Apple- Cranberry Crumb Pie with Whole Wheat Crust

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I once was an elementary school teacher, and I taught my second graders everything they needed to know and more about those folks who settled Plymouth in 1621.  And research tells us that there was no pumpkin pie in sight.  The only pumpkin they might have eaten at the first 3-day Thanksgiving Feast was “stewed pumpkin.”  And I hate to tell you this, but they didn’t have any cranberry sauce either.  Plums and grapes were common, but apples and cranberries were not.  It’s also probably likely that they ate more seafood than turkey, since Plymouth sits on the harbor.  They didn’t have access to sugar, but they did have wheat flour.  Here’s a pie the pilgrims may have liked for their Thanksgiving- an alternative to pumpkin:  Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie with Whole Wheat Crust

The pilgrims couldn’t have made this either, but it’s the kind of pie I prefer to have on my Thanksgiving table.  No pumpkin pie for me (unless it’s slathered in real whipped cream and caramel or something like that).

You know what’s great about cranberries?  They last forever.  Buy bags of fresh cranberries NOW… while they’re in season and you can see them in your produce department and while they’re cheap.  Toss the bag of fresh cranberries in the freezer and they will be just fine.  I’ve had some in the freezer for a couple of years without a problem- still good as can be when you take them out of the freezer.  You’ll be really happy you did that when it’s July and you get a craving to make something with fresh cranberries!

The pie crust recipe I’m giving you is super simple and I made it with my Whole Wheat Flour (cause you know… the pilgrims actually had wheat flour too!)  Just assemble the dough in your food processor and then place it in the fridge to let it firm up a bit while you make the super simple filling:  cranberries mixed with maple syrup, sugar and spices and then mixed with the apples too.

Roll out the crust bigger than your pie plate.  And now for my little tutorial on how to move the pie crust from the counter to the pie plate without tearing the whole thing apart.  Just fold it.

Doesn’t it look easy?  It totally works!

Scrape your fruit filling into the pie crust.

Sprinkle your crumble mixture on top.

And bake it until that crust browns nicely, the crumble is golden, and the juices are perfectly oozing.

Yeah, this is SO much better than pumpkin pie.  Would you agree?

And so it is that over the years, some folks somewhere decided our Pumpkin Pie Thanksgiving Fate, along with those marshmallowed- sweet potatoes and green bean casserole.  Thanksgiving wasn’t even a holiday at all until Lincoln came along and declared that it should be.  Those are all the fun facts I’ll throw at you right now- letting your re-live your 2nd grade education, which you’ve most likely forgotten.  But please don’t forget my pie.  It’s a keeper.

Apple- Cranberry Crumb Pie with Whole Wheat Crust

Yield: One 9-inch pie

Prep Time: 40 min + chill time

Cook Time: 45 min


1 1/4 cups Gold Medal® whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
4 to 5 tablespoons ice cold water

1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons Gold Medal® All-Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon salted butter
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
3 cups peeled/cored/sliced MacIntosh apples

1 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup oats
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened slightly and cut into pieces


1. Prepare the crust: In a food processor, combine the flour and salt and pulse a few times. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture had turned into crumbs the size of peas. Drizzle in the water (4 tablespoons) and continue to pulse until the dough comes together. Add the 5th tablespoon of water, if needed. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball, then flatten slightly. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling: In a large pot, Stir together the syrup, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, orange zest and butter over low heat. Let this mixture warm up for about 2 minutes, then add the cranberries. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat. Stir in the apples and let cool.

3. Assemble the pie: On the floured surface, roll out the dough into a large circle- an inch or so bigger than your pie plate. Fold the dough in half, then in half again to make a fourth. Transfer it to your pie plate and gently unfold. Trim the excess dough off of the edges, then pinch the dough decoratively around the edge of the pie plate. Pour the apple-cranberry mixture into your pie shell.

4. Prepare the topping: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats and cinnamon. Add the butter and use a pastry cutter to incorporate it into the dry mixture. Alternately, you can use two knives (or your clean fingers!) It should be crumbly. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit filling.

5. Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven. Place a cookie sheet lined with foil on the rack underneath to catch any escape juices. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until pie is bubbling and the crust is light brown. Remove the pie to a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.


*This pie made be made one day ahead.
*This pie may certainly be made with another crust recipe- use your favorite!


Disclosure:  I’m working with Gold Medal Flour to create seasonal recipes for the next few months.  This is one of those goodies.  All opinions shared are my own.

Other apple- cranberry creations from some of your favorite food blogs:
Apple- Cranberry Crisp by Two Peas and Their Pod (gluten free)
Apple- Cranberry Caramel Tarts by The Craving Chronicles
Apple- Cranberry Pie with Honey- Bourbon Caramel by Sassy Radish 
Gluten-Free Apple Cake with Cranberries by Gluten Free Goddess 
Skinny Apple- Cranberry Cookies by Simple Nourished Living 

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Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

Meet The Author: Lori Lange

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  • Sam @ PancakeWarriors wrote:

    How festive! The crust looks so flaky and the crumble top is seriously my favorite. Cranberries are so pretty (thst juice that leaked out is the prettiest color). Thanks for sharing other recipes as well that caramel sounds intense!

  • Carlas Confections wrote:

    That looks beautiful! I love that pie pan, it is so pretty.

  • Linda | The Urban Mrs wrote:

    Yes, this looks compeltely better than pumpkin pie 🙂 This looks absolutely gorgeous and I love how you use whole wheat crust for this. I’m so into pie crust.

  • Living The Sweet Life wrote:

    Mmmm… first, what a great pie!! I love the idea of apples and cranberries together. Also, thanks for the tips – – I didn’t know cranberries lasted that long frozen and the pie crust idea … genius!

  • Rachel wrote:

    Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie thanks great for Thanksgiving! dinner

  • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers wrote:

    Looks delicious! Now you made the pie crust looks so simple. I’m going to try to make one this weekend!

  • Ashley – Baker by Nature wrote:

    My mom use to be an elementary school teacher, too! In other news: this pie looks fabulous!!!

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks wrote:

    This is a gorgeous pie, Lori! And love the factoids you shared in the opening. I always forget that you were a teacher!

  • Joanne wrote:

    Well, whether the pilgrims had this or not, one thing is clear – I WANT IT. Looks amazing!

  • Joanie @ Zagleft wrote:

    Such a unique idea for a pie! Great advice to buy bags of cranberries early, I didn’t realize they kept long.

  • Beau @ SomethingEdible wrote:

    I know you’re peddling Gold Medal with this post and all, but have you ever tried baking a pie crust using whole white wheat flour? There’s a HUGE difference in how baked goods turn out using red vs. white wheat, and some of the very best I’ve ever baked with is grown and milled locally just down the road from where I live. Good looking pie, btw; can’t turn down anything with whole cranberries!

  • Heather @ Heather’s Dish wrote:

    i happen to love traditional thanksgiving food, but this pie sounds aaaaaaaaaaaaamazing! plus my hubby will love it since he’s a pumpkin pie hater 🙂

  • Crystal @ Crystal’s Cozy Kitchen wrote:

    Looks delicious. I’ve wondered about ‘traditional’ Thanksgiving food being correct, but I happen to love turkey so I’m not complaining ;).

    This looks amazing and since I just got 24 lbs of cranberries last Saturday… I’m looking for ways to use them to make delicious things (and I’m sure freezing some will happen!)

  • Lauren at Keep It Sweet wrote:

    It is pretty interesting that our traditional thanksgiving foods have nothing to do with what the pilgrim’s ate… I’m ok with that, though, because I love most of the sides and all the desserts:-) This pie sounds fabulous! I’m actually making an apple cranberry crisp for Thanksgiving this year.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar wrote:

    This is such a perfect pie for Thanksgiving! And totally unique – love!

  • Kathryn wrote:

    Such a delicious sounding pie! I love that it’s not too sweet – I can imagine it’s perfect after such a big meal.