Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cranberry Apple Crisp with Rosemary and Chia Seeds

Since I've been busy picking cranberries...and apples, I came up with this yummy twist on a traditional apple cranberry crisp. Most fruit "crisp" recipes are thrown together, and to me, taste like it. I've taken this one a step further, cooking the filling on the stove before popping it in the oven. No sugar is added (to the filling) and I used chia seeds as a thickener. The topping of oats and almond flour with a hint of rosemary really make this dessert a winner and fairly healthy. It's practically guilt free :) ~Audrey
2/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups apples, diced
1-1/2 cups cranberries
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
3 tablespoons butter, melted

I visited an apple orchard in Fairbanks this fall. Yes, an apple orchard, in the middle of Alaska where it gets -50 on a regular basis during the winter. Planted over 30 years ago by a man with a dream and perseverance, this orchard produces about 6,000 pounds of apples per year. An 8 foot fence keeps the moose out...apparently, they love apples as much as people do.

In a pan, add orange juice, chia seeds, nutmeg and cinnamon. The orange juice will allow the chia seeds to open up and do their magic which is to thicken the mixture without adding sugar or corn starch. Meanwhile dice 2 cups apples. Add apples, and 1 cup of the cranberries to the mixture. Heat on medium, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Take off heat and add remaining 1/2 cup cranberries. 

Pour into a lightly buttered baking dish.  
I used my favorite La Creuset Stoneware which is about a 9x7. A glass baking dish would work too.

Mix all topping ingredients together. Sprinkle over top and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Wait at least 30 minutes before digging in so it has a chance to set up. Serve with your favorite ice cream and garnish with a sprig of rosemary. 

A beautiful apple orchard in the middle of Alaska created by Clair Lammers. Clair passed away on Christmas Eve, 2012 at the age of 77. His wife Vivian was gracious enough to let me pick my own apples, a very special treat because this apple farm is not open to the public. 

About 200 varieties are grown here.

It's been a busy fall between picking cranberries and apples..and getting ready for another long, cold winter. But if the apples can survive, so can I :)
You can purchase these delicious apples at the Tanana Valley Farmers Market and the Fairbanks Co-op Market starting in mid August and through September while supplies last. The cranberries...well you have to find a great cranberry picking spot and keep it a secret! Best picked after the first frost.