[an error occurred while processing this directive]


Our Pitmaster Club can up your game!
Benefits include:

• No more ads, faster page loads!
• "The Pit" forum with tons of info & scores of recipes
• Monthly newsletter
• Video seminars with top pitmasters
• Weekly podcast with news and interviews
• Comprehensive Temperature Magnet ($10 retail)
• Monthly giveaways of Gold Medal grills and smokers
• Discounts on products we love
• Educational and social Meat-Ups
• Support for Operation BBQ Relief
• Support for Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
• Support for AmazingRibs.com!

AmazingRibs.com BBQ Logo

Dutch Oven Apple Cranberry Crisp

"Dessert is probably the most important stage of the meal, since it will be the last thing your guests remember before they pass out all over the table." William Powell

Pie is the best dessert known to man because fruit is so much better than flour (OK, cake fans, let me have it). But they are a bit tricky to make because the pie shell must follow a rigid recipe and a procedure and the filling must be just right or it can be too runny or too dry.

But weekend warriors like us can make some superb pie-like rustic fruit desserts on the grill or in Dutch ovens from recipes created long before gas and electric stoves. Basically we skip the pie crust and simply cut up fruit, mix in sugar, pour it into a pot or pan, put some sort of topping on it, and bake. Called a "crisp", it is a fruit compote topped with a streusel. A compote is fresh, frozen, or dried fruit simmered with liquid and sugar, and a streusel, also called a crumb topping, is simply a crunchy mix of sugar, butter, and flour. The topping caramelizes and makes my favorite crust.

if you have a Dutch oven like this Camp Chef 10" with a rim on the lid to hold coals, you can bake it in a campfire, on a grill, or just on a patch of dirt. You can do this in a simple baking pan or frying pan without a lid. I describe the method in the sidebar.

Below is my recipe for an Apple Cranberry Crisp that is baked in a cast iron Dutch oven. Here's a video:


Takes. 30 minutes of prep, about 45 minutes to cook, and 20 minutes to cool
Makes. 6 servings

Ingredients for the compote
3 firm baking apples
2 cups of whole fresh or frozen cranberries
1 tablespoon of all purpose flour
3/4 cup of sugar
1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
butter to coat the pot, about 2 tablespoons

Ingredients for the topping
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar (light or dark)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 large egg, beaten
4 tablespoons of salted butter, melted

About the apples. The best baking apples are on the hard side. The tried and true classics are Grannie Smith and Golden Delicious, and my favorite is Honeycrisp, but other good ones are Jonathan, Jonagold, Braeburn, Winesap, Cortland, Gala.

About the topping. On 8/15/2016 I changed the recipe for the topping after tasting a better one from the book A Kansas Compote, published in 1991. My wife and I collect these regional cookbooks and relish in the wisdom of generations of homemakers.

About the butter. If you have only unsalted butter, add 1/4 of kosher salt

1) Start a chimney of about 36 charcoal briquets.

2) Make the compote by peeling the apples, cutting them in quarters, and removing the cores. Then cut the apples into slices about 1/4" thick, and drop them into a non-reactive pot. Dump in the cranberries, flour, and the sugar. Scrape the zest off the lemon and add that. Then squeeze in the juice of the lemon (watch for seeds). Add the cinnamon and the salt.

3) In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Add the beaten egg and mix until crumbly.

4) Coat the inside of the Dutch oven or pan with butter, but not the inside of the lid. Pour the compote into the pot and top with the crumble. Pour the melted butter over the crumble.

5) Pour about 12 white briquets on the ground or inside your grill and arrange them in a circle the same width of your Dutch oven. Place the oven on top of the coals and place the lid on the oven. Add another 18-24 hot briquets to the top of the lid.

6) Bake for about 45 minutes or until you see the juices bubbling. Take the lid off, let it cool for about 20 minutes (this is the hardest part of the recipe, not burning your mouth because you are impatient). Top with whipped cream, sour cream, yogurt, or ice cream. Or nothing!


Return to top

Please read this before posting a comment or question

grouchy?1) Please use the table of contents or the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help, then please post your question on the appropriate page.

2) Please tell us everything we need to know to answer your question such as the type of cooker and thermometer you are using. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can't help you. Please read this article about thermometers.

3) If you post a photo, wait a minute for a thumbnail to appear. It will happen even if you don't see it happen.

4) Click here to learn more about our comment system and our privacy promise. Remember, your login info for comments is probably different from your Pitmaster Club login info if you are a member.


 Click to Show Comments or Add Your Own

Return to top

Logos of various organizations that we support

Return to top

LeaderDog.org Ad on BBQ site

About this website. AmazingRibs.com is all about the science of barbecue, grilling, and outdoor cooking, with great BBQ recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, and unbiased equipment reviews. Learn how to set up your grills and smokers properly, the thermodynamics of what happens when heat hits meat, and how to cook great food outdoors. There are also buying guides to hundreds of barbeque smokers, grills, accessories, and thermometers, as well as hundreds of excellent tested recipes including all the classics: Baby back ribs, pulled pork, Texas brisket, burgers, chicken, smoked turkey, lamb, steaks, chili, barbecue sauces, spice rubs, and side dishes, with the world's best all edited by Meathead Goldwyn.

Brought to you by readers who support us with their membership in our Pitmaster Club. Click here to learn more about benefits to membership.

Advertising. AmazingRibs.com is by far the most popular barbecue website in the world, still growing rapidly, and one of the 25 most popular food websites in the US according to comScore, Quantcast, and Alexa. Click here for analytics and advertising info.

© Copyright 2016 - 2017 by AmazingRibs.com. All text, recipes, photos, and computer code are owned by AmazingRibs.com and fully protected by US copyright law unless otherwise noted. This means that it is a Federal crime to copy and publish or distribute anything on this website without permission. But we're easy! We usually grant permission and don't charge a fee. To get reprint rights, just click here. You do not need permission to link to this website.