Intro: Cranberry Apple Crisp
Our default autumn dessert is just about the best thing ever, and dead easy.
Step 1: Assemble Fruit
Fill a 9x13 pan with the following:
1 bag cranberries, rinsed and picked over
apples, chopped, enough to fill the pan
pinch of salt
1 lemon, juiced
spices of your choice (cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, etc.)
Mix fruit and seasonings together and dump into the baking pan.
Step 2: Prepare Topping
I use my KitchenAid mixer for this, but you can use a wooden spoon if you like. It builds strong arm muscles as well as character. Note that all measurements are approximate; I usually work by the highly technical "dump and taste" method.
2 sticks butter
~2/3c brown sugar
teaspoon chocolate mocha cocoa powder (optional)
tablespoon peanut butter (optional)
spices (allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, garam masala, etc)
nuts (almonds, pecans, macadamias, peanuts, coconut, etc)
~1/2c rolled oats
~1 1/2c flour
Cream the butter and sugar, then mix in the flavoring agents and nuts. Stir in the oats, then add flour until the mixture forms a thick, crumbly mass.
Step 3: Add Topping and Bake
Crumble the topping over the fruit, making sure the entire surface si reasonably covered. Don't pack it too thickly- you want air and liquid to be able to bubble up and escape during the cooking process.
Bake at 350F until golden brown on top.
Step 4: Serve
When the topping is golden brown and the fruit juices are bubbling around the edges, remove the pan and let it sit and coagulate for a few minutes.
I think crisps and crumbles are best served warm with vanilla ice cream, but they also do well cold for breakfast the next morning if you can squirrel some away.