I make a crumble dessert about twice a year- one peach and one apple. Peach desserts are among my favorite only topped by lemon. I looooove lemon desserts!
Crumbles are a good entry into baking because they are easy to put together and typically don’t require very many ingredients. Another great thing about them is that they don’t require any leavening like a cake. Nothing is rising so there is no worry about baking soda or baking powder. No stress over will it rise, will it fall, will it be dense, on and on and on. This is rather simple, tasty, and packed with fruit. Last year I made an apple and cranberry pie for Christmas and I was going to make another this year but I wanted to switch it up a bit and decided to do a crumble instead. The combination of cranberries and the warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and the secret surprise of cardamom make this dessert taste like Christmas in your mouth. The apples add a nice bite as well as some sweetness which plays well with the tart cranberries.
This recipe is also gluten-free for those of you that are gluten intolerant or just prefer not to eat anything with gluten in it. For those who are not gluten intolerant, it doesn’t change the taste in any adverse way. As more people are shying away from gluten, I wanted to have an option for everyone at your holiday gatherings. I am not gluten intolerant. I just ate a bowl of pasta yesterday with all the gluten!😉
Now let’s get started on this lovely holiday treat.
Apple Cranberry Crumble (serves 9 or 12 depending on how large you slice)
2 cups of Granny Smith apples (2-3 apples)
2 cups of Honeycrisp apples or any other sweet but crisp variety (2-3 apples)
1 1/2 fresh cranberries
1/2 cup cane sugar
2 tbsp fresh Blood orange juice (use navel if you can’t find blood orange)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 cup almond flour
1 cup rolled oats (while oatmeal is naturally gluten-free some brands are produced in facilities where gluten products are processed. If you have celiacs disease please be sure to check the labels of various oat brands before purchasing)
1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
Peel, core, and cut the apples into medium size pieces, about 1/2 inch.
Line a 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper. This will help get the crumble out of the dish easily and there will be next to no clean up which is always a good thing!
Next add the apples, cranberries, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and blood orange juice to the pot and cook for 8-10 minutes on medium heat until the cranberries burst and the consistency is like jam. Stir regularly. Add vanilla and ginger.
Blood oranges are in season now and add a wonderful flavor to this dish. If you cannot get blood oranges where you live, you can use a navel orange. Although the blood orange has a more distinct taste with a nice hint of berry flavor which blends well with the cranberries. Not to mention, look at this gorgeous COLOR!! I mean…come on.
When the fruit mixture has thickened remove it from the heat and allow it to cool.
To prepare the crumble, add both of the flours, gluten-free and almond to a bowl along with the oats, brown sugar, salt, and butter. Mix until combined.
Prepare the crust for the dessert by separating out 2 cups of the crumble mixture and use what remains for the crust. Press it into the bottom of the baking dish and spread it out to the edges as evenly as you can. Use your hands and fingers. Fun! Make sure they are washed. Bake the crust by itself for about 15 mins, until golden brown.
After the crust has baked remove it from the oven and spoon the fruit mixture on top in an even layer.
Crumble (pun definitely intended) the crumble mixture over the top of the fruit and drizzle the maple syrup on top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until deep golden brown.
Let the crumble cool a bit before cutting. I waited about 30 minutes. It tastes great on its own but also with whipped cream or ice cream.
Enjoy and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! 🎄 🎄