honeycrisp apples.
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- Zest of a orange
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon water
- demerara sugar, for sprinkling
Prepare the pie crust:
- On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough, keeping the other disk refrigerated. Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter.
- Place the dough onto the pie dish. Ease the dough, without stretching, into the pie dish. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Prepare the lattice:
- On a floured work surface, roll out the second disk of dough, also to a 12" diameter.
- Cut 10-12 evenly sized strips using a pizza cutter or a knife. Lay the strips on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Prepare the filling:
- Position the baking rack in the middle of the oven. Heat the oven to 425F and place a large baking sheet on the center of the rack.
- In a large bowl, combine the apples, orange zest, orange juice, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and salt and mix to combine.
- Transfer the apples to a large colander and place over a bowl. Let the apples macerate and release their juices for at least 40 minutes or for as long as two hours.
- Pour the drained liquid into a small saucepan along with the butter over medium low heat. Place the apples back into the bowl.
- Cook the liquid until slightly thickened and reduced to about ½ cup. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Add the cranberries, cornstarch and liquid to the apples and mix to combine.
Compile the pie:
- Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator. Layer the apples and cranberries into the pie crust, creating a mound in the center.
- Remove the lattice strips from the refrigerator. Lay 5 to 6 strips, evenly spaced over the pie.
- Weave the remaining strips over and under, perpendicular to the first set of strips to create a lattice. Adjust the strips to ensure they are evenly spaced.
- Trim any excess dough over 2". Fold and tuck the dough on the edges to create an outer ridge and to ensure the lattice and bottom crusts are adhered.
- Flute the edge, or crimp with a fork.
- Whisk together the egg and the water. With a pastry brush, brush the lattice top and the edges with a thin layer of the egg wash.
- Lightly sprinkle demerara sugar over the lattice crust.
- Place the pie on the baking sheet in the center of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 and bake for an additional 35-45 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.
- Let the pie cool for 3 hours to allow the filling to set, or until just warm.