Fruit crisp is a comfort food favorite that lends itself to cooking with the seasons, when fruit is at its prime, in abundant supply in local farmers’ markets, and, if we’re lucky, in our own gardens. It also has the distinct advantage of allowing us to satisfy our craving for sweets while imagining that we are virtuous for having had one of our recommended daily portions of fruit.
Typically, when I make fruit crisp, I like to mix it up with a medley of seasonal fruits: apricots, peaches, or plums paired with blueberries or wild harvest blackberries in the late spring and summer; apples combined with cranberries in the fall and winter. In this recipe, however, I experimented with adding another seasonal fruit — black grapes — to my usual fall fruit crisp. I thought the experiment a success and hope you will also.
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups wheat flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, finely chopped
1/2 cup butter, chilled and grated
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon cold water
4 fresh baking apples (Cortland, Winesap, Jonathan, Granny Smith, or Empire varietals work well)
1 cup black seedless grapes
3/4 cup fresh cranberries
(optional) 1 tablespoon Calvados (apple brandy) or apple cider
1 tablespoon water
- In large mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, oats, nuts, butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut with a pastry blender or your fingertips until blended and of a pea-sized grain. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon water and lightly toss. Chill until ready for use.
- Lightly butter a 2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish.
- Partially peel the apples, slice them in half lengthwise, and core the apple halves using the tip of a spoon. Cut apples into 1/2″ slices and place them in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the grapes, cranberries, optional Calvados (if used), and 1 tablespoon water.
- Sprinkle the mixed fruit with the chilled topping mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees F. for 40-50 minutes, until the fruit is cooked through and the topping is lightly browned. Serve the crisp slightly warm on its own, with a light topping of cream, or with ice cream. Serves 6-8.