Happy fall, amici! How ’bout a new twist on Nanny’s crisp? One you might even consider adding to your holiday dessert table, what with the pretty colors and all. Mind you, Nanny wouldn’t have sprinkled alcohol over crisp, but it’s a mighty fine idea. And I like to think she’s smilin’ down on me in my kitchen regardless.

When it comes to apples, I’m a Macoun girl all the way. They’re tart, sweet and easy to find in the fall here in the Land of Steady Habits. Though my favorite farmstand buddy at Berruti’s reminded me today with a rhyme, “Northern Spies for pies.” Support your local orchards and farmstands, find your favorite apples and follow me to the kitchen to make this crisp!


For Fruit
5 cups Macouns, cored and cubed (4 BIG apples yielded 5 cups for me)
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

For Crisp
1 stick (8 tablespoons salted butter)
1 cup quick oats (not instant oats, mind you, QUICK ones!)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
6 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Maker’s Mark* (I thought I was fancy and used cognac once–did my kitchen smell AMAZING, too! You can’t taste it, of course. This time, I used Maker’s Mark. You can also use water.)
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Butter an 8″ x 8″ baking dish. In a bowl, combine fruit with sugar and cornstarch to coat. Place fruit in dish.

Melt butter in skillet. Add quick oats and almonds and saute, stirring constantly, 3 minutes or a little more to get the oats ‘n almonds lightly browned. Don’t go too crazy because they’ll brown more in the oven. 😉

Mix together sugars, flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir into oat/nut mixture.

Spread crisp mixture over fruit.

Sprinkle two tablespoons water (or booze if you are so inclined!) over the top. Bake at 400 degrees F 30 minutes or until fruit is tender.