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Cranberry and Apple Crumble

Local orchard apples and dried cranberries make this a delicious and decidedly New England treat!

Re-posted from Juggling With Julia

Apples, apples, apples! In season in New England, they are at their crispest and juiciest and are great in so many dishes. My friend, Theresa, went apple picking this past weekend and shared some of the spoils with me. Whoopee! What to do with these beauties? My husband suggested apple crisp, so I went on the hunt for a recipe. My fave cookbook, All-New Complete Cooking Light Cookbook, is always a good bet. Soon I'd zoned in on a Cranberry and Apple Crumble that looked great.

I'll be honest -- I don't enjoy the tedious coring, peeling and slicing. Who does? Despite this, I prudently declined the generous offer of help from my kindergartner - at least for the slicing part. I was also sure to keep the butter cold until the moment I was ready to use it. According to the experts at Cooking Light, "It's important to use chilled butter in order to get a tender, flaky crust. Butter that is too soft will surround the flour particles rather than form spaces, and you'll end up with a flat, greasy crust." Ewww. That was enough encouragement for me!

The recipe's combo of apples, cranberries, sugar, and a touch of orange juice made for a yummy warm dessert, and the crumble topping is simple and doesn't overwhelm the apple mixture. Topped with vanilla ice cream, it was devoured by all in a matter of minutes.

I modified the recipe just a bit, using sweetened dried cranberries instead of plain fresh cranberries. They added plenty of sweetness -- I would definitely decrease the sugar by a tablespoon next time.

Cranberry and Apple Crumble
Adapted from the All-New Complete Cooking Light Cookbook
Serves 8

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
6 cups sliced peeled apples (Braeburn or MacIntosh or other tart/sweet variety)
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries (I used Oceanspray blueberry craisins)
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon sugar (*reduced due to use of sweetened cranberries)
1 tablespoon cornstarch

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour, 1/4 cup sugar, brown sugar, and butter in bowl and use a pastry cutter to combine (alternate method -- place all in food processor and pulse 10 times until mixture resembles coarse meal).

2) Combine apple and cranberries in a large blow. Combine juice, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and cornstarch; pour over apple mixture. Toss well. Spoon apple mixture into a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with flour mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve warm.

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