This is the pie you need to make to celebrate the arrival of FALL!
Don’t get too particular about the measurements – if you use a store-bought crust, then the rest can be estimated as I’ve noted below. The base recipe was something I found on Google at the Betty Crocker site, but I quickly diverged from those directions to this. 😉
Why I love this pie:
- The cranberries and walnuts keep it from getting too candy-sweet, as apple pie can be. I can’t speak to how this pie would turn out if you left out both. I think you could safely omit one of them and end up with a balanced product, if you don’t have cranberries or nuts on hand.
- The honey brings more than just “sweet” to the party. I used a local wildflower honey, and there are light notes of that in every bite. If you have access to a high-quality flavored honey like tupelo or orange blossom, use it to glaze the crust at the end. Regular (read: cheaper) honey is fine for the filling. Save your expensive stuff.
- Walnuts add a nice crunch to the filling — I like that, rather than just mush. You could easily use almonds or pecans or any other nut you love if that’s not walnuts.
- Don’t skip toasting the walnuts. Throw them into the oven for a couple minutes while it’s preheating. But keep an eye on them! They burn easily!
- I’m a fan of Pillsbury rolled-up pie crusts. I haven’t made a pie crust, aside from a special pecan pie recipe I make a couple times a decade, since the early 2000s. If you have a favorite homemade recipe, I’m sure it’ll work just fine here.
- My pie didn’t ooze all over the oven – a plus! But it was mounded quite high when I put it in the oven, so I placed it on a wide piece of foil on a cookie sheet to catch any drips.
Lori’s Honey-Apple Pie with Walnuts and Cranberries
1 package of 2 pie crusts. I use the rolled-up ones by Pillsbury. If you want to do a crumb-oatmeal topping instead, go for it.
5 medium to large apples of any flavorful variety. We’d just hit the local farmer’s market, so I had Jonagolds, Arkansas Black, Fuji, and another type I forgot.
a couple handfuls of chopped walnuts, like 1/3 cup. Toast them in the oven for a few minutes on the cookie sheet you’ll put under the pie later, as the oven pre-heats
a couple handfuls of fresh cranberries, rinsed. You could probably use frozen whole cranberries. I don’t think they’d need to be thawed
about 1/3 cup honey, divided. You’ll need 4-5 T for the pie filling and a couple more teaspoons at the end
a few T flour
a large dose of cinnamon – probably 1 T
about 1 tsp of salt
1 T cold butter cut into pieces
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees with a rack on the bottom notches.
- Peel the apples and chop into quarters. Trim any remaining skin from the ends and take out the seed core. Chop into big 1.5in chunks and toss in a large bowl.
- Add 1-2 T flour (I used 2-3 spoons), 1 T cinnamon (be generous!), any other spices you like on apples, and 1 tsp of table salt to the bowl and toss with two forks till the flour and spices are coating the apples pretty evenly.
I didn’t add lemon juice because these apples were really juicy already and I didn’t care about browning. I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt tho.
- Using a big tablespoon, drizzle 4-5 T of honey into the bowl and toss into the apples in a couple batches. Don’t worry too much, just try to distribute the honey. Lick the spoon.
- Put the bottom pie crust into your dish, pushing into the edges and leaving the overhang. I did a 9″ pie plate (Pampered Chef stoneware) but you could add another apple and do a 10″ pie, no problem.
- Scatter the cranberries across the bottom of the pie plate.
- Spoon half the apples into the crust. Add the walnuts in an even layer. Pour in the rest of the apples, mounding high in the center. (Seriously, this was a TALL pie.)
- Chop 1 T of butter into little bits and scatter around the top of the apples before placing the top crust.
- Wet the edge of the bottom crust with your moistened fingers (water, duh). Then lay the top crust onto the pie. Press the edges closed, pinch all the way around, then turn the edges under and flute. Cut slits on top.
- Bake at 450 for 30 min, then cover the edges with a metal ring or foil and lower the heat to 325 degrees. Bake another hour. It’s a pie, you can’t overbake it unless you scortch the edges. Go for nice golden brown on top. Pull the pie from the oven when it’s bubbly through the slits and the top crust is thoroughly cooked.
- Once out of the oven, use a teaspoon to drizzle 1-2 tsp of honey over the top crust and smooth it out using the back of the spoon. The hot pie will liquefy the honey and make this job a little easier.
- Let the pie cool for several hours on a wire rack. The filling will settle and the top crust might stay tall. That’s fine. You now have a pocket for ice cream! 😉
Seriously, y’all. We thought this was delish! The interior filling is dark and aromatic without being too sweet. I’ll definitely make again.
Update, 10/30: I’m surprised by how well this pie holds together. Here’s the piece I had for breakfast this morning. Perfect pie shape. Flavors have melded well. Light honey sweetness accents the savory walnuts and tangy cranberries. Definitely will bake another of these for Thanksgiving.