I am delighted to share this Wholesome Apple-Cranberry Crisp recipe with you! The original recipe comes from my friend, Mary. She made it for us last weekend with an egg casserole for breakfast and we absolutely loved it. She graciously made substitutions for the refined sugar and flour, which blessed my socks off, and those adjustments are reflected in the gluten-free recipe below. But wait, there’s more! This timely, peak-season dish comes with a story, so the original recipe is also included.
Recipes can hold precious memories, each bite unwrapping the hidden gift of fond feelings.
Here’s Mary’s story:
This recipe was passed along from one of my mom’s dearest friends, Jean. We called her Mrs. Fleck, her abbreviated name from her first marriage. Jean and my mom (Connie) had so much fun together. We were the recipients of the joy and laughter they shared and witnessed the resiliency friendship brought in the transitions and storms of life.
Both Connie and Jean loved to host parties and did so together several times. After Jean lost her second husband to cancer she began a yearly tradition of hosting a brunch for all her friends. This was in thanks for the love and hospitality extended to her in and out of season. She kept it simple and easy to prepare in advance, serving an Egg-Sausage Casserole, this Cranapple Crisp, and Mimosas. My mother was completely enchanted by Jean’s garden party, the thoughtful presentation and deliciousness of the meal.
Food eaten in the company of friends always enriches the heart and makes lovely impressions on our lives. Subsequently, this became our Christmas morning staple. I never prepare or eat this dish without fond thoughts of love and honor for Jean, my mom, and their great friendship.
Great food and well-told stories invite us to linger and savor when friends are gathered at the table.
When I make this, it will remind me of a fun weekend retreat in a stunning Colorado cabin with some of my favorite people on the planet. And I will smile. The kind of smile that starts in the heart, spreads the corners of my mouth and makes the entire day better.
I do hope you’ll try this recipe. And wen you do, think about the people in your life you’d like to see more of, or the someone you recently met you’d like to know better. Invite them over to share it with you (it’s gluten-free). Better yet, invite two or three someones and spread the yums … and friendship.
The original Cranapple Crisp recipe from Jean Bainbridge:
- 3 c. chopped apples
- 2 c. fresh cranberries
- 2 t. flour
- 1 c. sugar
- 3 envelopes instant cinnamon spice oatmeal
- ¾ c. chopped pecans
- ½ c. flour
- ½ c. brown sugar
- ½ c. melted butter
- Combine apples, cranberries and 2 t. of flour-tossing to coat. Add 1 cup of sugar and mix well. Place in 2 quart casserole dish. Combine oatmeal, pecans, ½ cup of flour and brown sugar. Add butter and mix well. Spoon evenly over the fruit and bake uncovered at 350°F for 45 minutes.
The updated Wholesome Apple-Cranberry Crisp recipe
… includes coconut flour to soak up the juices from the fruit and almond flour to add an extra bit of nuttiness to the topping. Both can be substituted with sweet rice flour with good results, if desired. Either way, this version is gluten-free. Fall crop apples with dots of fresh, tart cranberries under a nutty-scrumptious topping—it’s the perfect fall and winter treat.
- 2 large apples -- cored, unpeeled, cut into ½-inch cubes, about 3 cups (see note about types)
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 teaspoons coconut flour -- or sweet rice flour
- ¾ cup coconut palm sugar
- Small pinch sea salt
- ⅔ cup old fashion rolled oats
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped walnuts -- or pecans
- ½ cup almond flour -- or 3 tbsp. sweet rice flour
- ⅓ cup coconut palm sugar
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup butter -- softened, plus more for preparing pan
- Heat oven to 350°F. Combine apples, cranberries, coconut flour, ¾ cup of sugar, and pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl, stirring until the apples and cranberries are evenly covered. Spread over the bottom of a buttered 9x9-inch or 9x11-inch casserole dish.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine oatmeal, walnuts, almond flour, ⅓ cup of sugar, and cinnamon. Stir in softened butter until thoroughly combined and mixture breaks into relatively even, small clumps (sometimes using your fingers to mix in the butter works better). Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the fruit and bake uncovered for about 40 minutes, or until topping is golden brown and cranberries are soft.
- Serve for breakfast or brunch over plain yogurt or for dessert with vanilla ice cream.
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