Optimistically Cautious

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Cooking Chronicles: Apple Cranberry Crisp

Like picking the perfect restaurant for a special occasion, I agonized in a similar manner over what dish I should make for a dinner Mack's Grandma was hosting.

Desserts to be served with berries (zabliogne, trifle) were out of the question due to the fruit being out of season, and heavier choices (chocolate cake) wouldn't have paired well with the healthy salmon she was serving as a main course.

As a last resort, I browsed the Food Network Canada site (much more quick scan-friendly than the American version, in my opinion), and came across Anna Olson's recipe for Apple Cranberry Crisp. It seemed the perfect spring dessert - warm, rustic, and light.

Using frozen cranberries and Granny Smith apples (Mack had fun with the apple corer), it was a cinch to pull together. We placed the fruit in a glass baking dish, topped it with the crumble, and snapped on a lid to transport it to Grandma Male's house. We had to borrow her oven to heat it up, but the timing worked superbly; it finished baking in the time it took us to dine on the main dish.

We ended up serving the crisp with a scoop of Smarties ice cream (only $1 at Superstore's "Dollar Days"!) instead of the vanilla we bought and absentmindedly left at my house, but the chocolate added some nice sweetness. The apples were lovely - warmed through and softened somewhat, accented with bursts of cranberry freshness and a citrus note reminiscent of summer days.

I highly recommend this dessert - it would be ideal served on an outdoor patio in the spring.

Crisp before baking

Crisp plated and partially eaten

Salmon with Dill Sauce, Stuffed Potatoes, and Salad (Mack's favorite!)

Grandma Male, Bry, and Tom peruse old photos after dinner (absolutely lovely picture)

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