Saturday, September 14, 2013

Apple-Cranberry-Maple Syrup Crisp

Apple crisp ranks high for dessert in this apartment. Including fruit and oats it's practically healthy, but the simplicity of preparation is king. This recipe caught my eye since it also calls for cranberries and crystallized ginger. Crystallized ginger, I'm realizing more and more is a snack food by itself. Incorporating that texture, sweetness and flavor in apple crisp is going to rock.

Apple-Cranberry-Maple Syrup Crisp
adapted from Cooking Club of America
click to print

1 1/4 c old-fashioned oats
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c unsalted butter, chilled, cut up
1/2 c chopped pecans, toasted*

1/3 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 lb. apples (such as Honeycrisp, Braeburn or Granny Smith), peeled, thinly sliced (7 1/2 cups)
2/3 c pure maple syrup
2 tbsp minced crystallized ginger
1 c cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/3 c packed dark brown sugar

Heat oven to 375°F. Coat 11x7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray.

Pulse all of the crisp ingredients, except butter and pecans, in food processor until combined.

Add butter; pulse until moist crumbs form with some pea-size pieces.

Because I'm using this little guy, I added the flour and butter in segments because I wasn't sure how much I could jam into the bowl at once. As it was, not all of the flour would fit, so I stirred it with the nuts.

Place in medium bowl; stir in nuts.

Whisk 1/3 cup flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ginger and 1/4 teaspoon salt in small bowl.

Combine apples, 2/3 cup maple syrup and crystallized ginger in large bowl.

Stir in flour mixture; arrange in baking dish.

Scatter cranberries over apples; sprinkle with 1/3 cup brown sugar.

I chose to skip the brown sugar.

Top with crisp mixture, pressing into fruit (baking dish will be full). Place baking dish on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.

Bake 1 hour or until golden brown, apples are tender and juices are bubbly, covering with foil halfway through baking if top is browning too quickly.

Cool on wire rack 20 minutes to serve warm or cool completely.

Yum! This apple crisp is fantastic! I wasn't sure if I'd like the ginger, but it really made the dessert sing. The original recipe includes a Maple Crème Fraîche which probably would've been nice. Going the lazy route, I went traditional with vanilla ice cream. You can't beat the combination of warm dessert with frozen ice cream.

I'm glad I chose to skip the brown sugar that was supposed to be sprinkled over the cranberries. There's already a bunch of sugar in the crisp and the apples were tossed in maple syrup. I didn't want my cranberries to be a little red adornment in the dessert, I wanted the tart berries to really stand out. They did and I liked the way it turned out.

After putting everything in the dish it was really full, I mean almost busting out of the dish it was so full and dense. It turned out, for me anyway, that the baking sheet was unnecessary. Unexpectedly juices didn't flow out of the dish during baking. I was almost sure it'd be oozing like an apple pie.

Preparing the crisp was a little bit of a nuisance since I only have a tiny little processor. It worked out okay but would've been easier to kick it old school and cut the butter in with a pastry blender. I think sometimes the electric gadgetry is awesome like when finely chopping nuts but to cut butter into flour and spices? It's a little overkill.

  • old-fashioned oats: $0.36
  • all-purpose flour: $0.06
  • dark brown sugar: $0.43
  • unsalted butter: $0.41
  • pecans: free from Mom
  • apples: $1.23
  • maple syrup: $2.64
  • crystallized ginger: $0.35
  • cranberries: $0.50
Total: $5.98 or about $0.75 for each of eight servings.