I love apples. I love apples in the morning. I love apples at night. I love apples all the time. For our Thanksgiving feast, one of my mothers very kindly provided a sweet potato pie. I decided that it is just weird to limit yourself to one dessert on Thanksgiving (yes, I said that), and so I used my favorite fall fruit to create a perfect partner for the dessert plate.
When I’m looking for a good recipe that features seasonal produce, I often turn to a cookbook that a dear friend gave me years ago, Hay Day Country Market Cookbook. Hay Day was originally a farmstand in Connecticut, and now apparently has other locations in the East. I have never seen a Hay Day Country Market, but I sure do enjoy their book full of farm to table ideas. As usual, they did not fail to provide inspiration. I made some changes to make the recipe I found dairy and gluten free, to reflect seasonal flavors, and to up the count of those super health giving nuts.
Cranberry Apple Pecan Crunch – significantly adapted from Cherry Apple Pecan Crisp in Hay Day Country Market Cookbook
- 8 cups thinly sliced tart apples (no I don’t peel and I used Pink Lady)
- 3/4 c dried cranberries
- 1/3 c fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 c coconut sugar (or your preferred sweetener)
- 1 c rolled oats
- 1/4 c chickpea flour (you can use whatever flour you prefer OR use more oats)
- 1/2 c coconut sugar (or your favorite solid sweet)
- 1 1/2 t cinnamon
- 1/4 t fresh ground nutmeg
- 8 T coconut oil (cold is ideal)
- 1 1/2 c pecans (we toasted ours – WOW), chopped coarsely
Preheat oven to 350. Lay apples in rectangular baking dish (mine was the classic large glass variety). Sprinkle cranberries on, trying to distribute somewhat evenly. Add sugar to OJ and stir. Drizzle over fruit, attempting vaguely even distribution. If you prefer, you can mix all of these together in a bowl and then put in pan, but I had little hands that needed occupying and she really enjoyed adding it to the pan in stages. Set the fruit aside.
Place dry ingredients through the nutmeg in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to mix. Add the coconut oil and process until incorporated and crumbly. Stir in pecans and pour the mixture over the waiting fruit. I added a few raw oats to the top for texture. Bake until lightly browned and fruit juices bubble up around the edges 40-45 minutes. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Perfect with any pie pairing, especially next to perfect sweet potato pie, or on its own. Delish harvest dessert.