Cranberries and apples a wonderful combination. Sweet crisp apples contrast well with much tarter cranberries in all kinds of recipes, from pies to sauces. This Gluten Free Oatmeal Pecan Apple Cranberry Crisp is a simple dessert that showcases the two fruits in a delicious way, with a nutty oatmeal and pecan topping that provides a perfect contrast for the tender fruit below.
This crisp is homey and perfect for serving up on a cold fall or winter evening. The filling is sweet-tart and has a lovely pink hue, as the apple slices soak up a bit of the juices from the berries as the crisp bakes. The topping is crisp, crumbly and nutty, a delicious contrast for the tender fruit beneath it. The fruit is, of course, a combination of apples and cranberries. Apple should be peeled and sliced into 12-16 pieces before being added to the filling mixture to ensure that they are not too large to cook evenly while the dessert is baking. I like sweet-tart apples, not extremely tart Granny Smiths, in this recipe, but you can use any apple that you like to bake with.
The topping itself is extremely easy to put together. It is a combination of oatmeal, almond meal (also known as almond flour), spices and brown sugar, along with a generous handful of chopped pecans for texture. Even though it seems like there is more almond in the mix than pecans, the buttery flavor of the pecans really comes through in the finished dish, much moreso than the flavor of the almond meal. I love how pecans work with the oatmeal, apples and cranberries. That said, if you are a big almond-lover, you can replace the chopped pecans with chopped almonds, too.
I prefer to use quick cooking oatmeal in this recipe. Quick cooking oatmeal is basically rolled oats that have been coarsely chopped into smaller pieces. The smaller pieces produce a more uniform topping in this recipe and look a bit better than regular rolled oats do. Oatmeal is naturally gluten free, but if you need to be sure this crisp is completely free of gluten, look for oatmeal that is labeled “gluten free” on the packaging just to ensure that it was not processed in a facility with wheat flour.
Gluten Free Oatmeal Pecan Apple Cranberry Crisp
1 cup gluten free quick cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup almond meal
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans.
4 large apples (approx 2 lbs), peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cups whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350F. Take out an 8×8 or 9×9-inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together oatmeal, almond meal, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and brown sugar. Pour in melted butter and stir with a form until mixture comes together and resembles wet sand. Stir in pecan pieces.
In a large bowl, combine the sliced apples (aim to get 12-16 per large apple) and cranberries with cornstarch and sugar, then toss to combine. Transfer fruit mixture to the baking pan and spread into an even layer.
Top fruit evenly with the crumble mixture.
Bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until the fruit is tender and filling is bubbling. IF the top is browning too quickly, cover loosely with a piece of aluminum foil.
Allow to cool before serving, but can be served warm or at room temperature.