October 31, 2018 10:47:13 AM
For many of us, the menu for Thanksgiving is etched in stone. We eat the same dishes every year because we love every one of them. But what about switching it up a little by swapping in a grape and cranberry crisp for the more traditional apple, pumpkin or pecan pie?
"Eh," replies The Husband. "Grapes are so boring. Wouldn't the crisp be tastier made with raspberries or blueberries?" I calmly note that grapes turn into a whole different fruit when they're cooked, much more intensely flavorful than in their raw state. Also, fall is grape season, which isn't true of blueberries and raspberries. Best of all, the grapes in this dessert require no prep -- no peeling or coring or slicing. Just a quick rinse and they're good to go.
Plus, this recipe is almost wantonly customizable. What kind of grape to use? Any seedless grape of any color will do. Don't like pistachios? Roll instead with one of your favorites, including walnuts, pecans and almonds. Not a fan of dried cranberries? Dried cherries, apricots, or even raisins (aka dried grapes!) will do nicely. Allergic to gluten? Replace this recipe's flour with one of the gluten-free brands available at most supermarkets. Finally, I happen to have teamed up the grapes with raspberry jam, but you're welcome to substitute any of the jams or jellies now sitting in your refrigerator.
If indeed this dessert busts into the lineup for the Big Meal, you can prep both the grape filling and the topping ahead of time. Just be sure to let the filling cool before pouring it into the pie plate. Then top it with the crisp ingredients and park it on the counter until it's time to pop it into the oven.
I promise you'll be thrilled to discover the delights of cooked grapes -- as even The Husband, ever a skeptic, was.
GRAPE AND CRANBERRY CRISP
Start to finish: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8
3 cups seedless red or green grapes or a mix
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam or currant jelly or apricot jam
3 tablespoons orange juice, divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pistachios, almonds or walnuts
Vanilla ice cream
Nutrition information per serving: 310 calories; 137 calories from fat; 15 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 135 mg cholesterol; 425 mg sodium; 10 g carbohydrates; 0 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 30 g protein.
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