apple and cranberry crumble
I’m so excited! I was listening to the news this morning and the weatherman announced our first “cold front”. For those of you in other areas of the country who have already been enjoying the cooler weather, crisp mornings, hot apple cider and cuddling up on the couch with your favorite “throw” over your lap, I am jealous of you. I may not feel the same way in January, but right now, I am suffering from the green-eyed monster.
Let me explain what a cold front looks like in South Florida – the highs go from 88? to a bone-chilling 80-82?. The morning lows may actually dip into the high 60s or low 70s but the humidity will be lower. In other words, the change is ever so slight, but definitely noticeable to someone who has lived in Florida for the past twenty-some years.
This hint of cooler weather makes me want to have a comforting, “autumn-ish” dessert. Since the apples are at their peak right now and everyone in my family loves them, I’m making an apple crumble. I happen to have some dried cranberries in my pantry, so you know that they’ll be making an appearance. Crunchy pecans and oatmeal give more texture to the crumble and the salty sharp cheddar rounds out the flavors.
I probably don’t have to tell you that this would be excellent with a scoop of vanilla or butter pecan.
- 4 apples (I used gala), peeled, cored and chopped into bite size chunks
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- For crumble
- 1/2 stick butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I used white cheddar)
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (you can use the quick cooking or the old fashioned)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Spray 6 half-cup oven proof ramekins with vegetable spray (such as Pam). If you don't have ramekins, use a 8x8 glass or ceramic baking dish, sprayed with Pam. Place ramekins on the baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, combine the apples, cranberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar. Toss until fruit is evenly coated with sugar, zest and lemon juice. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, cream butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Add flour and mix to combine thoroughly. Add pecans, cheese and oats. Work the mixture with your fingers to combine ingredients evenly.
- Mound apple mixture evenly into each of the ramekins. A syrup will have formed in the apples, that's really good -- so drizzle it over the apples. The crumble mixture reminds me of a cookie dough, pinch off pieces of the dough and distribute it over the apples in rustic looking crumbles.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.