A fruit crisp is the perfect dessert when you want to make something that is both delicious, comforting and not too time consuming. As long as you have a bunch of fruit in your kitchen – and you can usually use fresh or frozen – you can make a crisp. Apples are one fruit that I always have around, no matter what time of year it is. I love them as a snack and I love them for baking. For this Cranberry Apple Crisp, I paired them with sweet-tart fresh cranberries to make a dish that is perfect for a cool fall or winter evening.
The filling for this crisp is made up of fresh apples and whole cranberries. I used fresh cranberries, however frozen cranberries could easily be substituted if you happen to have a bag in your freezer. Since the berries are quite tart, I tossed the fruit in a little bit of sugar to give it a little extra sweetness. The crisp topping is a streusel-like mixture of flour, oatmeal, sugar and butter, spiced with cinnamon and allspice. The spices really bring a lot of flavor to the buttery topping, and they both work well with the apples and cranberries.
Slicing the apples is the most time consuming part of making this dessert, and even that only takes up a couple of minutes. The finished dish is absolutely delicious, especially when it is served while it is still warm from the oven. The fruit filling is tender and flavorful, while the crisp topping adds a great crunchy contrast to the filling beneath it. I enjoy it as-is or when topped with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream. You can also serve it up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if you want to make this comforting dessert a little more indulgent.
Cranberry Apple Crisp
2-2 1/2 lbs apples (approx 4 large apples)
1 1/2 cups whole cranberries, fresh or frozen.
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oatmeal, rolled oats or quick cooking
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan.
Peel and core the apples, the cut them into relatively thin slices (approx 12 or 16 per apple, depending on the size of the apple). Transfer the slices to a medium bowl, add in the cranberries and toss the fruit with 1/4 cup sugar.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oatmeal, sugar, cinnamon, allspice and salt until well combined. Pour in melted butter and vanilla extract then stir, with a spoon or spatula, until all the ingredients are well-blended and the mixture forms big, moist crumbles.
Transfer apple mixture to prepared baking pan and arrange in relatively flat layer. Top evenly with crumble mixture.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until the apples are tender when poked with the tip of a sharp knife.
Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.