Until I was 9 years old, Thanksgiving dinner meant Cranberry, Orange, Apple Relish. But then my mom found a new recipe for a Cranberry Apple Crumble. Our family was skeptical at first. Why change tradition? And then we tasted the new cranberry dish and a new Thanksgiving tradition began.
Yes. It’s that good. Seriously. This may be my favorite Thanksgiving food!
Mom’s Cranberry Apple Crumble is one of the first recipes I adapted as a Trim Healthy Mama. When I make it for Thanksgiving this year, this will be the fortieth (40th!!!) year I will have enjoyed this delicious dish! Good grief. Now I’m feeling old…
How a Recipe Becomes a Tradition
Like any good tradition, this recipe comes with stories and memories. There’s the first year Mom trusted me to use a sharp knife to cut the apples: I felt so grown up! And I remember slipping away as a teen with my cousin to take some to her horse.
There was the one year I had Thanksgiving with an old boyfriend and missed having our family’s crumble. Not gonna lie: that was the year Thanksgiving didn’t feel like Thanksgiving.
The years I made this dish to bring to my future husband’s family Thanksgivings. And the very first Thanksgiving dinner I prepared completely on my own as a newlywed.
But even though this is my most beloved Thanksgiving dish, it doesn’t need to be reserved just for turkey day! This crumble is delicious as a dessert too and it’s perfect any time fresh cranberries are available.
My children love this recipe and now my daughter is often the one who prepares it! I’ve shared this recipe with so many friends and family, and now I get to share it with you.
How to Make Cranberry Apple Crumble
[printable recipe with substitution notes at the bottom]
- 3 cups of sweet, firm apples such as gala or honey crisp, chopped, with skins on
- 2 cups of whole, fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup of Pyure sweetener *see recipe notes for substitute conversions
- 1/3 cup of THM baking blend (not pictured–oops) *see recipe notes for substitutions
- 1-1/2 cups of old fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup of Pyure sweetener *see recipe notes for substitute conversions
- 1/4 teaspoon of blackstrap molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon of maple extract
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (divided)
- 1/2 teaspoon of mineral salt
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped pecans or walnuts
- 5 teaspoons of unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup of egg whites
Prepare the Fruit Layer
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-cup casserole dish with cooking spray (I usually use either avocado oil or coconut oil spray).
Chop the apples into smallish cubes. Depending on the size of your apples you’ll need anywhere from 2-4 apples to get 3 cups.
In a large bowl, combine the apples, cranberries, 1/2 cup of Pyure, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and the baking blend.
Mix it all together until the apples and cranberries are nicely coated by the dry ingredients. I love the way it looks when it sticks to the cranberries! Am I weird that just looking at this picture makes me happy?
Transfer the apple mixture to your prepared casserole and spread it out evenly.
Assemble the Crumble Layer
Next, combine 1/4 cup of Pyure with the blackstrap molasses and the maple extract. Basically you’re making brown “sugar” here.
Mix it together until it looks like brown sugar. It’s going to take a little bit of time to work the molasses completely through the sweetener.
I like to sort of mash the clumps of molasses with the back of my spoon and then smooth it outwards.
Next, add the oats, another 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, mineral salt, and the walnuts and toss with the brown “not sugar” until they’re all combined.
Then stir in the melted butter and the egg whites. The original recipe called for a stick of butter and no egg whites. You could use the butter if you wanna get crazy, just know that you’d be creating a crossover since you’re combining a lot of fat with a fair amount of carbs. I actually like the egg whites better! They sorta crisp up the crumb without adding extra fat.
Now just spread the oat crumble over the top of the apple mixture. Then pop it into the oven and bake it, uncovered, until the edges are nice and bubbly and the top turns golden brown. It takes about 45 – 50 minutes.
The cranberries will pop and the apples will release liquid that combines with the baking blend which has gluccie to make a nice thick sauce. And the oats become a crisp, crumbly topping. My mouth is watering just writing about it!
Seriously, this is so ridiculously good!
Make Ahead Notes
One of my favorite parts of this recipe is you can assemble it a day or two ahead and refrigerate it to cut down your work (and dirty dishes…) on Thanksgiving day. I like to get as much done in advance as possible, how about you? The less prep work to do that day, the more time for watching the parade and football, snacking, and visiting with friends and family!
When I prepare it in advance, I just assemble the casserole, then cover it and refrigerate it before it’s baked. Remove it from the refrigerator about an hour before you’re ready to bake it to let it get closer to room temperature. Then bake it as directed.
So, what do you think?! Let me know how much you loved it in the comments section! And if you’d take a moment to give it a rating, I sure would appreciate it!