Individual Apple Cranberry Crisps

November  9, 2022
2 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

If there is a more perfect (and gorgeous) dessert for fall—and everyone’s favorite holiday (aka Thanksgiving)—than an apple-cranberry crisp, well, I have yet to be introduced. And if said crisp is baked in individual ramekins, then all the better, as everyone knows mini desserts are the best (and cutest) desserts. Plus, they don’t require sharing. Fruit-topped crisps and crumbles will always fall into the simple dessert category, but sometimes they get a little back-burner’ed—this apple-cranberry number, however, is going to change all that.

Fruit crisps have a myriad of attributes, but first and foremost, they are easy to assemble, call for ingredients that are already in your pantry, and don't require a stitch of special equipment. Second, crisps are texturally exciting—maybe I don’t get out enough, but buttery bits combined with deeply toasted pecans sprinkled atop sweet apples and tangy cranberries? Sign me up.

Additionally, crisps take almost no time to prepare and these individual ones only take about 30 minutes to bake. In short, this all translates into a dessert that you can put on the table in less than an hour. You’re welcome. Finally, the cranberries contribute to making this one of the prettiest desserts in the land, as the juices that bubble up around the edges, and those that pool a bit in the dish once served, are quite literally the most beautiful garnet in color.

But wait—what is the difference is between a crisp and a crumble? If you asked me offline, I’d say zilch, but the internet will tell you differently. In short, both desserts are comprised of baked fruit and are topped with something buttery and sweet. But crisp toppings call for oats and crumble toppings— you guessed it—do not.

But sometimes rules are made to be broken, so these particular crisps do not call for an oat topping. Moreover, if oats add crispiness, then the pecans here more than make up for their absence, providing the topping with all the cozy crisp crunchy (aka crispy) vibes one could ask for. Plus the pecans add a nutty flavor to these cuties— one that oats just can’t replicate. My topping also calls for cold, cubed butter that you work into the dry ingredients with your fingers. I like a lot of topping here, not only because life is better with more topping, but also because as the crisps bake, the fruit collapses, and the topping sinks. But because of how much topping is sprinkled on top pre-bake, the crisps do not dip below the edges of the ramekins, despite some sinkage.

The apple and cranberry duo is a no-brainer. Whisk the dry ingredients first before adding the fruit, so that the mixture evenly coats it all. I like my apples in half-moon wedges that are sliced in half or even thirds again. However, if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it before: if you are an apple-wedge peep from way back, then wedge it is. —Jessie Sheehan

What You'll Need
  • Apple Filling
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 5 small apples (about 1 1/2 pounds), such as Granny Smith, peeled and cored and cut into ½-inch wedges
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pecan Crumble
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 3/4 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
  • Heavy cream, for drizzling
  1. Apple Filling
  2. Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, and cloves in a large bowl. Stir in the apples, cranberries, and lemon juice with a flexible spatula and evenly divide the apples and cranberries amongst the six ramekins.
  1. Pecan Crumble
  2. Heat the oven to 350°F. Place six 6-ounce heat-proof ramekins on a baking tray.
  3. Whisk all of the dry ingredients in the same bowl in which you just prepared the filling. No need to clean it first. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers until the mixture holds together when squeezed.
  4. Divide the crisp topping evenly over the apples (there will be a lot), pressing gently.
  5. Bake on the bottom rack for about 30 minutes until the juices bubble up on the sides of the ramekins, the topping is lightly browned, and the apples and cranberries are bubbling underneath it in the center.
  6. Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving with a drizzle of heavy cream. The crisps will keep tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • SophieL
  • Jessie Sheehan
    Jessie Sheehan
  • adrienne
Bio: Jessie Sheehan is the author of The Vintage Baker and Icebox Cakes. Her new easy-peasy baking book, Snackable Bakes, hits shelves in spring 2022. She contributes to the Washington Post, Bon Appétit, Food Network, and the Kitchn, among others.

4 Reviews

SophieL December 1, 2022
After baking two apple pies for Thanksgiving, I had leftover apple filling to use up. This recipe was perfect - the cranberries were a nice addition and the pecan crisp topping was an easy-to-make welcome break from pastry pie crusts.
Jessie S. December 1, 2022
yay! so happy to hear.
adrienne November 20, 2022
Simple, easy, delicious
Jessie S. November 20, 2022
Love hearing this. xo