Just 12 short miles from our farm in Tabernacle, New Jersey, nestled in the Pine Barrens of Chatsworth, are some of the largest, oldest and most prolific cranberry bogs in the United States. Yes, it’s cranberry heaven. Cranberries are a huge commodity in the Garden State. They are harvested in October and it is really neat how they grow. Part of the year, from spring until mid-September, they grow in a bog but like any other plant or vegetable. But come mid-September, the bogs are flooded and the cranberries continue to grow underwater. Special machines rake the cranberries off their vines and the float to the top of the water so they can be scooped up and loaded on trucks to send to the processing plant. Cranberries are another wonderful thing about fall.
Our dear friends from Lee Brothers Cranberry Farm, who are growers for Ocean Spray, were nice enough to let the kids and I help harvest their cranberries several years ago. It was a really neat experience. I like to call it “The Cranberry Experience”
Apples and cranberries pair so well together. Both are wonderful to bake with. I love baking with apples any time during the year, but especially when we start picking the apples we grow here at Russo’s. During the fall, I love to make this Apple Cranberry Crisp. It’s a recipe that I have adapted from Paula Deen. Over the years, I have tweaked, tested and perfected it to my liking. It is the perfect balance or sweet and tart with a crispy oatmeal topping. I like to warm it in the oven or pop in the microwave before eating. Top it with vanilla ice cream for a yummy fall treat. It’s the perfect dish to warm you up on a chilly fall day or serve to family and friends at a special holiday meal, like Thanksgiving. Enjoy!
- 6 large apples cored and sliced
- 1 cup Ocean Spray cranberries
- 1/4 cup apple juice
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked oatmeal
- 2 cups flour
- 1 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg optional
- 2 1/2 sticks butter melted
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- Spray 11" x 7" pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Core and slice apples
- In large bowl, combine apples, cranberries, apple juice and lemon juice.
- Pour apple mixture into baking dish.
- In medium size bowl, combine uncooked oatmeal, flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg (optional). Pour in melted butter and mix with fork until topping is crumbly.
- Spread evenly over top of apple mixture.
- Bake 50 minutes or until crisp is bubbly and topping in a nice golden brown.