Apple-Cranberry Crisp with Oatmeal Topping

Want a beautiful, delicious autumnal desert everyone will love? This apple and cranberry crisp is at once simple to make and noteworthy in its tart sweetness which is perfectly balanced when served topped with a nice dollop of vanilla ice cream.  Whether you serve this for Thanksgiving, Christmas or for just for one of your shopping days, this is one seasonal recipe you’ll come back to again and again.


1/2 cup (2-1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1-1/2 ounces) old-fashioned oats (not instant)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces) cold, unsalted butter, chopped into 1/2 -inch pieces
1/2 cup (2 ounces) pecans, toasted and chopped (optional)
1-1/2 pounds firm, tart baking apples (preferably Granny Smith), peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 bag (12 ounces) cranberries, picked through, rinsed and patted dry
1 tablespoon cornstarch or tapioca flour, or 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
High-quality vanilla ice cream (for serving)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and position a rack in the center of the oven. Combine all-purpose flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low speed until blended evenly, about 10 seconds. Add cold butter segments and mix on low for three to four minutes. At first the mixture will look dry, but it will begin to look like wet sand, and finally will form small clumps the size of peas.   If using, add the nuts and mix briefly to evenly disperse them.
  2. In a large bowl, use the spatula to toss together the apples, cranberries, brown sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch (or tapioca flour) and cinnamon until all the fruit is coated evenly. Scrape into a six-cup baking dish and spread in an even layer.  Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit mixture.
  3. Place a baking sheet or a piece of foil under the crisp to catch any juices that may bubble over. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the 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).  Let sit for five minutes.  Then, spoon the warm crisp into bowls, top with a scoop of ice cream and serve.

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