Cranberry and Apple Crisp with Snow Ice Cream

Well, it’s January and you know what that means. It’s time for my annual “I’m going to completely change my lifestyle this year…I swear…for real this time.” Sigh. Honestly, I wasn’t really going to bother until Lori at RecipeGirl.com started her “Ten in 10″ Challenge. What I like about it is that it’s not about weightloss, it’s just about trying to become more healthy in whatever way you define that.

I like food. I like to eat food. I even like to take pictures of the food I eat because I just like it that much. So going on a diet doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe it’s something I can do for a few weeks but eventually I get, you know, hungry. So my goal for the next 10 weeks is not another diet, but just be healthier (more fruits/veg, whole grains, etc.) and more active. I did that this past summer/fall and lost about 15 lbs. But if you’ve been reading my blog since November you know I, uh, indulged a bit over the holidays, so now I just want to get back on track and hopefully lose another 15 lbs.

What that means for this little blog is that I will be posting lower fat/healthier recipes for the next ten weeks, though you can be sure that everything I post will still be good. Eating healthier is not an excuse to eat bland, boring food! And because I’m such a sugar addict, I’m sure I’ll still be posting some desserts, too. My Cooking Light book has some excellent looking desserts I’ve been wanting to try out! And speaking of good and relatively healthy desserts, that is exactly why I love today’s recipe (let’s ignore the ice cream part for right now, ok?).

Cranberry and Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp is one of my favorite desserts ever, but before now I haven’t made it for two reasons: 1. Brandon hates it. (How do I have a boyfriend who hates cake AND apple crisp!!) 2. It’s best eaten right away. Day old, soggy, apple crisp just doesn’t do it for me. Even if you re-heat it’s never as crispy and fresh as when you first pull it out the oven.

A few weeks ago it snowed A LOT here, about 2 feet, which is the most snow I’ve ever seen. Cold weather makes me want a warm dessert so the first thing I thought of was Apple Crisp. I couldn’t go to the grocery store (I don’t like driving the rain, so driving in the snow is never going to happen), but luckily you don’t need tons of ingredients to make apple crisp. In fact, you can pretty much put whatever you like in there. I had a bunch of cranberries leftover from Thanksgiving so I decided to throw those in there, too. The tartness of the cranberries are a great contrast to a sweeter apple like a honeycrisp. I also made a version with pomegranate seeds which I liked the taste of, but not the hardness of the seeds (too much likes nuts, which I don’t like).

Cranberry and Apple Crisp with Snow Ice Cream

But I still had the problem of the soggy left overs since Brandon wouldn’t be eating any. That’s when I remembered my adorable little ramekins. I already use them to make single servings of Molten Chocolate Cake and Chicken Pot Pie, so I figured they’d be perfect for a single serving of Apple Crisp, too. Honestly, if you don’t have any ramekins, I highly recommend you pick some up. (You don’t have to spend a lot, mine are from Target and they cost about $2 each.) I originally got them because I thought they would be cute for food photography, but they are really useful. Most especially if you are on a diet, because they have built-in portion control! I love being able to make myself this small indulgence in about 20 minutes with a minimum of guilt. I can’t say that for most other desserts.

Snow Ice Cream

The only “problem” (if you can call it that) with Apple Crisp is that it needs ice cream. I mean, it doesn’t need ice cream, but to me ice cream is an important component to the dessert. Since there was a pile of snow against the sliding glass door in the kitchen, it was a no brainer to make Snow Ice Cream. All I had to do was stick a big bowl out the door and scoop up a bunch of snow (while it was falling and still fresh and untouched). My dad taught me to make Snow Ice Cream when we lived in Tennessee and I’ve loved it ever since. It’s kind of a trial and error thing to make and you’re never going to get the creaminess of real ice cream (more like a sno cone), but I love the homemade quality of it. And I think snow is beautiful and magical, so eating it almost feels like a delicacy.

Cranberry and Apple Crisp with Snow Ice Cream

Cranberry and Apple Crisp

adapted from Allrecipes.com

Dessert | Servings: 1 (10 oz.) ramekin
Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 20 min | Total time: 30 min

Ingredients

  • 1 small apple or 2/3 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped (Use a sweet apple like honeycrisp, golden delicious, gala, etc. No granny smiths!)
  • 5-10 fresh cranberries (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 tbsp. orange juice (substitutions: apple juice or water)
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. Mix the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Mix in butter with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Put half of the apples in layer in the bottom ramekin, top with cranberries and then the rest of the apples. Pour the juice over the fruit.
  4. Top with sugar mixture.
  5. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the apples are tender and bubbling and the topping is golden.

Snow Ice Cream

Snow Ice Cream

adapted from Back to the Cutting Board

Dessert | Servings: 2-4
Total time: 10 min

Ingredients

  • 3-4 quarts fresh snow
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup superfine sugar (process white sugar in the blender)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Milk

Process

  1. In a large bowl whisk together cream, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Fill another large bowl with snow. Pour about half into the bowl of cream and sugar. Carefully fold in the snow. Don’t stir and whisk vigorously, just work through the bowl folding the snow into the cream until mixed together. Keep adding in the rest of the snow a little bit at a time until it’s all mixed. Add milk, a tablespoon or two at time, if it’s too dry, add more snow if it’s too wet.
  3. Scoop out and serve immediately.