Cranberry and Apple Crisp with Biscuit Crumble

From Carrie Morey's Hot Little Suppers cookbook

Cranberry and Apple Crisp with Biscuit Crumble


  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 pounds apples, cored and peeled
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries (can use frozen)
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Vanilla ice cream to serve
  • Additional ingredients below

The holiday season is full of delicious food, but especially delectable desserts! Cookie exchanges, festive candies, and of course, countless homemade recipes from cakes to pies. One of my favorite recipes is this seasonal crisp filled with roasted apples and cranberries – the flavors of a perfect wintery, Christmas treat!

This crisp is perfect for putting in the oven while you’re spending an afternoon decorating or wrapping presents. It smells like the holidays as it bakes, filling the house with a buttery, cinnamon aroma. Pull it out and serve it straight from the skillet, topped with ice cream. A delicious reward for all your merry work!

Additional Ingredients

Mama’s Butter Piecrust

  • 2 ¼ cups cake flour (or 2 cups all-purpose flour)
  • ⅓ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 5 to 7 tablespoons ice water

Biscuit Crumble Topping

  • 3 leftover buttermilk biscuits, crumbled
  • ¼ cup pecans, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons butter


  1. To make the piecrust: In a large bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Incorporate the butter into the flour, working the dough between your thumb and middle and pointer fingers to “snap” the dough together until the mixture resembles cottage cheese. It will be chunky, with some loose flour. Mix the cold water into the dough by the tablespoon, working it into the dough with your fingers until the dough holds together in a rough ball. Flour a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper. Dump the dough onto the paper, sprinkle flour on the dough, and cover it with another sheet of parchment paper. Place the whole dough “sandwich” on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit out for 30 minutes still sandwiched in the paper.
  2. To make the biscuit crumble topping: In a small bowl, combine the crumbled biscuits, crushed pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Incorporate with your fingers until the mixture comes together in pea-size crumbs.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Set it aside to cool.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the apples, cranberries, orange juice, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
  6. With the piecrust dough still between the sheets of paper, roll it out into a 13-inch round and place it in the skillet. (Or you can make a free-form tart on a rimmed baking sheet.)
  7. Pour the apple and cranberry mixture onto the crust, leaving enough space around the edges to fold the dough up and over the apples by ½ to 1 inch.
  8. Sprinkle the biscuit crumble topping over the apples and cranberries. Fold the dough up and over the apples for a rustic look, pleating as necessary.
  9. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and brush it over the exposed dough. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the apples and cranberries are tender and the biscuit crumble topping and pastry are all browned.
  10. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or at room temperature.

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Buttermilk Biscuits

Hot Little Tip

You can substitute store-bought crust for homemade. And I prefer my recipe for Savory Roasted Cocktail Pecans, which are especially salty and buttery.