Apple Gingersnap Crumble

For the filling:

5 cups apples, peeled and chopped
1 cup whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
½ cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp gf flour

For the topping:

6 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup gf flour
2 cups crushed Mi-del Ginger Snaps
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp nutmeg

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a baking dish (I used a 13-inch oval).
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the apples, cranberries, brown sugar, and 2 Tbsp of gf flour until the fruit is lightly coated in the dry ingredients.
  • Pour the contents of the bowl into the prepared baking dish.
  • In the same mixing bowl (fewer dishes to clean!), mix together the topping ingredients: butter pieces, brown sugar, gf flour, crushed ginger snaps, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.
  • Use a hand mixer or potato masher to get the butter into even smaller pieces and mashed into the other ingredients.
  • Pour the topping over the contents of the baking dish, using your fingers or a spoon to spread it evenly over the top of the fruit.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling up the sides of the topping and the topping is lightly browned.
  • Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Okay, did you know what the difference is between a “crisp,” a “crumble,” and a “cobbler”? I didn’t until I was making this dish at my parent’s place over Thanksgiving, and my brother asked me what the difference was. In making this dessert again for the blog, I turned to my friend Google for the answers.

I think I’ve already sung the praises of the Kitchn on our blog here, but let me sing them again — the Kitchn not only has lots of great, original recipes to try, but they also tackle techniques and questions behind the definitions or science of cooking that can be hard to find the answers to. According to the Kitchn, all three are some sort of fruit baked with a topping. However, in a cobbler, the topping consists of a biscuit or cake mix, resulting in cooked fruit with a sort of baked good topping. Both crumbles and crisps have a streusel topping, but in a crisp, the topping has to contain oats, while a crumble can contain pretty much any combination of grains, nuts, etc. So! Since there are no oats in this dessert, we have a crumble.

There are a number of things that I like about this recipe. One is that it is super simple. Not many ingredients, not many steps, and, if you play your cards right, only one bowl to clean. This year has been a crazy busy one (…even for us), and finding time for complicated recipes has been harder than ever, so simple dishes that don’t require too many steps or too much babysitting currently have my heart.

If you don’t have access to Mi-del’s Gluten Free Ginger Snaps, you could use any other premade ginger snap cookie, as long as they’re fairly dry and crunchy. My mom put it best — Mi-del’s Gluten Free Ginger Snaps are kind of garbage as cookies. Maybe it’s my love of chewier cookies that biases me, but it’s true. However, these ginger snaps might not be great as cookies, but they’re excellent for baking with. So far, they’re a staple for me as the foundation for cheesecake crusts and now for the topping for this crumble. The ginger flavor in them is strong and delicious, and the very crunchiness that makes them unfortunate as cookies gives them great texture for other baking recipes. At this point, I refuse to use gluten free graham crackers for anything. None of the brands I’ve found have enough flavor or the right texture, and the existence of these ginger snaps render them kind of useless.

This is a great dish to put into rotation for the holidays. This year, we made a double batch of this for Thanksgiving dessert, and it rapidly disappeared. The whole cranberries and zing from the ginger snaps spice up a pretty traditional recipe. This is definitely one I could eat a whole baking dish of, guys.

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