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Amazing No-Butter Apple Cranberry Pie

  • 50 m
  • 2 h 5 m
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“The filling for this apple pie is on the tart side—experiment with less lemon juice or sweeter apples for a balance that's right for you. Most pie crusts use butter, shortening or lard to get a flaky texture—this one uses heart-healthy canola oil. We found that when we simply substitute oil for butter the texture suffers. The trick is to freeze the oil and a bit of flour together before incorporating it into the dough. The result is a flaky crust without all the saturated fat.”


    • Crust
    • ¼ cup canola oil
    • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, divided
    • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 4-5 tablespoons low-fat milk
    • ⅓ cup “quick” or regular rolled oats
    • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
    • ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1½ tablespoons canola oil
    • ½ tablespoon water
    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 2 pounds tart apples, such as Cortland or Granny Smith, peeled, cored and cut into chunks (about 6 cups)
    • 1 cup dried cranberries
    • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon


  • 1 To prepare crust: Stir oil and ¼ cup flour in a small bowl until smooth; cover and chill in the freezer until partially frozen, about 40 minutes.
  • 2 Whisk the remaining 1 cup flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the chilled oil-flour paste into the dry ingredients until crumbly. Stir in milk a tablespoon at a time just until a soft dough forms. Knead on a lightly floured surface 7 or 8 times. Press into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  • 3 Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray.
  • 4 to prepare topping: Work together oats, flour and brown sugar in a small bowl with a fork or your fingertips until there are no large lumps. Drizzle oil and water over the top and work together until the mixture forms small crumbs.
  • 5 To prepare filling & assemble pie: Combine sugar and flour in a small bowl. Toss apples and cranberries with lemon zest and juice in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the apples and toss well.
  • 6 Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to the prepared pie pan. Fold the edges under and crimp with a fork. Place the pan on a baking sheet. Mound the filling into the crust and cover with the topping.
  • 7 Bake until the fruit is bubbling at the edges and is easily pierced with a skewer in the center, 55 to 70 minutes. Check toward the end of the baking time; if the crust or topping is becoming too dark, cover the pie loosely with foil.
  • Equipment: 9-inch pie pan
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