It’s that time of year when many of us have lots of extra apples on our kitchen counters from those beautiful fall outings to the apple orchards. If you are looking for something to do with some of those apples beyond apple pie and lunch boxes, we have a great new recipe that is so easy you can whip it up while dinner is in the oven.
I LOVE a good apple crisp so when we went to make one this week, we realized almost all of the recipes we looked at used a ton of butter in the topping. Most of them used 1 stick-no wonder it always tastes so good! Although I am not afraid to use some butter in my cooking, one whole stick on something as healthy as apples? As much as I was craving this traditional New England fall dessert, this was just so not appealing.
As I started thinking about a healthy substitute, I had a brainstorm to combine one of my other favorite fall ingredients: cranberries. I had some dried cranberries and a can of whole berry sauce in the house. First, a sprinkle of the cranberries was added to the apples. To replace some of the moisture and flavor that comes from all that butter, I added some whole berry cranberry sauce (Ocean Spray right from the can) to the crumble mixture. This did result in the crumble part of the recipe being a much different consistency before it was baked but the results when it came out where amazing! No one in my family actually knew I had used the cranberry sauce in the crumble, they just knew it tasted delicious!
This one is a keeper and will be on our table at Thanksgiving!
Super Easy Weeknight Cranberry & Apple Crisp
5 to 6 medium apples, peeled and sliced into about 1 inch wedges (not too thick so the apples cook quickly)
juice of 1 lemon (divided)
1 cup of oatmeal (quick cooking)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
4 tbsp butter (cut into smaller pieces, brought to room temp)
1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce (our secret ingredient to cut down on the butter!)
dried cranberries (optional- we used Ocean Spray-see picture below)
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly coat an 8 x 8 baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Place apples in dish and pour juice from 1/2 lemon over apples. Sprinkle with dried cranberries. We used Craisins with Pomegranate juice but you can use any variety you like. (In fact, I was literally snacking on these when the inspiration struck to use the cranberry sauce in the recipe!) You could also just use raisins or another dried fruit.
In medium bowl, mix oatmeal, spices, sugar, and flour. Add cranberry sauce and butter and combine with dry ingredients with a fork until well blended.
It will be thick, and not as crumbly as the traditional topping. Spread on top of apples (don’t worry if it does not cover it all perfectly), drizzle with the juice from the other half of the lemon, and sprinkle the top with just a bit of oatmeal and brown sugar. Bake for 30 minutes until apples are tender and juices are bubbling. Serve warm with whipped cream. YUM!