Halloween brought cool weather to us, and I have a rare weekend off (okay, maybe I worked a little this morning, but I’m free tonight!) so this seems like a great time to use the oven. I only spent 20 minutes on Pinterest picking out a recipe - yay, me. Usually, I end up spending an hour and pinning 25 things before I remember what I was searching for.
Martha Stewart said the prep time for this Apple Cranberry Crunch was 10 minutes.
I fired up the oven, picked up a little paring knife and grabbed an apple the size of a small melon.
I used to watch my grandmother peel apples, pears, turnips – she made it look so easy. She could start to peel at the top of the fruit and would have a perfect peel spiral a few seconds later. Her knife was so old and sharp that it had a crescent groove in the middle from decades of peeling. She wielded that knife better than a ninja – I always cringed to see her deftly slicing toward her thumb or palm. I never did gain that confidence with a knife.
So I started to peel, and quickly decided my serrated edge potato peeler would be quicker (it was). I chopped, and chopped…and chopped. Those apples are big, I tell you.
I added in the cranberries (full disclosure, it was a can of cranberries, not the fresh ones) added sugar, and then went a little rogue with the recipe and added cinnamon and a touch of vanilla, which was right there on the shelf next to the cinnamon and because…vanilla.
I was 15 minutes in and Martha was wrong. I dumped the flour, brown sugar and salt into a bowl, opened the oats and got a little liberal with them. You have to buy a big can of oats, and we just don’t eat many recipes that call for them. My dog, Zip, was batting cleanup in front of the sink and helped me with the flyaways. I reached for the stick of butter, which I had set out to soften before I started. Granite countertops hold the cold pretty well, don’t they? I nuked the butter in the microwave for a few seconds to help it along.
This is where it gets messy.
You have to cut the butter into the oat/flour mixture. It takes time. It takes patience. And it takes tolerance for "gooey" - really get your hands into the mix and make it crumbly. I’ve never been that good at dough and this was no different. But eventually the crumb mixture was “no bigger than peas” as Martha suggested. Prep time – 35 minutes. I popped the pan into the oven and Zip helped me tidy up the mess.
Martha was spot on about the 45 minute bake time. Delicious. Very sweet, a little tart, and I think the vanilla made a good addition to the recipe. Your results may vary!