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TWD: Cran-Apple Crisps

In an attempt to make November a little less frazzled for us, our fearless leaders at TWD [1] are allowing us to present our weekly recipes out of order.  This works for me as this week’s recipe is Dorie’s [2] 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 [3] 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 [4] 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 [5] on page 422.