Lately I’ve been thinking about recreating the regional food from the part of the Midwest where I grew up–goetta, Cincinnati chili, Jello salad–and, of course, the desserts from my extended family and community. In my opinion, which you all seem to trust, my mom makes the best apple crisp in the whole state of Ohio. (And the best spritz!*) In our home, we favor the oatmeal crumble part of the apple crisp, and she and I occasionally doubled that part of the recipe because our family tends to wander into the kitchen to steal some of the topping before, during, and after serving, trying not to making the nibbling too obvious.
I had some leftover frozen cranberries from the farmers’ market from autumn, so I decided to make a cranberry-apple crisp with Bon Appetit‘s fruit compote and my slightly adapted version of my mom’s oatmeal crumble. Washington apples and cranberries make a nice bridge from my Ohio roots to my relatively new life in the Pacific Northwest. The cinnamon is my personal addition to the dish.
What I like about using fresh/frozen cranberries is that the tartness works so well with the sweetness of the oatmeal layer. There’s a little extra work since you have to cook the cranberries and apples together first (vs. using raw apples), but the gooey filling really complements the tender texture of the oatmeal topping. This is a great dish for a chilly autumn night–or spring, if you freeze those cranberries!
Fresh Cranberry-Apple Crisp
Adapted from “Cranberry-Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Streusel Topping Recipe” from Bon Apetit, via Epicurious
- 18 oz / ~4 cups (510 g) fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1.25 lbs (565 g) Fuji, Rainier, or Golden Delicious apples (~2-3 apples), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3/4 cups (150 g) sugar
- 2 tablespoons water (or apple juice/cider)
- 1.5 cups (300 g) brown sugar
- 1.5 cups (135 g) rolled oats
- 1.5 cups (195 g) all-purpose flour
- 1.5 sticks / 12.5 TBSP (180 g) butter, melted
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 13x9x2-in glass or metal baking dish
- large heavy pot
- heat-safe bowl
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Grease baking dish.
- Combine cranberries, apples, sugar, and water in large, heavy pot. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring often. Boil until the cranberries are tender and juices thicken slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer filling to prepared dish.
- Prepare the topping: combine topping ingredients in bowl and stir to incorporate. Make sure there are no dry parts!
- Scoop oatmeal topping evenly on top of filling.
- Bake for ~40 minutes, until the topping is golden and the filling is bubbling. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Great with vanilla ice cream.
*Seriously, we’re mainly working out of standard cookbooks, but I’ve never had an apple crisp–except for mine. Plus, I nailed the spritz this Christmas. I am the best Midwestern transplant.