Archive for December, 2011

Cranberry Apple Crunch Pie or Cobbler

So, my intent was a virtuous apple sauce, or apple butter, or maybe even dried apple slices, and that will still happen (the apples just won’t go away, and sadly, this pie only needed 1, d’oh!) . But it has been an exceptionally dreary 3 days in New England, and healthy just wasn’t calling to me like pie was. When it’s crummy outside, wouldn’t you rather have dessert? I know I would…

This is my preferred antidote to the onset of dark and chilly days. With a crunchy, sweet topping that has just enough oats and pecans in it to feel hearty, and a bright, tart filling of apples and cranberries, this dish always leaves me wondering why I don’t own a rustic cabin with a fireplace to eat a piece in front of. Of course, sitting on the couch with a blanket and a movie works pretty well in a pinch too.

The dessert can be made in an unbaked 9″ pie crust, or just in a small baking dish if you would rather eat it cobbler style. It calls for fresh cranberries, a VERY seasonal ingredient, but I usually buy too many for Thanksgiving anyway, and they freeze beautifully. Don’t bother doing anything special to cranberries, just throw the remnants of your bag in the freezer, they are just fine weeks and months later.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups fresh (or frozen) cranberries
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped into approx 1/4″ slices
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • pinch of salt

     For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 rolled oats (instant oatmeal will work too)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp cold butter, cubed (this isn’t health food, you know ;-))
  • 1/2 chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 C
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sliced apple, cranberries, maple syrup, and brown sugar, stirring with a spoon or your hand until the fruit is evenly coated in the syrup and sugar. Place mixture in either an unbaked 9″ pie shell or small baking dish.
  3. (The following steps through adding the pecans may be done in a food processor with the cutting blade if preferred) In a separate, smaller mixing bowl, combine first 5 topping ingredients, and stir well with a fork to evenly distribute the ingredients.
  4. Add cubed cold butter, and squeeze butter into flour mixture with fingertips, combining until your are left with pea-sized clumps of butter mixed with the flour, etc. There will be loose flour mixture remaining in the bottom of the bowl, do not worry about this, it will help thicken the filling.
  5. Add the chopped pecans to topping, toss with fingers to combine.
  6. Pour topping (including loose flour, etc at the bottom) onto fruit mixture patting down with fingers to ensure the fruit is evenly covered.
  7. Place into oven, cooking for 50-55 minutes, until the cranberries can be seen bubbling, and the topping has begun to brown.
  8. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving. I highly recommend this with some warm apple cider and a splash of spiced rum.
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Default Weight/Volume Conversions

 

Since I bake in weight not volume, my standard conversions are found from the King Arthur Ingredient Weight Chart  but my most common conversions are below:

All Purpose Flour: 1 cup = 4 1/4 oz

Butter: 1 cup = 8 oz

White Sugar: 1 cup = 7 oz

Light Brown Sugar: 1 cup = 7 1/2 oz

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