In an attempt to make November a little less frazzled for us, our fearless leaders at TWD are allowing us to present our weekly recipes out of order. This works for me as this week’s recipe is Dorie’s Chocolate Caramel Chestnut Cake. Not only is this cake rather labor-intensive to make, but it calls for chestnuts, which I detest. I suppose I could have used a different kind of nut, but frankly, I just didn’t have the energy this week. My shoulder is still frozen from making all those macarons and fillings for the DB challenge last week, and I couldn’t bear the thought of any more mixing and stirring, for a while at least! Instead, I decided to make Dorie’s more shoulder-friendly Cran-Apple Crisps.
These crisps were a snap to put together and are absolutely delicious! The recipe is also quite forgiving. I made them last night at around 10:00 pm, which because of the time change here, was 11:00 on my body clock. In my fatigue-induced stupor, I made several errors. First of all, instead of adding cinnamon to the crisp topping, I accidentally added ground cardamom. To my foggy eyes, both spice jars looked the same. I also forgot to butter the ramekins before filling them. Then, I baked them at 350 degrees F. instead of 375, as the recipe directed. After about thirty minutes, I realized what I had done and turned up the heat in my oven. I was certain that I was going to end up with a sticky, burnt mess, but I didn’t. Despite all my goofs, the crisps turned out just fine. The topping was crunchy and golden and the filling was the perfect balance of sweet-tart fruitiness with a thick, syrupy texture.
For my crisps, I used Honeycrisp and Fuji apples, fresh cranberries and plump, sweet, dried Bing cherries. I had never baked with fresh cranberries before and I was a bit skeptical. I needn’t have worried. While the cranberries were quite tart, the tartness was nicely offset by the sweetness of the apples and cherries. For not a whole lot of work, the payoff was great. This really is a lovely dessert that would certainly be worthy of a place at any holiday table!
My thanks go out to Em of The Repressed Pastry Chef for choosing this recipe. She will eventually have the recipe posted on her site. But, if you can’t wait to try these Cran-Apple Crisps, you can also find the recipe in Baking: From My Home to Yours on page 422.