Holiday Recipes: Brandied Cranberry Apple Pie and Classic Sage Stuffing

When Unilever asked me to share two of my favorite holiday recipes using I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, knew exactly which treats I’d dish up. One is a recipe which has been passed down for generations, my family’s Classic Sage Stuffing. Trust me, you will never want to eat that nasty stuffing from a box again. The recipe is simple, budget-friendly, and can easily be doubled or halved depending on how large your family gathering may be this year.
I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to divulge my famous Brandied Cranberry Apple Pie recipe. Sweet apples mixed with tart cranberries and a luxurious layering of rich brandy finished with a crumb topping — you will never look at a plain apple pie again. It’s that good.


Brandied Cranberry Apple Pie


1 frozen/refrigerated deep dish pie crust


2 1/4 pounds apples peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (I prefer a mix of Granny Smith and Gala, but use any variety you prefer)
1 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon clove
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 {generous} tablespoons brandy*


2 tablespoons I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spread, butter, or margarine
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
sprinkle of cinnamon

  • Follow pie crust thawing instructions. Or, if you insist, make your own single pie crust.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • For filling: mix sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cranberries in a large bowl. Add in apples and toss to coat. Mix in vanilla and brandy, combining thoroughly.
  • Spoon mixture into pie crust. Gently press down with spoon to pack apples together. Mound slightly in the center.
  • For topping: in a separate bowl, combine  1/2 cup flour, brown sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon (if desired). Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut in the 2 cold tablespoons of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Spoon mixture over pie filling, covering completely up to the edge of the crust. You may gently pat down to even out the crumbs. With a knife, poke a small slit in the center of the topping so steam can escape while baking.
  • I recommend placing pie on a cookie sheet, as the filling sometimes oozes out a bit. Cover the edge of the crust with aluminum foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove foil from crust. Bake pie 35 minutes more.
  • Cool on a wire rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Topping Suggestions:  I am an à la mode  girl, and I usually top a slice of warm pie with ice cream: eggnog is my favorite, but vanilla or butter pecan blend deliciously as well. You can also top with whipped cream.

*You can omit the brandy, but I highly recommend you include it as it adds an amazingly rich layer of flavor. Don’t worry, the alcohol bakes out. You can also substitute Cognac or Bourbon.

Classic Southern Sage Stuffing

Makes 8 to 10 servings, but this recipe can easily be doubled or halved.


8 cups white bread crumbs (crust on)*

1 cup I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spread
2 onions diced
6 stalks of celery chopped
3/4 teaspoon marjoram
3/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons sage
2 eggs
2/3 cup chicken broth


  • *To make the breadcrumbs: Use slightly stale (NOT moldy) white bread. Hamburger buns also work. If bread is very fresh, spread on a cookie sheet and bake in a slow oven (200 degrees) until slightly dry. Cool. Slice bread into roughly 1/4 inch cubes. Do not chop in a food processor as the crumbs will be too small and the stuffing will not firm up. 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs = approx. 3 slices bread. (Can be prepped days ahead.)


  • To make the stuffing: In a large skillet, melt I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spread. Add onions and celery. Saute until translucent, about 10 to 15 minutes.


  • In a large bowl, mix together bread crumbs and seasonings. Pour in all sauteed onions, celery, and remaining I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. Mix.
  • In a separate small bowl, beat the eggs then add chicken broth (make sure broth is not hot). Add to bread crumbs and veggie mix. Combine thoroughly.
  • Spoon stuffing into a greased casserole and bake (uncovered) for 35- 45 minutes at 325 degrees or until top is lightly browned. (In my family, we cook it longer and fight over the crispy edges.) Note: this stuffing is pretty flexible, and it will cook at whatever temperature your turkey or other dishes require.
  • Though I prefer baking the stuffing on its own, you can also stuff this mix into a 5 – 10 pound turkey (double for a 11 – 20 pound bird) and bake according to the directions (on bird).  Stuff the bird just before placing it in the oven and remove all the stuffing when bird is cooked.

Leftovers (on the slight chance that any remain) can be frozen.

Thank you to Good to Know & Unilever Spreads for being a sponsor. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.


6 thoughts on “Holiday Recipes: Brandied Cranberry Apple Pie and Classic Sage Stuffing

  1. Connie

    These recipes sound great! The pie sounds so intriguing; I have never thought to add dried cranberries to apple pie. The stuffing sounds very much like the stuffing I make. What I love about stuffing at Thanksgiving is that you can make it gluten-free simply by using your preferred gluten-free bread cubes. (My mom eats gluten-free so we ask her to make the stuffing:)
    My recent post Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Part 2: Classic Stuffing

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