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In the midst of a pandemic, it can be comforting to remake familiar desserts. But it’s also a great time to switch things up, especially if your routines are completely different now.

In the spirit of experimentation, my husband and I recently made cranberry-apple cobbler with fresh cranberries. They’re his favorite seasonal fruit, and while I’d never had them in a dish like this, it seemed worth trying.

The results: This is a keeper. It’s not fiddly or complicated, although you will need the patience to cook down your berries and apples to make the filling. The crust is the creeping variety — you place it in the baking dish first and it creeps over the filling as it bakes.

The cobbler reminded me of a seasonally appropriate version of a strawberry-rhubarb dessert, with plenty of sour sweetness and a little crunch from the pecans sprinkled on top. It might not seem like the rest of your holiday recipes, but this year, that was OK with our family.

Cranberry Apple Cobbler

For filling

12 ounces fresh cranberries

1 large Granny Smith apple, diced

4 ounces sweet red wine

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Pinch nutmeg

Pinch ground cloves

3/4 cup water

11/2 cups sugar, divided

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

For crust

1/2 stick salted butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup liquid from filling

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 cup chopped pecans

In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, apples, wine, spices, water, salt and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a simmer and let thicken at least 20 minutes. After about 15 minutes, stir in lemon juice.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap butter and cut into large chunks in a glass 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Place in oven as it heats to melt the butter.

Mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and extra liquid ladled off the top of your filing mixture.

Spoon over butter mixture in baking dish, but don’t mix. Spoon fruit filling over the top. Bake

15 minutes. Open oven and sprinkle pecans over the top. Bake

15 more minutes.

Meg Dickinson is a communications professional who spends many waking hours daydreaming about food. To submit a recipe, email

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