Apple Cranberry Crisp

??????????????????????Merry Post Christmas!

We all love crisps around here. Me because I don’t have to deal with any kind of crusts and the all of us because they are so danged delicious, why would anyone bother with anything else? If I made nothing but crisps out for our fruit desserts until the end of my days, I would hear no complaints. (Or would I say ‘I would brook no complaints’?)

Here is a recipe from Americas Test Kitchens  “Cooks Illustrated All-Time Best Holiday Baking’ magazine. Along those lines I also got, from hubby, a new baking book to add to my collection, the new “Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book” and I would recommend it to any would-be, wanna-be or has-been-for-a-while baker. The recipes are pretty fool-proof. This fool would know.

This one is in the magazine though and is absolutely wonderful! A sweet crispy topping over apples and cranberries, both fresh and dried, with a drizzle of my secret ingredient. Ou-la-la!


cooked cranberries.
cooked cranberries.


It looks like apples that have been through a massacre.


Had to have a taste test.
Had to have a taste test.

Apple-Cranberry Crisp

Recipe by Adapted from Holiday Baking by Cooks Illustrated

A wonderful holiday or any day dessert.

Yield: 12 servings, give or take


  • ingredients for topping:
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cubes butter, cut into about 12 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon or Cinnamon Plus (PC)
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • Filling:
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 1/2 lbs granny smith apples, peeled, cored, halved and cut into thin slices
  • 2 1/2 lbs. Braeburn or other type apples, peeled, cored, halved and cut into thin slices
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 Tbsp. Instant Tapioca
  • 1 Tbsp. Tuaca, an Italian liqueur (Optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Cooking Directions

  1. For the topping: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor, mix the flour, brown and white sugar, cinnamon and butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer to a bowl and add the oats, using your fingers to mix and squish together.
  2. Chop up some walnuts and set aside, if using.
  3. For the filling: bring fresh cranberries, 3/4 cup of white sugar and water to a simmer in large pot or skillet. Cook on medium heat until cranberries are softened and jam like, about 10 minutes. Pour mixture into a bowl.
  4. add half the apples, dried cranberries and 1/2 cup of sugar and cook until the apples begin to release their juices, about 5 minutes. You can then either put those apples in a bowl and cook the other half of the apples, or, like me, just skip that step and use the rest of the apples raw.
  5. Off heat, stir in all the apples, cranberry mixture and tapioca. Add the Tuaca, if using, and stir in.
  6. Pour the whole thing into, supposedly, a 9×13 baking pan, but I used a slightly larger one for all those apples.
  7. Mound the topping over the filling in the center of the dish and rake it all over with your fingers towards edges. sprinkle chopped walnuts over that and pop into the oven.
  8. Bake for at least an hour. Not until just tender, but until tender and browned and caramely and bubbly. (You can make topping up to 5 days ahead of time, or even freeze it for later use.)
  9. Enjoy!
  10. Enjoy leftovers for breakfast. Hide it from the kids.

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