Monday, January 14, 2008

Apple-Cranberry Crisp with Polenta Streusel Topping

I found this dessert in the December 2007 issue of Bon Appetit. It's a great rustic dessert for late fall or winter dinner parties.

1 tsp aniseed
1 1/2 c. pastry flour
3/4 c. polenta
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg, beaten to blend

Toast aniseed in small skillet over medium heat until slightly darker in color, about 3 minutes. Place seeds in processor. Add next 5 ingredients; blend 5 seconds. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer mixture to bowl. Drizzle egg over and stir until ingredients are evenly moistened.

2 c. fresh cranberries
2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tsp. finely grated lemon peel
1 1/2 tsp. finely grated orange peel
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Vanilla gelato or ice cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine first 8 ingredients in large bowl; stir to blend. Add apples and lemon juice; toss to blend. Transfer filling to 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish (or other shallow 2 quart baking dish). Crumble topping finely over filling. Bake dessert until apples are tender, juices bubble thickly, and topping is crisp and golden, about 1 hour. Cool 15 minutes. Serve crisp warm with gelato. Makes 8 servings.