This Skillet Apple Cranberry Crisp is the ideal dessert to make for dinner parties, and is a festive and delicious addition to your holiday table!
Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Will you be preparing the meal, or are you going to someone else's house?
Our tradition is that my parents always host Thanksgiving, and we host Christmas. Unless we're traveling, which we're not this year.
So we usually bring salad or apps, and a dessert to the feast. Dessert is truly one of my favorite parts of the Thanksgiving meal (or any meal!). Enter this Apple Cranberry Crisp.
Perfect fall dessert
Dessert is the reward at the end of a long, trying, tiring, happy, fun, sometimes stressful day. It's the treat you give yourself for surviving another dinner with relatives whom you simultaneously love and love to hate. The reward for not throwing Uncle Joe back to the 1950s along with his equally outdated sexist/racist/nationalist remarks. For listening for 15 minutes to cousin Maria's "helpful" dating advice. For successfully avoiding sharing close proximity air space with your niece Esmeralda, who clearly has the flu and/or pink eye.
If you're not a fan of pumpkin pie (I am not), you could bake an apple pie. Or, you could whip together this beautiful and delicious Skillet Apple Cranberry Crisp.
Skillet Apple Cranberry Crisp
This Skillet Apple Cranberry Crisp comes together fairly quickly, which is one of the reasons I love this recipe.
The apples bake beautifully in a blanket of brown sugar and cinnamon, which smells AMAZING! And the streusel topping adds a delicious crunchy texture.
What's the difference between a crisp, crumble, and cobbler?
I love a good crisp, crumble, and cobbler. What's the difference? Here's a quick primer:
Cobblers are a baked fruit dessert topped with biscuits.
Crisps and Crumbles are similar in that they are baked fruit desserts with a streusel topping. The main difference is in the ingredients: the streusel topping for crisps contain oats; the topping for crumbles do not.
Make the streusel topping
The streusel topping is honestly my favorite part of this dessert. It's the reason I prefer an apple crisp over apple pie. I need the crunch factor to balance out the baked fruit!
This is the same exact topping I use on muffins. The buttery blend of oats, brown sugar, and hint of cinnamon makes your house smell soooo yummy and festive while it's baking.
You can make the topping first, and then set it aside until you are ready to assemble and bake the crisp.
Make the apple cranberry filling
The filling for this apple cranberry crisp is super easy. Start by peeling, coring, and chopping up some Granny Smith apples. I love the tartness these classic green apples lend to fall desserts, and they bake well. If you prefer to use a red apple, I've found that Honeycrisps, Pink Lady apples, and Fuji apples also bake well.
Sauté the apples until they become tender. Toss with cornstarch mixture, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add a cup of fresh or frozen cranberries and orange juice. Then top with the streusel topping. Bake for 30-35 minutes and allow to cool at room temp for about 10 minutes before serving.
For maximum dessert bliss, serve with vanilla ice cream. I recently found this lactose-free Breyer's vanilla ice cream that is delicious.
Benefits of cast iron cooking
Another thing I love about this recipe is that it's a one-skillet recipe that can go straight from stove to oven to the table.
For this dessert, I suggest using a cast iron skillet. There are many benefits to cast iron cooking. When it comes to using a cast iron for dessert, these are the reasons I love using cast iron for desserts:
- Cast iron skillets heat evenly, ensuring the entire dessert gets a beautiful even golden brown crispy shell.
- They keep food warmer for longer after baking, making it a great oven-to-table cookware option.
- The ability to go from stovetop for making the filling, to the oven for baking, makes this a simple one-pan dessert. Less mess, and no fuss!
I use my Finex Cookware 10" cast iron skillet for this dessert. It not only bakes the crisp up perfectly, but also keeps the crisp warm and looks absolutely beautiful on any table!
Skillet Apple Cranberry Crisp
Apple Filling Ingredients
- 2 lbs Granny Smith (green) apples (4 large)
- 1 cup cranberries
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
Make the topping
- In a large bowl, mix together oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cold butter cubes with your hands to create a crumbly topping. Set aside.
Make the filling
- In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and brown sugar. Set aside.
- In a 10-inch cast iron skillet (or other oven-safe skillet) over medium-high heat, sauté apples until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cornstarch brown sugar mixture, sprinkle cinnamon, and stir to coat.
- Remove from heat and add the orange juice. Then top with the topping and bake at 350°F for about 30-35 minutes. The crisp will be slightly bubbling and the top will be golden brown.
- Cool on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes before serving.
What yummy dishes will be on YOUR Thanksgiving table this year?
More Holiday Recipes
- Wild Rice Dressing with Cranberries, Cherries, and Pecans
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples
- Best Wine for Thanksgiving
This post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy for details.