A delicious crisp with a dollop of homemade whipped cream or ice cream is the ultimate comfort food on those chilly winter nights. This deliciously sweet-tart dessert fills the house with the aroma of cranberry, warm apples, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. For the apples, Granny Smith is probably your most reliably tart and firm baking apple but don’t hesitate to use a few Macintosh or tart local varieties that are found in your area. Always taste the fruit! If your apples are pretty sweet then reduce the sugar slightly. If you’re so inclined, it’s fine to substitute quick oats for good ol’ old-fashioned but DO NOT use instant oats since those can get quite rubbery!
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1/2 cup (2-1/2 ounces) unbleached AP Flour
1/2 cup (1-1/2 ounces) Old-Fashioned oats (not instant!)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) light brown sugar, packed firmly
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup (2 ounces) pecans, chopped and toasted (optional)
1-1/2 pounds firm, tart baking apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 bag (12 ounces) cranberries, picked through, rinsed and patted dry.
3/4 cup (6 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch or tapioca flour, or 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour (for thickener)
2 teaspoons lemon juice, squeezed fresh
1/4 additional teaspoon cinnamon (for crumble)
Fresh, home-whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position an oven rack in the center. Place the flour, oats, brown
sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low speed until blended evenly, about 10
seconds. Add the cold butter pieces and mix on low for 3 to 4 minutes. At first the mixture will look dry, but will soon
begin to look like wet sand and then will form small clumps the size of peas. If using, add nuts during the last 30 seconds to
mix briefly and to evenly disperse them.
2. In a large, preferably glass or porcelain bowl, use the spatula to toss together the apple slices, cranberries, brown sugar, lemon juice,
cornstarch and remaining cinnamon until all the fruit is coated evenly. Scrape into a 6-cup baking dish and spread in
an even layer. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit mixture evenly.
3. Place a baking sheet or a piece of foil under the crisp to catch any juices that may bubble over while baking. Bake for
45 to 55 minutes or until topping is nicely browned and the fruit is bubbling and soft (the tip of a paring
knife should easily slide in and out of the apple slices). Spoon the warm crisp into bowls and place a scoop
of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream next to each serving.