Cranberry apple crostata is so easy to make and so unexpectedly lovely to experience it may end up displacing the more familiar dessert offerings at your Thanksgiving table.
This cranberry apple crostata is rustic and charming for oh so many reasons. It’s essentially a warmly spiced apple pie filling punctuated with tartness that’s nestled in a profoundly crisp and flaky pastry and topped with buttery brown sugar streusel.
As you glance at the recipe you’ll be wondering, is it really that easy? At first whiff of the spices, you’ll tumble head over heels in love. And upon your initial taste, you just may cry. Swear. We can’t stop craving it.–Angie Zoobkoff
Our testers loved the festive combination of apples and cranberry in this easy crostata recipe and were amazed by the “shatteringly crisp crust” and sweet streusel topping.
Notes on Ingredients
- Apples–You can use any type of apples here, or even a combination of varieties. If you prefer a less-sweet dessert, use a tart apple, like Granny Smith. Be sure to choose firm apples, not mushy ones, so that they’ll hold their shape during baking.
- Cranberries–You can use frozen cranberries here if that’s what you have available to you. Thaw them at room temperature before using.
How to Make This Recipe
- Make the slurry. Melt the coconut oil or butter in a saucepan. While it’s melting, whisk the apple cider and cornstarch together. Add the slurry to the melted butter and cook, whisking, until it thickens.
- Make the cranberry apple filling. Mix in the sugar and spices, followed by the sliced apples and cranberries. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and the cranberries begin to pop. Cool completely.
- Make the crostata dough. Use a stand mixer to combine the flour, salt, and butter, then add the water and vinegar, and mix until the dough comes together. Gather the dough into a ball, shape into a disc, and chill.
- Heat the oven. Roll the dough out on a sheet of parchment paper.
- Assemble the crostata. Pile the cranberry apple filling onto the center of the dough and fold up the edges around the filling.
- Make the streusel topping. Mix the brown sugar, oats, flour, butter, and salt, then gently stir in the almonds.
- Bake the crostata. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the fruit filling, then brush the crust with beaten egg. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
Crostata is the Italian term for a simple rustic freeform tart. They are sometimes referred to as galettes. They’re generally made with a fruit filling, like rhubarb-ginger crostata or pear galette, but they can be made with vegetables as well, like this caramelized onion and Gruyère galette.
Yes. The crostata can be halved easily. Simply divide all the ingredients in half. The baking time won’t change.
For this sweet cranberry and apple crostata, we recommend serving it with vanilla ice cream or cinnamon gelato, or with a dollop of whipped cream on top.
- If you find that the crust of your crostata isn’t browning, move it to the bottom rack of your oven for the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking.
- This is best served on the day it is made, as the crust can become soggy when it sits for a while. To get ahead, the crostata dough can be made and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. The streusel topping can be made 1 day in advance.
More great crostata recipes
☞ If you make this recipe, or anydish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David
Cranberry Apple Crostata
For the filling
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 medium (2 1/2 lbs) apples, any variety peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
For the crostata dough
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 sticks cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
- 6 tablespoons ice water
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
For the streusel
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 stick unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 large egg
- Ice cream for serving (optional)
Make the filling
- In a large heavy pot over moderate heat, melt the butter or coconut oil.
- While the butter or coconut oil melts, whisk the apple cider and cornstarch together in a bowl to make a slurry.
- Add the slurry to the pot and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and vanilla to the pot and stir to combine.
- Add the apples and cranberries and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and the cranberries soften and maybe even begin to pop, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
Make the crostata dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, salt, and cold butter and mix just until pea-size pieces of butter remain. Add the cold water and vinegar and mix on low speed until the liquid is fully combined. This should only take a few seconds.
- Gather the dough into a ball and flatten it slightly into a disc. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before rolling out.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on a work surface and lightly flour it. Place the dough on the floured parchment and roll it out into a large circle between 1/8 and 1/4 inch (3 to 6 mm) thick. The dough should be up to 18 inches in diameter. (Yes, this makes a ginormous crostata!)
- Carefully transfer the dough and the parchment paper to a rimmed baking sheet. Check to make certain there are no cracks in the dough where the filling could leak out or the crostata could turn soggy. If there are cracks, gently press or massage them until the seam disappears.
- Spoon the cooled cranberry apple filling onto the center of the dough. Gently fold the edges of the dough over the filling, letting the dough fall into pleats as you work. Refrigerate the assembled crostata for a few minutes while you make the streusel.
Make the streusel
- In a large bowl using a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingertips, mix the brown sugar, oats, flour, butter, and salt until combined but large chunks of butter still remain. Add the sliced almonds and mix briefly to incorporate, taking care not to crumble the almonds.
- In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg.
Assemble the crostata
- Sprinkle the streusel over the crostata filling. Lightly brush the exposed dough with the beaten egg. Bake the crostata until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling in the center, 40 to 50 minutes.
- Let cool at least 15 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving, if desired with a scoop (or maybe a couple scoops) of ice cream.
- Get ahead–The crostata dough can be made and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance or frozen for up to 3 months in advance. The streusel topping can be made up to 1 day ahead.
- Use frozen cranberries–If substituting frozen cranberries, thaw at room temperature before using.
- Browning–If the crust isn’t browning, move the tart to the bottom oven rack for the final 5 to 10 minutes of baking.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Who can resist flaky pastry enclosing sweet, spicy apple filling? Add a scattering of tart cranberries and a brown sugar streusel and I was sold.
I made a half recipe for our family of 3 and it made 8 servings. I’m not totally ashamed to say that I ate 5 of those servings myself. Well, I am a little ashamed, but I spread the eating out over a couple of days, so it wasn’t that bad, right?
Even a half recipe made an apple cranberry crostata that easily filled most of the middle of a half sheet pan. I was awed at the potential size of crostata that a full recipe would make.
I used Gala apples. I spread the filling on a dinner plate and put it in the fridge to cool while I made the pastry. The dough was very easy to work with. I had to use an extra tablespoon of water to get the dough to come together.
After baking for 40 minutes, the crostata was still pale and the filling wasn’t bubbling. After 10 more minutes, the apples were soft and the filling was bubbling but the bottom of the crostata was still pale. I moved the crostata to the bottom oven rack for 5 minutes, which lightly browned the bottom crust, for a total of 55 minutes baking.
This is a fabulous apple crostata recipe. I’m not the greatest at rolling out a crust and getting it to fit into a pie pan evenly and then crimping it to look the way that I want it to look.
That’s why I’m a big fan of crostatas. They are very forgiving. You roll them out to any shape that works for the thickness you are aiming for, put on the filling, and then fold the perimeter of the pastry dough up and pleat it. You end up with a very rustic, and in my opinion, charming pastry.
This may well be the crispiest crust I have ever made. The finished product has a shatteringly crisp crust. Even the crust underneath the filling had layer upon layer of crispness. And the outer edges were divine.
I used Pink Lady apples. The apples were nicely tender after 8 minutes. At that time, a few of the cranberries had softened and popped, but just a few. Most remained intact.
I had made my streusel earlier in the day so I did not need to refrigerate the assembled crostata while making the topping. As soon as I piled my cooled filling onto the crust and folded the edges up, I sprinkled on the streusel and put it immediately into the oven. Perhaps that is why the bottom of my crostata was so crisp and flaky. It did not sit and absorb the filling and its juices.
This is a recipe that can be divided in half easily, which is what I did. Half a recipe very generously fed 4 people. I did have so much streusel that my filling was completely overflowing with the topping, but that can’t be a bad thing, can it?
We ate this just like it was, without any ice cream, which was how we wanted to eat it. I did not want anything to take away from the crispy streusel and that shatteringly crisp crust. I think that I have found my go-to pie crust recipe. Can’t wait to try it with all sorts of pies.
It’s Christmas in the shape of a pie, foodie friends! The minute you add the spices and fruits, you’ll get a heady whiff of Christmas and you’ll already be in love with this pie.
I relied on 3 Macintosh apples and 3 Golden Delicious apples and 12 ounces cranberries. I chilled the crust for 1 hour and then rolled it to 15 inches in diameter. My crostata was done in 45 minutes although it did leak a little.
It’s the ideal festive dish! And the contrast of colors was stunning. Happy holidays, friends!
I have an apple tree and can a lot. I slice them and can in a light syrup. Do you think I can drain and dry the slices and use in the recipe? I think I’ll have to adjust the sugar, too.
MaryAlice, I think if, as you suggest, you drain and pat them quite dry, you should be fine. Fresh apples exude a lot during baking, as you know, so I doubt your canned ones would throw off more liquid than fresh. Good luck and happy, happy Thanksgiving!