Sunday, November 25, 2007

Giving Thanks

This year we celebrated Thanksgiving on Saturday. It’s become a bit of a tradition for my in-laws as G. has always had to help keep the peace on holidays. This year even though G. is in a new exciting position we had our feasting a little later in the week. My mother in law, D., asked me to bring dessert this year. I happily complied.

Of course, we had pumpkin pie because thats what ya do ya know. I made the same pie I’ve been making for 14 years right out of Bon Appetit 1993. And, as I am every year, I was sooo frustrated by the given pie crust. I only make the bloody thing once a year and I never remember that the crust isn’t so fun to make. I solved the problem this year by handwriting in the margin “Use a different crust. This sux!” It’s certainly worth it for the filling though – pumpkin, sour cream, whipping cream. How can you resist?

I can’t leave dessert to just one pie though. We’ve a few picky pants in the family that don’t care to pumpkin pie so I turned to another fall wonder – apple cranberry crisp. The flavors blend so well together with the fruit, brown sugar, and oats. I’ve taken a bit of an adult turn on this recipe because I love my liquor cabinet (and I didn’t have any apple juice hanging around).

Apple Cranberry Crisp adapted from Bon Appetit 2001

1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces


1 12-ounce packages cranberries
1 1/4 pounds apples (about 3 medium), peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups sugar - I use Jonagold, Granny Smith, Pink Lady
2 tablespoons apple juice or cider – or Cointreau it gives a flavor that brings out the tartness of the fruit

Vanilla ice cream

For topping:
Combine brown sugar, oats, flour, and salt in large bowl; toss to blend. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture comes together in moist clumps. Cover; chill while preparing filling. (Topping can be prepared 1 day ahead; keep chilled.)

For filling:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Combine cranberries, apples, sugar, and apple juice in heavy large pot. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring often. Boil until cranberries are tender and juices thicken slightly, about 5 minutes. Transfer filling to prepared dish. Sprinkle topping over.

Bake crisp until filling bubbles thickly and topping is crisp and deep golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

I’m happy to say this was very well received, perhaps even more so than the pumpkin pie! The best thing was there were plenty of leftovers so I can eat it for breakfast.

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