Every time the temperature drops outside the idea of apple pie seems to always creep into my mind. Making a really good pie crust certainly has some complicated obstacles, so an apple crisp is an equally exciting easier option. And even better … both the filling and crumb topping can pre-made and stored in the refrigerator until ready to be used.
European style butter is extremely successful for baking because of its higher fat content and less water. As a result, you can enjoy a richer flavor and lighter texture in the crumb of your the apple crisp .
Honeycrisp apples can be hard to find, but I constantly praise them for baking apple crisp due to their high juice content, cider-like sweet flavor, and crisp texture. Instead of turning to mush like many other apple varieties, they are quite sturdy and retain their shape quite nicely. And while many recipes mix in grannysmith apples for a tart edge, I prefer using cranberries to provide that balance.
Ingredientsfor cranberry apple crisp
- 3 Honeycrisp apples
- 1 tablespoon + 1/4 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon, divided
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup
- juice of 1 lemon (optional)
- 3/4 cup halved cranberries
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided 1/8tsp + 1/8 tsp
- 4 ounces European style butter, softened at room temperature (not melted)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Peel and core apples. Cut lengthwise into quarter sections. Cut each section lengthwise into thirds to create 12 sections per apple. Slice each section crosswise into quarters and assemble in a medium bowl. Cut cranberries in half lengthwise.
- Toss apples and cranberries, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Feel free to squeeze in a little lemon juice to prevent oxidation. It also lifts the flavor a bit. Set aside.
- Using a pastry cutter, cream butter until lighter in color and texture. Gradually incorporate remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, vanilla, then brown sugar and cream together until consistency is even and resembles wet sand.
- Work in the flour, oats, remaining 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon of salt into mixture until dry ingredients are evenly moistened and semi-lumpy with coarse crumbs. It helps to use your hands to break up any large lumps.
- Fill ramekins or 9 x 9 inch square pan with apples, making sure to include the juices extracted from the apple mixture sitting at the bottom. Sprinkle crumbs evenly until apples and cranberries are almost fully concealed, making sure not to stir crumbs into the apples.
- If using 9×9 pan, bake 1 hour in a 350 degree oven. If using ramekins you can bake for 30 minutes in a toaster oven.
Yield: 10 servings