This Apple Cranberry Dessert is a Sweet Treat
Cranberry apple crunch is one of my favorite quick and easy desserts and is always a hit for almost any crowd I make it for. It’s hard to beat the crunchy, nutty topping that comes from combining oats, flour, brown sugar, and some butter.
I’m fairly certain the first time I found this recipe and made it was in the late fall when cranberries suddenly overwhelm the produce section of every grocery store and apples are plentiful and sweet. I do love the practice of cooking and eating what’s in season as a general habit. From a culinary and budgeting standpoint, I love that when produce is truly in season and has the best flavor is also when it’s most abundant and least expensive! I tend to buy lots of cranberries when they’re on sale in November and freeze them whole in the bag, which means I make this cranberry apple crunch well into winter and spring.
I do generally use a fairly sweet apple like a Fuji to balance the very tart crispness of the cranberries but I absolutely love the sharp, tangy flavor you get from fresh cranberries that pop and soften when they’re baked into this dish. You can make this cranberry apple crunch with almost any kind of fruit; in fact, I’ve used pears and peaches before and, when cranberries weren’t available, even made it with only apples.
Although it might be unconventional, I have often made this as a Valentine’s dessert as well. The cranberries make a beautiful red color and I much prefer a fruit crisp or cobbler over most chocolate desserts. So whether you need an easy dessert for a special occasion or just want something yummy for a random Wednesday, this recipe will surely fit the bill.
How to Make Cranberry Apple Crunch
By Marie Powell
I generally bake this apple cranberry dessert in an 8- or 9-inch square pan for the perfect crunchy top-to-fruit ratio. I have also baked it in some very nice dessert ramekins for a casual dinner party. For that, I spooned all of the ingredients into individual, oven-safe ramekins to bake. They serve beautifully this way and are absolutely divine if you leave enough space on the top to add a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream.
Yields: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
- 3 cups chopped unpeeled apples
- 2 cups fresh cranberries (or substitute dried)
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1⁄3 cup flour
- 1⁄2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup chopped nuts
- Combine apples, cranberries, and sugar in a bowl mix well.
- Pour into a greased dish, 8 inches square or similar.
- Mix remaining ingredients in bowl. Crumble over fruit.
- Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes until top is crunchy and golden brown.
- Serve hot. Optional: Pair with vanilla ice cream.