Apple picking is one of our favorite fall activities and this impossibly simple cran-apple crumble is our most recent way to put the fruits of our labor to good use. The apples are spiced and cooked to a delectably soft consistency, cognac adds sophisticated flair and the cranberries are enticingly sweet/tart. But at the end of the day we're all about the crumble topping. It's everything a topping should be: buttery, plump with toasted oats and just crisp enough to handle all those jammy cranberries and freshly whipped cognac crème. This crumble is quite possibly the easiest, most comforting and best smelling way to usher in the change of seasons.
Cran-Apple Crumble with Cognac Crème
makes one 9x13 crumble5 cooking apples (I used a mixture of Cortland and Jonagold); peeled and chopped 12 ounces whole, fresh cranberries 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon cloves 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 3 tablespoons Cognac 1 teaspoon vanilla extract zest and juice of 1/2 lemon 1 1/2 Tablespoons corn starch For topping: 1 stick unsalted butter; diced 1 cup whole wheat flour 1 cup rolled oats 1/4 cup demerara sugar 1/3 cup dark brown sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon cloves For Crème: 1 cup heavy cream 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar 1 tablespoon Cognac 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9x13 baking pan and set aside. Toss apples and cranberries with sugar, spices and salt. Add in cognac, vanilla, lemon juice, zest and cornstarch and mix to combine. Spoon into prepared pan. In a separate bowl mix butter, flour, oats, sugars and spices with your hands until the mixture clumps together. Sprinkle on top of filling. Place crumble in oven for 60 minutes until the juices are bubbling and the topping is browned. Related: What's the Difference? Crumbles, Grunts, Cobblers, and Buckles (Images: Rebekah Peppler)