Monday, December 5, 2011

Apple Cranberry Crisp

The Holidays are a bag of mixed emotions for me. On one hand, I work really, really hard to make cakes and desserts and pies for not only my own family but yours too! I deal with customers who only want to make their Holidays perfect, but seem to take out their frustrations on me, the lowly customer service associate who is obviously only there to release their wrath onto because their pie is the most important pie in the world!

But on the other hand, the joyful, warm and happy hand…there are Christmas trees; filled with brightly colored ornaments and that particular scent of douglas fir that is only rivaled by my apple crisp coming out of the oven. There is something about baking Holiday treats for my friends and family that makes me forget about all of the stress at work, and all of the other stresses that make the December issue of any women’s magazine full of stories about “How to Get Through the Holidays Stress Free!” That will never happen, but when I take out my OriginalCinn-amon rolls on Christmas morning, I know that all the work I put into them and every other cookie, pie and cupcake I make for my friends and family will remind me how lucky I am and how much I love life.

This recipe is for my Apple Cranberry Crisp. I have been making it for many years and have put it in different variations on my menus. My boss had a really soft spot for anything with streusel on it! I use Fuji apples because they have enough structure and flavor for cooking. This is by far the best recipe for people who have an aversion to measuring because it can be sweetened, flavored and manipulated to suit your tastes. If you want to soak the cranberries in Grand Marnier before adding them to the recipe, go right ahead, if you want to scrap the cranberries and use golden raisins instead, do it! Also, the telling signs of doneness are simply bubbly filling and a browned crisp topping. Pretty simple, huh?

The crumble or streusel is made by adding melted butter to flour, sugar and spices. The idea is getting butter to completely envelop each grain of flour, sugar and spices to form the crumble, resulting something incredibly crunchy and sweet when it is baked. You may need to add a little more butter if you use nuts or oats, but you can just use your discretion. This recipe can be added to coffee cake, muffins or pie you’d like and you will only use about half.

Apple Cranberry Crisp

6 Fuji Apples, cored and cut into 12 slices

2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour

¼ cup Brown Sugar

¼ cup Granulated Sugar

½ Vanilla Bean, split and scraped

1 ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon

¼ tsp Fresh ground nutmeg

Zest of ¼ Orange

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 cup Dried Cranberries

Preheat oven to 375°

1. Mix together the flour, spices, sugar and then toss them with the apple slices.

2. Add the vanilla extract, cranberries and orange zest.

3. Place the apple mixture into a 9x9 inch glass or ceramic pan.

4. Top the apples with the crumble and bake until bubbly and brown. About 40 minutes.

Crumble Topping Makes enough for 2 Apple Crisps
3 cups AP Flour,

½ cup Sugar

½ cup Brown Sugar

½ cup Nuts or Oats (optional)

½ tsp Cinnamon

¾ tsp Salt

8oz. Butter, Melted

1. Mix all dry ingredients until well combined.

2. Add the melted butter slowly, combining the dry ingredients until small marble sized balls form. Tossing gently with your hands as opposed to mixing with a spoon or spatula will form a crumble.