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Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)

November 22, 2012

Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year I’m grateful to be able to spend all day in my kitchen, cooking and eating– one of my favorite ways to spend a day.

(I’m also grateful for food blogs and instant recipe-googling, despite my undying love of actual cookbooks.)

Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)

When you have a lot to cook in a limited time, sometimes all the careful planning and bookmarking of recipes– whether with sticky post-its or with the click of a mouse– can go out the window.

Ingredients for Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)

Instead you find yourself frantically skimming through seven different internet recipes for pecan pie, gravy, or cranberry sauce. And you cross your fingers that the strategies you settle on will hold up their end of the bargain.

Sound familiar?

Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)

Rest assured, if you still need a last-minute crowd-pleaser of a Thanksgiving dessert, then Google has landed you in the right place!

Especially if you were already searching for some kind of variation on a homemade gluten-free apple pie… I love pie. But this is better.

Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)

Apple crisp has all the ratios I like in a pie: plenty of tender juicy baked wedges of apple, kissed by a sweet crumbly topping. This year I (forgot to ask my friend for her Granny Smith apple crisp recipe and) went with a new skillet recipe (because I’m still enamored of my cast iron pan), and… added cranberries!

Cranberries and orange zest for Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)

The tart, red berries add a pop of pinkish color and an awesome dose of tanginess to round out what can sometimes be a super sweet dessert. (Don’t worry, it was still super sweet.)

Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)

I also made this recipe gluten-free by using a combination of whole rolled oats and ground almond flour!

Almond Flour for Gluten-Free Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp

My friends Bekki and Nate of Fat Uncle Farms have been providing me with a wonderful sampling of their local California almond products in exchange for coming up with recipes like this one. (If you’re interested, take a look at the other two recipes I’ve created using their almonds: Almond Cinnamon Baklava and Almond Coconut Granola.)

Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)

I’m so grateful to have friends who run an almond farm! This brings me back to the gratitude theme of the day…

I’m also grateful for friends who take me grocery shopping when my car won’t start (yes, this happened the weekend before Thanksgiving).

Cranberries and Apples for Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)

And for friends who listen, who encourage, who motivate, who welcome me into their homes when I travel, and who call me once a year. For my warm and cozy apartment. For my girlfriend for putting up with me and cooking with me. And for my sprawling and multiple families (and friends-turned-family) and the way everyone is there for each other during rough times.

Making Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)

I hope everyone reading this has just as much to be thankful for and is enjoying all of the craziness of the holiday season.

Juicing oranges for Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)
Scroll on down for the Cranberry Apple Crisp recipe! But first here’s a little Thanksgiving recipe round-up:

Print this recipe. (PDF)


Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)
(Roughly adapted from “Skillet Apple Crisp” in The Complete America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook.)

(Serves 6-8)

Filling Ingredients:
~ 6 apples (I used 3 Braeburn and 3 Fuji)
~ 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
~ dash of cinnamon
~ 1 cup cranberries
~ ¼ cup sugar
~ ⅓ cup orange juice (from 2 medium oranges)
~ 2 Tbsp. butter
~ zest of 1 orange

Topping Ingredients:
~ 1 cup whole rolled oats
~ 1 cup almond flour (finely ground almonds, I got mine from Fat Uncle Farms)
~ ½ cup brown sugar
~ ¼ cup sugar
~ 1 tsp. cinnamon
~ ½ tsp. salt
~ 8 Tbsp. butter (1 stick), melted

How to make it:

1. In a medium bowl, combine all topping ingredients (or wait to add the butter until it’s time for the topping), mix well, and set aside.

Crumbly topping for Gluten-Free Cranberry Apple CrispMaking Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)
2. Peel and core the apples, then slice into ½ inch-thick wedges. In a large bowl, toss the apple wedges with the lemon juice and a dash of cinnamon.

3. Move an oven rack to the lower half of your oven, and pre-heat to 450 degrees. Use a 12″ oven-safe skillet on the stovetop to heat the cranberries, ¼ cup sugar, orange zest, and 1-2 Tbsp. of the orange juice over low heat– stirring frequently– for 5 minutes, or just until the cranberries have started to soften and pop open.

Cranberries for Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)Cranberries for Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)
4. Once the cranberries are soft, add the 2 Tbsp. of butter to the skillet, stirring continuously, then add the apples. Cook the apples and the cranberries together on the stovetop for 10-12 minutes or so, or just until the apples have started to soften (don’t fully cook them).

Making Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)

5. Remove the skillet from the heat, and evenly pour the remaining orange juice over the fruit. Then– finish making the topping by adding the melted butter to it if you haven’t yet, and– crumble the topping evenly over the fruit.

6. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until the top is nicely browned. Let cool for at least 20 minutes (to allow more of the remaining liquid to get absorbed…), if you can! Serve warm.

Print this recipe! (PDF)

Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)

Skillet Cranberry Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free)

Related recipe posts:
> Gluten-Free Halloween Cupcakes
> Crêpes with Homemade Applesauce
> Pear Brown Butter Buckle

39 Comments leave one →
  1. November 22, 2012 9:31 am

    Looks delicious Allison! Happy Thanksgiving to you and Paula! :)

  2. November 22, 2012 9:34 am

    yummy! I love apple crisp & esp. your way with cranberries.. Happy thanksgiving to you and yours Alison!

  3. November 22, 2012 12:08 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving, this looks great plus it’s gluten free…win win!

  4. November 22, 2012 12:08 pm

    What a perfect thanksgiving recipe :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  5. November 22, 2012 1:20 pm

    Yum Alison – it looks fabulous!!

  6. November 22, 2012 7:04 pm

    Looks great!

  7. November 22, 2012 9:09 pm

    This looks so good! I like the idea of starting the apples on the stove, I’ll have to try it! The cinnamon glazed apples I’ve been making for pancakes are sweet enough for dessert–next time I’ll put a crumble on top! So smart. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • November 23, 2012 9:48 am

      Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! And yep, it worked wonderfully to start the apples on the stove– that idea was thanks to America’s Test Kitchen!– especially with this recipe where I already knew I’d want to cook the cranberries in a little sugar before adding them… and then the actual crisp baking time is so quick!

  8. November 23, 2012 4:01 am

    These photos are beautiful!

  9. November 23, 2012 12:35 pm

    Dear Spontaneous, How do I save your recipes as a file? I tried copy and paste and then tried save as a pdf but it didn’t work. From a fan…

    • November 23, 2012 12:44 pm

      Hi Sandra,
      You can try clicking on the “Print this recipe” links in every blog post, and it should automatically download/open as a save-able PDF on your computer. Let me know if you have any questions about how to do that exactly, and I’d be glad to help (or to e-mail you some recipe PDFs)!

  10. petit4chocolatier permalink
    November 23, 2012 7:15 pm

    I love all the ingredients! Looks scrumptious : )

    • November 24, 2012 11:35 am

      Thanks! After I made this last weekend, I actually made an apple cranberry pie on Thanksgiving, inspired by this ingredient combination, and that was great too!

  11. November 23, 2012 7:56 pm

    YUM! I get in trouble with treats like this around, I have a hard time not eating the entire thing!

    • November 24, 2012 11:36 am

      I know what you mean! While the leftovers lasted, I was eating them for desserts AND for breakfasts. :)

  12. November 23, 2012 10:26 pm

    Yum! Your photos are wonderful too :)

  13. November 27, 2012 8:29 am

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMM! Your pics are mouthwatering, Allison! Yummy & tasty seasonal crisp!

    • November 27, 2012 9:49 am

      Thank you! I was pretty happy with these photos too… but then again I think anything in a cast iron skillet is photogenic. :)

  14. Nami | Just One Cookbook permalink
    November 27, 2012 12:45 pm

    I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Allison! Serving the crisp in the skillet sounds like a great idea. Looks delicious!

    • November 28, 2012 9:44 pm

      Thanks, Nami… hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, too!

  15. November 28, 2012 11:17 am

    That looks so good! I’ll have to keep it in mind for Christmas. :)

    • November 28, 2012 9:44 pm

      Yes, it’d be nice as a Christmas dessert… or breakfast!

  16. daisyandthefox permalink
    December 4, 2012 8:23 pm

    yum!! this looks so good!!! love the crust on the outside :)

  17. Nerd With Taste permalink
    December 4, 2012 10:01 pm

    Where does one find a skillet like the one you used? As in, the ones that are able to hold cakes and yummy desserts, not grilled cheese sandwiches? Well done, looks amazing! ~

    • December 5, 2012 7:47 am

      It’s just a standard cast iron skillet– and one that I use much more often for huevos rancheros (and grilled cheese sandwiches) than for baked things like cornbread or this kind of dessert.

      Once it’s all nicely seasoned and non-stick, cast iron is really versatile! The only thing is that it doesn’t like acidic things like all this fruit too much (the pan might look too dry to fry eggs on without them sticking afterwards), so I just tried not to keep the leftover crisp in there for too long after serving it, and then I re-seasoned the pan by heating it up for 10 min. with a little oil on the surface.


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