It happens every year. I cook a big bowl of homemade Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving and, at least, half is leftover. Of course, I’ve considered just making less, but I worry that a small bowl will look skimpy. Then people might take even less thinking there’s not enough to go around, and I’d still find myself with leftovers.
Fueled by my hatred of waste, I decided to find a use for unwanted Cranberry Sauce. I focused my mind on cranberries, and apples crept into the picture. Then a streusel topping. Then a graham cracker crust. Then a caramel sauce drizzle. Mmmmm! I got to work and made APPLE CRAN CRUMBLE.
It turned out SO GOOD!!! So good, in fact, that I made a fresh batch of Cranberry Sauce just so I could make this dessert again.
NOTE: I made the caramel sauce from scratch – it was surprisingly easy. You can buy caramel sauce, if you like.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: If you don’t have leftover cranberry sauce, you can easily make it. Click on CRANBERRY SAUCE for my easy and fast recipe.
APPLE CRAN CRUMBLE – made in 3½ cup baking dish (about 6 servings)
- 10 graham crackers (about 6 oz total), crushed
- 5 T butter, melted
Combine crushed graham crackers and melted butter. Reserve 1/2 cup. Pour the remainder into a casserole dish – I used a 9.5″ oval – and pat firmly to cover bottom. Bake at 350º fahrenheit for 7 minutes. Cool before filling.
- 1/2 cup crust mixture that was set aside
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tsp flour
- 3 T dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted
Mix all together in a bowl.
- about 1½ – 2 cups cranberry sauce – drained
- 3 small red delicious apples – peeled & chopped
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
Combine apples, sugar, and cinnamon. Keep cranberry sauce separate.
Salted Caramel – makes about 1 cup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 T butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp kosher salt
In a saucepan (don’t use a skillet – the sides are too short), combine the sugar and water. Turn on burner to medium high. Don’t stir, but you can gently swirl the pan now and then. What will happen is the water will boil and the liquid will turn clear. Stay nearby because things can change fast!
As the water boils off, the sugar will start to darken. When it gets to dark amber, you’ll see a puff of steam. REMOVE FROM HEAT or it will burn. Add in the butter and stir until it’s melted. Pour in cream and stir. Be careful when you add the butter and cream – they may splatter. Finally, stir in salt.
Assembly and baking:
Spread apples over crust. Spoon on cranberry sauce. Sprinkle streusel topping on top. Lightly cover with foil so the topping doesn’t burn. Bake at 375º fahrenheit for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 5 minutes.
Let APPLE CRAN CRUMBLE cool about 15 minutes before drizzling caramel sauce on top. Serve warm. Vanilla ice cream can make it even better!