Monday, December 9, 2013

Cranberry Crumble (or Leftover Cranberry Sauce's Best Friend)

I make the cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving every year, and I always make the mistake of looking at the recipe and thinking, "Yeah, I should definitely double that."  I am always wrong.  Even though people like my cranberry sauce, they still only eat a few spoonfuls.  So, every year I am left with approximately 15 cups of extra sauce.  (I may be exaggerating, but it really is a lot.)

This year we discovered that my 1 year old LOVES cranberry sauce.  She has helped to make a dent, but I still have a lot left.  I put together this recipe for cranberry crumble in an effort to unburden my refrigerator of its continued presence.

Cranberry Crumble

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups packed brown sugar
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3-4 cups cranberry sauce (enough to create a layer in a 9x13 pan) - see my recipe below

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, brown sugar, and oats with a pastry cutter or your hands until the butter is worked through.  Press 2/3 of the mixture into an ungreased 9x13 pan.  Pour enough cranberry sauce over the oatmeal layer to cover it.  Sprinkle remaining oatmeal mixture over the top.  Bake until the oatmeal topping begins to turn golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Cool slightly before serving.  The filling will thicken as it cools.

This recipe can easily be halved and baked in a 9x9 pan.  I haven't tried it yet, but it is possible that you could use less cranberry sauce (make a very thin layer over the base oatmeal layer) and make these into oatmeal bars.

Cranberry Sauce (the recipe as is - not doubled, like I usually mistakenly make):

2 cups unfiltered apple cider
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
2 12-oz bags fresh cranberries

In a medium-large nonaluminum saucepan, combine the apple cider, sugar, water and cinnamon stick.  Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Add the cranberries, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the cranberries have burst, about 10 minutes. (Do not overcook.  Cranberries naturally have pectin, which will help them to set a bit.  If you overcook them, they will be watery.)

Cool to room temperature.  Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours to develop the flavors.  Remove the cinnamon stick and let the sauce come to room temperature before serving.

Makes approximately 6 cups of sauce.

The cranberry crumble recipe is inspired by a recipe for Fruit-Filled Oatmeal Bars in The Amish Cook's Family Favorite Recipes by Lovina Eicher (Rodale, 2013).

The cranberry sauce recipe is from Thanksgiving by Williams-Sonoma (Simon & Schuster Source, 2001).

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