Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ruth Allen's Cranberry Dessert

This post is in honor of my neighbor across the street. She is also a mother of three (all under 5). In fact I wrote about her here in my Conversations That Help series.

The other day I was over visiting and she told me about a dessert she tried for her family. So really this dessert is not my idea at all- just my take on what she told me she had tried that her family seemed to love. Amidst the chaos of six kids we sometimes have conversations :) Our family definitely loved this version of Ruth Allen's Dessert and I have made it a couple times since. It's a quick and easy holiday dessert, but can also be made anytime cranberries and citrus are in season. It's also pretty hard to mess up, which I also love :)

There are a lot of different substitutions, as you will see in the recipe below. My family prefers it with apples and cranberries with grapefruit juice in the filling and with walnuts in the topping- but get creative and see what your family loves. (Again it's really hard to mess this up :)

Ruth Allen’s Cranberry Dessert

Yields: 1 9x13 glass pan
For the fruit part:
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries, diced (or chopped by pulsing in a food processor a couple times)
  • 4-6 large medjool dates or 8-12 diglet dates (depending on the size of your sweet tooth)
  • 1/2 cup orange or grapefruit juice (or any other citrus you have on hand; however, I don't reccomend lemon or lime), can be fresh or from a carton
  • 2-3 large apples or pears (or a mixture of both)

For the topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts or pecans or mixture
  • 1 1/2 cup oats (I use gluten free oats from Trader Joe's)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 Tbsp coconut oil, or butter, or dairy-free butter sub like Earth Balance
  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees Farenheit. There is no need to grease the pan you use.
  • Pulse all the fruit part ingredients in a food processor or just dice the apple, cranberries, and dates the old fashioned way, fill the pan, and then pour the fruit juice over the top.
  • For the topping, pulse all the dry ingredients in a food processor (If you do not have a food processor, you may also Just finely chop the walnuts and use the oats whole. It will work that way as well).
  • Then pulse in (or cut in with a fork or pastry blender) the butter or coconut oil until the mixture barely sticks together. Then sprinkle evenly over the cranberry apple mixture.
  • Bake at 350 F for 25-35 minutes until the fruit mixture is boiling and the topping begins to crisp.

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