Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving Cranberry Apple Crisp

Thanksgiving just isn't complete without dessert.

Go ahead, disagree with me. I dare you.

Over the weekend, a few of my close friends hosted a mock T-Day dinner. It was like a dress rehearsal for the big day (that I can't believe is right around the corner!). Turkey was baked. Mashed potatoes were... well, mashed (and made with Tofu Sour Cream, accidentally purchased by one of the guys on a frenzied last minute Whole Foods run—and it tasted great).

Stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole, and sweet potatoes found their way onto the table, and from there, onto our T-Day themed plates. It was a literal smorgasbord.

It was quite the feast, held before we all abscond for various hometowns across the country. I'm off to Des Moines on Sunday. My hubby has been in NYC, and will meet me there, as will my parents. Meanwhile, the Adorable Monster is off to Mutt Maniacs, from where he will emerge a week later, happy, smelly, and gloriously tired.

Finally, as the meal ended, dessert was placed on the table. It had been my responsibility, and I'd decided against making pie (I'll save that stressful experience for next week, when my mother will be at my side).

Instead, I decided to concoct a seasonal Cranberry Apple Crisp.

I settled on it for three reasons. 1) Everybody loves a great fruit crisp, 2) I didn't have to make pie crust, and 3) there was a great Barefoot Contessa recipe that I could adapt (and had been wanting to try out).

Instead of her use of peaches and raspberries (which would taste great, no doubt), I chose to use cranberries and apples, both very much in season and populating the shelves at all the grocery stores across the country. Granny Smith apples are my go to for pie—their texture and tartness hold up great.

The resulting crisp was delicious—tart, sweet, rich and buttery, and yes, crispy.

This is the perfect holiday dessert. It's stress-free and fool-proof, too. I promise.

I should also mention here that the original The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook is one of my favorite in the whole wide world, and one of the only ones I still consult on a regular basis with the advent of the iPad and the internet. Alright, there's my shameless plug!

Cranberry Apple Crisp
Adapted from 'The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook'
Serves 10 people
Baking time: about one hour
Vegetarian (and easy to veganize)
Print Recipe

  • 4 to 5 pounds apples (about 10 to 12 apples), peeled, cored, and sliced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
  • 1/2 pound cold unsalted butter, diced

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter the inside of a 10 x 15 x 2 1/2 inch baking dish.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sliced apples, the cranberries, the lemon zest, the lemon juice, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and about 2 tablespoons flour. Toss well. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. If there is a lot of liquid, add 1 more tablespoon of flour.
  4. Pour the apple cranberry mixture into the baking dish and gently smooth the top.
  5. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, and the cold, diced butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is pea sized and the mixture is crumbly. 
  6. Sprinkle evenly on top of the apples and cranberries. 
  7. Bake for 1 hour, until the top is browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. 
  8. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator and reheat in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until warm.

Source for Ingredients
  • organic Granny Smith apples, frozen cranberries, organic lemons, and organic light brown sugar from Whole Foods
  • organic granulated sugar, quick-cooking oatmeal, and organic butter from Trader Joe's

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