Monday, October 31, 2011

Apple Cranberry Crisp

Plate of Apple Cranberry Crisp
Fruits of the Season

Recipe from Cooking by the Seasons

Happy Halloween All! It is said that at this time of year the veil between the living and the dead grows thinner. Christians are preparing to celebrate All Saints and All Souls day to honor the dead and pray for their safe journey to heaven. In Mexico, folks will be celebrating Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) by building altars to honor the dead, decorating graveyards with flowers, and inviting spirits of those passed to join the celebratory gathering of family and friends. Participants cast an eye towards the living as well, acknowledging the fact that we will all pass into spirit someday. Similar celebrations occur in Brazil, Spain, and parts of Asia and Africa. I’m building a memorial altar to honor my dear friend Joy and my father, who both passed away this year.

Apples. Berries, and Crisp Topping Ingredients
Crisp Ingredients
Today is also known as Samhain, or summer’s end, in Celtic tradition. This day marks the last harvest and the end of the year. It is a day for reflection on the past year including those who have departed during it, and a day for preparing for the dark cold days to come. Tomorrow (All Saints Day in Christian tradition) begins the Pagan New Year.

This recipe, from the wonderful Cooking by the Seasons, by Karri Ann Allrich, is designed to welcome in the New Year. Using two recently harvested fruits, cranberries and apples, it fills your home with a delicious fall-like aroma. Karri Ann suggests serving it with a freshly brewed pot of clove and orange tea, and I believe that a simple black tea or coffee will compliment it as well.

Crisp with one Piece Cut out and Plated
First Slice is Offered to the Departed
Apple Cranberry Crisp
serves 4 - 6

2 lbs. tart, crisp apples
¼ cup apple juice
squeeze of lemon juice
½ cup fresh cranberries or dried and sweetened
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. allspice
sea salt
½ cup unbleached flour
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup crushed ginger snaps
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel, core, and slice apples. In a large mixing bowl, combine the apples, apple juice, lemon juice, cranberries, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and a pinch of nutmeg and sea salt. Pour into greased 2-quart baking pan.

Make topping: mix together flour, oats, ginger snaps, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in dabs of chilled butter, making a moist, crumbly mixture.

Spoon the topping over the apples.

Cover dish with a lid or piece of foil (remember to recycle it afterwards). Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for another 30 minutes, till apples are tender and topping is crisp and golden brown.

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