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Apple-Cranberry Crumble

November 11, 2021

Twenty years ago I made an apple-cranberry crumble and then I lost the recipe. I remember eating most of it myself, and enjoying every last bite. I tried to find that recipe many times. I’ve searched through old papers, paged through old Bon Apetit and Gourmet magazines that I found in a box I never unpacked in the basement. Couldn’t find it. I defiantly think the original came from a magazine. I can see it in my minds eye.

So here we are in 2021 and I decided to try to recreate that momentous crumble that I have been thinking about all these years. I scanned some recipes that were already out there. Too simplistic. Too complicated. Too much sugar. Too little sugar. You do need a little more sugar than a traditional crumble to counterbalance the tartness of the cranberries, but it’s a delicate proportion.

It took a few tries, but I finally came up with an apple-cranberry crumble I am proud of. Both Randy and Eli love cranberries so they were happy to be my taste testers. Here’s the final product. A melange of apples (I used whatever I had in the house) and a bag of cranberries with an oaty topping crumbled on top. Enjoy warm or room temperature. And a scoop of vanilla ice cream can take it to the next level. But don’t be fooled. Taking a spoon over to the baking dish and eating it straight from the platter works too!


Apple-Cranberry Crumble


For the Filling

2-2 1/2 lbs apples = 3 large apples (I use whatever apples are in the house), peeled, and cored

Juice of 1 lemon

Zest of 1/2 a lemon

12 oz bag of fresh cranberries

1/2 cup granulated sugar

For the Crumble

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)

1 cup old fashioned oats (NOT instant)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 9 x 12 inch rectangular baking dish, or an oval one about the same size. I like to use an oven to table large casserole dish fitting this description.

For the Filling

Peel and core the apples. Cut each apple slice into three to four smaller pieces. Place apples in a large mixing bowl and combine with the lemon juice and the lemon zest. Add the cranberries and sugar. Mix with a wooden spoon until well combined.

For the Crumble

In a large bowl add the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar and the oats. Next add the vanilla, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Mix these ingredients with a wooden spoon until well combined. Add the pieces of butter and mix with your hands. (You can wear plastic gloves) Mush the butter in well until clumps of various sizes form.


Place the baking dish on a foil covered baking pan (in case the filling bubbles over while in the oven).

Add the apple mixture to the baking dish, spreading it out evenly. Next, top the apple mixture with the crumble, dropping the various sized pieces over the apples and cranberries. The mixture will be mostly covered but if some apples or cranberries peak through that’s ok.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, until apples are soft, cranberries are bursting, juices are bubbling, and topping has browned.

Serve warm or at room temperature. You can serve with ice cream or whipped cream, but believe me, this crisp doesn’t need it!

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