Apple Cranberry Crisp With Oat Crumble

November  9, 2022
4 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 40 minutes
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

There’s a short time period every year when apples and cranberries are both at peak ripeness, and when that moment strikes, it's time to act fast. Our best apple cranberry crisp makes the most of the moment, combining both ingredients in a tart-yet-sweet crisp that celebrates the season. 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. A generous layer of oat streusel punctuated with cinnamon creates a crunchy topping that perfectly contrasts the tender fruit and adds a nutty bite. It’s everything you could want out of a fall dessert, perfect for serving during the holidays as a lively alternative to apple pie.

The best thing about this recipe is how flexible it is. The crisp can be made in either a 9- or 10-inch cast-iron skillet or a standard 9-inch pie pan. The skillet gives the crisp a rustic look, whereas a pie pan makes for a more sophisticated presentation. And you can feel free to use either fresh or frozen cranberries, just in case you miss cranberry season. As it bakes, the cranberries burst open and bleed their crimson hue into the apples, giving the crisp a vibrant red color. Warm from the oven the crisp will be bubbling and saucy, perfect for serving with vanilla ice cream. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge loosely covered in plastic wrap and are delicious served over Greek yogurt for a quick breakfast.
Jesse Szewczyk

What You'll Need
  • Filling
  • 1 3/4 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 4 large), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (4 cups)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 ground cloves
  • 1/4 freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Topping
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • Vanilla or cinnamon ice cream, for serving (optional)
  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F (176°C).
  2. To make the filling: In a large bowl, combine the apples, cranberries, brown sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Toss to thoroughly coat the apples and transfer to a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or 9-inch pie pan. Spread the mixture into an even layer, pressing it down slightly to compact it, and set aside.
  3. To make the topping: In a large bowl, add the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt and stir to evenly combine. Add the melted butter and use your hands to pinch the dry ingredients into the melted butter until large, quarter-sized clumps form that hold together when squeezed. Scatter the mixture evenly over on top of the filling. (The crisp will sink when baking, so don’t fret if it seems like too much. You can pile it on high.)
  4. Place the crisp on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the top is lightly browned and the edges are bubbling, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool for at least 20 minutes and serve warm with ice cream, if desired.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • velvet.onion
  • Taylor Stanton
    Taylor Stanton
  • Candlewic
  • Diana Maureen Sandberg
    Diana Maureen Sandberg

7 Reviews

velvet.onion November 19, 2023
The filling for this is great- sweet, tart, spiced. I have made this time and time again with the topping recipe from New York Times' Apple or Pear Crisp recipe from Mark Bittman. That topping recipe is inherently gluten free, simple and pretty flawless. Together, they are magical! Bake time can be variable. Just keep an eye...
Taylor S. March 12, 2023
This was ok and I think with a few tweaks it could be better. It was too sweet for me while at the same time having too many cranberries. I would either do more apples/less cranberries or a blend of apples and pears with maybe a few berries or cranberries thrown in (plus reduce the sugar to ~2/3 cup). I also would omit the cloves. The oatmeal crumble topping was delicious, however! It tasted like a giant cookie, yum. And I agree with other users that it came out very soupy. I would increase the cornstarch to 2 or 3 tbsp.
j9wardo December 15, 2022
YUM! This was so easy to prep and make — insanely delicious! There was a lot of filling and crumble so I opted for a deep cast iron skillet. The cranberries added so much tartness that I would probably go 100% apple next time and soften some of the slices by removing cloves. Anywho, killer recipe to riff on and tailor to your likes since the crumble will work with any fruit base. Love!
j9wardo December 15, 2022
Julie November 20, 2022
I made this for dessert tonight, it was very easy to throw together and was full of flavor. It’s very cinnamon forward and the fresh cranberries were little tart bombs! There was a lot of liquid and a little adjustment on the cornstarch amount to thicken it up would help. Served it with vanilla ice cream to soften the flavors a little. I would definitely make it again.
Candlewic November 20, 2022
This looks so delicious! My wife has to eat gluten-free. Would almond flour work instead of the AP flour? Any recommendations?
Diana M. January 16, 2023
I cook gluten-free frequently for my beloved son-in-law. I am certain that almond flour would be just great in this recipe. Go for it. You probably already know that not all oatmeal is gluten-free; be sure to get the kind that is.
(Oats are gluten free, but often the facility that processes them also processes wheat and contamination is inevitable. People who are gluten-intolerant may not be severely affected, but the effect on actual celiacs can be excruciating.)