I find that I’m trying to make excuses to turn on the oven these days. I may as well bake something while trying to heat the apartment.
That, and baking stuff always smells good and wins me brownie points with J. Luckily, he’s happy with a bowl of warm apple crisp.
I don’t know if apple crisp even counts as baking. The only reason I can pull it off is because it’s more like cooking than baking. Measurements don’t have to be precise, you can add other ingredients and it won’t destroy everything. It’s brilliant, and satisfying. It’s also a great way to use up all of the apples starting to pile up on my counter.
This time around, I used a mix of Cortland and Granny Smith apples. Granny Smith are my very favourite kind of apple for snacking on.
I also decided to throw in a handful of dried cranberries. These were a really great addition, because they are sweet and tart and take on the spiced apple juices really well.
This recipe is the result of years of trial and error with different recipes, different techniques, different spices. I think it has a lot to do with how much liquid you add to the cooking container. Previous recipes had me adding way too much water to the bottom, leaving a mushy mess of apple. I prefer the apple to be soft, but still able to keep its shape until it reaches my mouth.
I think I also prefer making these in their own individual ramekins, rather than in one big dish. It cooks faster, and looks cute.
Recipe after the jump!
Cranberry Apple Crisp
Cobbled together from a few recipes, and years of making apple crisps with varying success.
- 1/3 (heaping) cup all-purpose flour
- 1/8 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed light-brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
- 1.5 pounds apples, peeled, halved, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch slices (I read that Cortland are the best, but I used a mix of Cortland and Granny Smith)
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I use a blend of spices here)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix together flour, 1/8 cup of brown sugar and salt in a large bowl.
- Cut butter into the flour mixture with a fork, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add oats, and use your hands to toss and squeeze mixture to form some clumps. Put in the fridge while you prepare the rest.
- In another large bowl, toss apples and cranberries with lemon juice, maple syrup, rum (if using) cinnamon, and remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar.
- Divide apple mixture into single portion ramekins and sprinkle with topping mixture.
- Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake 30 to 40 minutes. How long you bake it will determine how soft the apples are – either firm enough to keep their shape, or soft like applesauce. The size of your baking dish will also affect the baking time – larger dishes will take longer, smaller ones will take less time.
- Put the broiler on for 2-3 minutes at the end, just to lightly toast the oat mixture. (optional)
- Pull out of the oven and allow to cool before serving – about 10 minutes.