But nobody said we couldn't have a Birthday Crumble. A great recipe for Cranberry-Apple Bake was on my fall wish-list. I couldn't imagine a more divine, healthy combination than cranberries and apples. This recipe, which I tore out of a Family Circle magazine a few years back, was touted by its originator as a favorite when she took it to church potluck dinners. "I always return with an empty dish," this cook wrote in the commentary beside her recipe. "My family likes to eat it warm, but I am not above eating some straight from the refrigerator for breakfast." Well, bring some of that on! I can continue to enjoy Birthday Crumble the day after my birthday and even the day after that.
May I digress to say how thankful I am for another year of life and for the year that is just behind me? The year that just past brought the arrival of two beautiful baby grandsons (as well as continued enjoyment of our grandgirl), the publication of two new books, and the creation of a sewing/crafts studio as an amazing addition to my home. I'm more in love with my husband than ever; I'm so thankful for Hubby and that God gave him to me all those years ago (even if I have to forego cake on my birthday because of him!) Even beyond those blessings, the year just past has been one of improved physical health and overall wellness and an increased awareness of God's love for me and His everpresent help in times of trouble. I can't count all the times between birthdays #61 and #62 that God has shown up. He continues to demonstrate to me how He likes to interpose Himself in clever ways into situations that look as though they have no solutions—His creativity knows no bounds. As the psalmist wrote, His praise will always be on my lips (Ps. 34:1).
The Birthday Crumble? That scrumptious topping of oats, brown sugar, flour, and chopped pecans, laced together with melted butter, plunked atop the apple and cranberry mixture, beat any sicky-sweet cake I could have bought or made. It was health personified—a terrific way to kick off year 62!
3 Granny Smith apples, cored, unpeeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
2 cups whole fresh cranberries
2/3 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (not quick-cook)
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar (if using brown-sugar substitute, use 1/4 cup)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish. In a large bowl mix together the apples (unpeeled), cranberries, and sugar. Spoon into prepared baking dish. In the same bowl mix together the oats, brown sugar, flour, and pecans. Stir in the melted butter. Sprinkle the oatmeal mixture evenly over the top of the apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly and apples are tender. Serve warm or cold with a scoop of ice cream or fat-free whipped topping, if desired.