An easy-to-make cranberry apple crisp with a brown sugar and oatmeal topping. Perfect for fall!
And now it really is fall! This morning Feynman and I headed out for a walk and the air was crisp, cool and so fall-like I wanted to go buy school supplies. I know I’ve been writing about it going on three weeks now, but today – today! – the season feels real. The weather has finally caught up with my autumn-loving heart.
The timing is perfect because today it’s all about a cranberry apple crisp. We’re knocking on the door of apple season right now and in the fall line-up of must-make recipes, apples top the list of ingredients. The scent of baked apples is hard to resist this time of year.
Cranberry Apple Crisp
When I sat down to write this post I didn’t expect fuzzy memories to float up to the surface, but that’s how things work sometimes. You think it’s just about fall dessert and then suddenly it’s so much more. It’s a portal back to a time when my family went apple picking. I see those memories like an old home movie projected onto a screen without sound and the film is all choppy. I can’t help but wonder if it’s the memory of home movie nights with my family cozied up in our living room watching ourselves pick apples. Maybe that’s what I remember and not the actual day we plucked apples from the tree. I couldn’t have been more than five years old, and given how it’s all stored in mind I’m guessing it was our family home movie nights that made those memories stick.
And I’m glad I have those memories. I don’t visit pick-your-own-fruit farms these days because it’s sort of like shopping at Costco – you go with the intent to buy in bulk. My single-self can only handle so much apple sauce, apple butter, or other apple-preserving projects so for this recipe I did my apple picking at the grocery store because I only needed two granny smiths.
Those two apples turned into this cranberry apple crisp, the dessert of choice for people who hate making pies. You get all the feel-good aroma and flavor of an apple pie, but there’s no fussy pie crust involved and the whole thing comes together with hardly any effort. Plus, you can make it ahead and pop it in the oven while dinner is served.
The topping is a simple oatmeal, brown sugar, butter situation that bakes up with the apples and some frozen cranberries tossed in lemon juice and honey. Fresh cranberries aren’t available right now, but frozen ones are easy to find. They add a bright tartness and a little pop of color when you break through the crust. The crisp serves four as is, but add scoops of vanilla ice cream and it stretches to serve six.
Happy fall, everyone.
For the Filling
- Juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 granny smith apples, cubed
- 1 cup frozen cranberries
For the Topping
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Make the filling: Combine the lemon juice, honey, and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl. Add the fruit and toss it all together.
- Make the topping: In a separate bowl, mix the oats, flour, and sugar together. Add the butter and cut it into the dry ingredients.
- Pour the fruit into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Spread the oatmeal topping over the top in an even layer. Place the baking dish on a baking sheet lined with foil (this will protect your oven in case the juices bubble over). Bake the crisp for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden and the filling is bubbling hot.
- Calories: 469
- Fat: 18.2g
- Carbohydrates: 71.7g
- Fiber: 7.8g
- Protein: 8.8g