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Slow Cooker Apple and Cranberry Crisp

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I have my sights set on fall baking, and can’t wait to have the sweet scent of baked apples and simmering soups perfume my house. Now that Thanksgiving is just three short weeks away (yes, you did read that right), I’m thinking about easy entertaining and what my holiday menu might look like.

I generally cook for a crowd of 23 to 25 on the Sunday of the holiday weekend, so everything must be easy for me to make. I also work in a tiny urban kitchen with an even tinier toddler underfoot, so it’s imperative that my meal comes together effortlessly, which is why I’m going to rely on my slow cooker to help me out this year.

Instead of using my countertop cooker to keep my potatoes warm, I plan on putting it to use for dessert. I always bake a pie or two in advance of the main meal, but serving a simple crisp is an easy way for me to bulk up the desserts for a large crowd without worrying about needing the oven as it’ll be in use all day roasting the bird.

Making an apple crisp in the slow cooker couldn’t be easier. Just toss the filling ingredients together directly in the slow cooker, sprinkle with a spiced oat topping and cook for 3 hours. The secret to keeping it “crisp” and not soggy, is to cover the top of the slow cooker with a piece of paper towel before covering with the lid. This will absorb the condensation that forms, preventing it from dripping back down onto the oat mixture.

While you can use any apples in this recipe, I’m partial to a mix of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp or Gala.

Also, important to note: you can make the crisp in advance and use the ‘keep warm’ function on the slow cooker to hold it until you’re ready to serve or you can choose to serve it at room temperature. Whipped cream and or vanilla ice cream are optional, but highly recommended.

Slow Cooker Apple and Cranberry Crisp

You’ll Need

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 6 cups peeled and sliced apples (mix of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp, or your favourite baking apples)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ¾ cup all purpose or whole-wheat flour
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

Prep and Cook

  • 1
    Spray a large slow cooker with cooking spray. Add filling ingredients: apple slices, sugar, flour, cinnamon and dried cranberries lemon juice. Toss to combine.
  • 2
    In a large bowl, make the topping by combining oats, flour, brown sugar, remaining cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir with a whisk. Add melted butter; stir until combined.
  • 3
    Sprinkle apple mixture evenly with the oat topping. Place a large sheet of paper towels over the slow cooker, making sure the top is completely covered. Keep the paper towel taught so it doesn’t drape down over the oats. Cover with the lid. Cook on LOW for 3 hours, (or HIGH for 1 ½ hours) or until fruit is tender and top is browned.

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