This fall, we set out to publish the most delicious apple-cranberry crisp recipe of all time—one that was bursting with juicy fruit, lightly spiced, with the butteriest, crumbliest topping. We put our top bakers on the task.
Along the way, something amazing happened: We created two epic recipes. Jesse Szewczyk concocted a large-format crisp in a cast iron skillet, and Jessie Sheehan delivered individual apple-cranberry crisps with a pecan crumble. A happy accident? We think so. And after all, what are the holidays without a little dinner table debate? And so, the sweetest duel became the sweetest duo.
Both recipes call for Granny Smith apples, frozen cranberries, cinnamon, and a streusel topping. They’re both delicious—of course—and both come together in one hour or less. But the fraternal twins of the Thanksgiving dessert world have their own identities, too. Jesse Szewczyk calls for equal parts of all-purpose flour and rolled oats in his recipe. “A generous layer of oat streusel punctuated with cinnamon creates a crunchy topping that perfectly contrasts the tender fruit and adds a nutty bite,” he writes. Jessie Sheehan, on the other hand, skips the oats and calls in pecans, and a calvary of spices including ginger and nutmeg. “Sometimes rules are made to be broken,” she writes, “so these particular crisps do not call for an oat-filled topping.”
As for how to serve these apple-cranberry crisps, Jessie recommends warm with a drizzle of heavy cream, while Jesse prefers a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Uh, can I have both?
"Diced apples and fresh cranberries combine with brown sugar, warm spices, and a splash of vanilla extract to create a flavorful base that brings out the best qualities of both fall fruits," writes Jesse. Serve it in a cast-iron skillet for a more rustic look or a ruffled pie dish for something a little more elegant.
Grab must-have ingredients from the Food52 Pantry to make these crisps. Our all-purpose flour is made with organic warthog wheat, which is stone-milled in small batches by a fifth-generation family farm in Illinois. Same goes for our rolled oats, which is why we love them and think you will too.