Tuesday, November 24, 2009

TWD: Cran-Apple Crisps

I admit it. I'm one of those people who totally judge a book by it's cover. If you were to look through my bookshelves, you'd find no less than 50 books that I've purchased over the course of my lifetime SOLELY because the cover art looked cool. I'm a super visual person... I can't help it.

Now, of those 50 or so books on my bookshelves that I bought solely because of their cool/weird/neat/different cover layout/artwork/title, I'd say approximately 10% of those I've actually read all the way through. Sure. I've attempted to read them all at some point or another. You'd pick one up and thumb through it and see my random bookmark around page 14 or maybe I'd make it as far as 62 (some probably a measly 6).

But, it doesn't stop at books. Oh, if only it did. I judge movies by their movie posters. Wine? Oh lord. Let's not even get into the wine and liquor discussion. I definitely have a certain aesthetic I look for in wine labels, which is why blind wine tastings are so important for me to discover good wines without the snazzy looking labels.

I don't really look at this sickness as a level of pretension, because we all do it to a certain extent. But, it's always interesting when you're surprised by something that doesn't look or sound that great to you, but then when you try it, it's amazing!

Enter this Cran-Apple Crisp. My Tuesdays with Dorie entry for today. On the one hand, I love apples. Love, love, love apples. Cranberries? Ehhh... I'll eat them, but they're not really my favorite. So, I was less than thrilled about this choice by Em The Repressed Pastry Chef. I thought. Okay, it will be good. but nothing noteworthy.

Holy crap, was I wrong! This was like one of the most amazing things I've put in my mouth (that's what she said). And I know... I know you're thinking I'm exaggerating, but I'm totally not. It's like an explosion of flavors. You get the tartness from the cranberries, the firm and sweetness from the apples, the syrupy-gooeyness from the dried cranberries and raisins, the homey-ness from the oatmeal, an unexpected exoticness from the coconut and a warm, fuzzy feeling inside from the cinnamon and spices.

Delicious. Even though it's not some 12 layer masterpiece with a zillion steps and it's not especially visually stunning, it is a deliciously simple dessert. Who knew that such simple components could yield such delicious results?

Dorie Greenspan, in my eyes, is the queen of the fruit desserts. I bow down.

Cran-Apple Crisps
recipe by Dorie Greenspan

Extremely easy. The recipe calls for either dried cranberries or raisins, but since I love raisins in cooked things, I added both.

I also upped the cranberries by a lot. I figure it couldn't hurt. And it didn't. And I used a lot more coconut than called for. If you're one of those who don't like the texture of coconut, I'd sub in some extra oatmeal to make up for the lack of coconut. But, you'd be missing out on the unexpected interest that the coconut lends to the dessert.