Kel’s Amazing Apple and Cranberry Pies, Baked in Apples

Drizzle caramel over apple and cranberry pies

Yaaaaay! Fall means apples and I’ve been craving apple pie, which I haven’t made in ages. I wanted to recreate my traditional recipe in order to cut calories and carbs but still taste great.  So I came up with these individual apple and cranberry pies baked in the actual apples, thereby eliminating most of the carb-y crust. I replaced the sugar with a low-calorie brown sugar blend and some diet cranberry juice. And to be really decadent, I used a sugar-free caramel sauce to top each pie. Wow, these apple cranberry pies are incredibly awesome and all of my substitutions worked perfectly.

Green and red apple cranberry pie

I used one granny smith and one gala since both are supposed to be good baking apples, plus I just liked the color combination. The gala apple held up much better than the granny smith, which was a bit soggy but still tasted great. Next time I will use my favorite honey crisps, another good baking apple suitable for this recipe.


Kel's apple cranberry pie in an apple ingredients

  • 2 medium apples
  • ½ cup dried cranberries (I used orange flavor)
  • 1/4 cup diet cranberry juice (I used Ocean Spray)
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons low-calorie brown sugar (I used Truvia)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Nonstick cooking spray (not pictured)
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten (not pictured)
  • Sugar free caramel sauce (I love Smucker’s)


Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the apples in half crosswise and remove the core and seeds.

Slice apples in half and core

Scoop out the flesh of each apple half, leaving a ⅛-inch-thick shell.

Chop apple flesh into small pieces. In a small saucepan combine the chopped apples, dried cranberries, juice, 3 tablespoons water, cornstarch, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and lemon juice.

Mix filling ingredients for pies

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally,  until the apples and cranberries have  softened and the liquid has thickened, approximately 5 minutes.  You will love how great your kitchen smells as this cooks!

Heat apple caranberry pie filling until it thickens

Spoon the filling into the apple shells.

Place pie filling in apples 2

Unroll the refrigerated pie shell and cut four circles that are larger than the cut sides of the apples. Cut each circle into ¼-inch-thick strips (I used 6 strips for each.)

Cut pastry for lattice topping

Place pastry strips in a lattice pattern over each apple.

Top apples with dough strips

Trim off any excess overhang of the pastry strips. Whisk together the egg and remaining 1 tablespoon water. Brush the egg mixture over the pies.


Either discard the egg wash or scramble it to add to your doggie’s dinner. I know my sweet Lillie was thrilled that I included this step!

Scramble leftover egg wash for doggie

Line a baking pan with foil and spray it with the cooking spray. Place the pies on the pan and bake 30 minutes or until the apples are soft and the crust is a nice medium brown.

Kel's apple cranberry pies out of the oven

Let cool for several minutes and top with the caramel sauce if desired (just do this, your taste buds will thank you!)

Kel's Cafe apple and cranberry pie in an apple

Doesn’t this look awesome? These pies reheat great in your microwave – just zap for a minute or so. If you have any leftovers, that is.

Bon appétit!

Eat, drink and be merry!

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