Monday, November 25, 2013

Cran-Apple Crisp & Cran-Orange Relish

This crisp will be gracing our Thanksgiving dessert table this year.  Oh wow.  It's perfect for any gathering, or plain old day, this Harvest season!  I have played around with the combinations of the crisp -- using only apples is the best way to go, followed by a mix of pears and apples (lessen sugar to 1/3 cup if you use pears!), and all pears coming in last.  Still good, but not fabulous like the apple versions.

We enjoy this  a la mode, but feel free to drop a scoop of pure vanilla ice cream on top!

Cran-Apple Harvest Crisp
Serves 8

What you'll need:
  • 6 cup peeled and chopped Granny Smith apples (sometimes I sub a cup or two of honeycrisp or pears)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ c white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 TBLS cinnamon
Crumble Crust
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 TBLS chilled butter OR coconut oil

What you'll do:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly spray a 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray
  • Place the apple chunks, craisins, sugars, and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir until the apples are well coated.  Pour into the baking dish.
  • In a smaller bowl, combine the flour and oats.  With a pastry cutter or fork, cut in chilled butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.  
  • Pour the crumble crust mixture on top of the apples, spreading evenly.
  • Bake uncovered for 1 hour.
  • Let stand for 5-10 minutes

And now for one of my all-time favorite additions to any holiday table. This cranberry orange relish is simple and delicious and comes together in a snap with the help of a food processor!

Cranberry Orange Relish
(makes 3 cups)

What you'll need:
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves (opt)
  • 12 oz bag of whole cranberries, rinsed
  • 1 orange OR 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
What you'll do:
  • If using the pecans, place those in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Empty into a medium-sized serving bowl.
  • Dump the cranberries into the food processor and pulse until finely chopped (be sure to leave some texture - the goal is not to puree).  Empty into the serving bowl.
  • If using orange juice, pour it into the serving bowl now & skip the next two steps.
  • Use a fine grater on the orange peel until you have 1/2 tsp of zest (the goal is to scrape off just the orange part as you grate--the white pith has a bitter flavor).  Empty zest into the serving bowl.
  • Discard remainder of orange peel & any seeds, then place segments of fruit in food processor and puree.  Empty the puree into the serving bowl.
  • Pour sugar in serving bowl and stir until dissolved.
  • Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
Note:  Cranberries freeze exceptionally well, so I buy an extra bag while they are in season and freeze for later use.

Time Tip:
  • Make this a whole day ahead

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