A Lost Recipe—Apple Cranberry Crisp

I’m not sure, but my guess is that professional chefs never lose recipes, which is one reason I know that I will never be or even aspire to be a professional cook. I confess to losing, or at least misplacing, at least one recipe a year. For instance, there was the great Hot Fudge Sauce Hot Fudge Sauce recipe that I made a couple of times, then lost for years until finding it by chance. And then there is Pat’s Caponata recipe that I never found but had to recreate by tweaking some recipes I found on line.

Jerri suffers from the same weakness. Forty or forty-five years ago when we were still living in Kentucky, Jerri made a dessert that we loved. It was a crisp made with apples, cranberries and oatmeal. She made it three or four times in Kentucky, and we think that she made it at least once or twice after we moved to New Richmond. We are not sure of that, so it is possible that she lost the recipe during the move.

Every year when we buy cranberries at the marsh near Stone Lake, Wisconsin, she laments that she has lost that recipe. This fall I suggested that we try to recreate it. I went on line and saved six recipes that resembled the one she remembered. She chose the one that seemed closest to what she remembered and dictated some changes to me.

She then followed her newly revised recipe which produced a wonderful dessert. You really need to try it. It will wow your family and guests. Offer it as a second dessert on Thanksgiving day or just serve it warm with a scoop of ice cream after any meal. It’s even good plain and cold for a healthful breakfast! Think of it as oatmeal and fruit.


2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
3 1/2 cups diced peeled apples
1 cup sugar
3 T all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans


Grease an eight by twelve-inch baking dish and set a stick of butter aside to soften to room temperature.

Peel and core the apples and chop them into a half-inch dice. Blend the flour, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir the apples and cranberries into the sugar mixture. Make sure that the fruit is mixed evenly through the batter.

Preheat the oven to 350º and make the topping. Blend the oatmeal, flour, cinnamon and brown sugar together in a mixing bowl. Add the butter in small pieces, and cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Stir in the chopped pecans. You should have a crumbly topping mixture.

Pour the fruit batter into the greased baking dish. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit. Bake at 350° for fifty to fifty-five minutes or until the apples are tender and most of the cranberries have popped open.

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You will have eight to ten servings.

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