I should mention that I’ve been baking again. Well, I suppose you can get that by looking at the photo. My one and only other dessert post was a crumble so I thought I would really mix things up this time around and do a crisp! Honestly, I haven’t a clue as to the difference between a crumble or a crisp. All I know is that given my lack of baking skills, this is something I can generally handle. No rolling of crusts or tempering of chocolate or intricate piping.
Go figure, my last name is “Baker.”
So what drove me to dust off my canisters of sugar and flour? The fall gathering of my gourmet group night before last. We dined on heavenly smoked steelhead and chicken liver crostini for appetizers, chicken corn chowder, grilled sausages, cornbread, salad. Eventually some Sambuca came out as well as an interesting domestic tawny port. And yes…we actually had room for this dessert! What a delicious end to our festive occasion.
Recipe notes? Well of course there are always recipe notes! The first has to do with crystallized ginger, which is a remarkable food product and unfortunately quite remarkably overpriced at my local supermarket. Note to self: order some online from Penzeys, at about half the price of what my store charged me. I will also mention that I dialed back a bit on the ginger from the original recipe, so if you’re a devout lover of ginger, feel free to up the quantity a bit.
Apple processing time can be reduced significantly by purchasing large apples. Of course I learned this the hard way by purchasing cute little itty bitty Granny Smith apples (my peeler got quite a workout). I also recommend doubling this recipe and baking it in a buttered 9×13″-baking pan because you know, the more the merrier when it comes to apple crisp!
And last, but certainly not least is my recommendation to try countless variations of this recipe. Substitute dried cherries for the cranberries. Or walnuts for the pecans. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or a drizzle of heavy cream. The topping alone is marvelous and would work well with just about any crisp recipe around.
Or a crumble recipe which…dang I still don’t get the difference!
Apple and Cranberry Crisp with Ginger Pecan Topping
- 4 medium Granny Smith apples (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2/3 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
- Vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter four 1 1/4-cup custard cups or soufflé dishes. Mix all ingredients in bowl. Let stand until juicy, about 5 minutes. Divide filling among prepared cups. Bake until bubbling at edges, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare topping:
Blend first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Rub in butter with fingertips until coarse meal forms. Mix in pecans with fingertips.
Crumble topping over hot apples. Bake until topping is golden brown, apples are tender, and juices are bubbling thickly, about 25 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.