My family has been making apple crisp for a looooong time. It's a very simple recipe - we don't usually put anything in the filling except apples, maybe a bit of lemon juice (although I usually forget that) and occasionally a drizzle of honey (because the recipe is officially called Honey Apple Crisp - but we almost always skip the honey, too). The topping is just flour, brown sugar, salt, and butter.
Then I decided to try the Country Pear Cherry Crisp from the Better Homes and Gardens baking book. It has a granola topping. Well, we really like our topping, so we made their filling with our topping, and it was pretty good. But, we really like apples better than pears, and it's often easier to find good apples around my birthday, which is when I always request this, so here is the latest variation. I think it's a keeper!
Cherry Apple Crisp
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
Mix the flour, brown sugar, and salt, and then cut in the butter. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375, then start the filling.
1 16-ounce can of tart pitted cherries, water pack (NOT cherry pie filling!)
1/3 - 1/2 cup sugar (I have only used 1/3, but maybe you want more if you have very tart apples)
4 large apples, peeled and sliced - you want these fairly thin
2-3 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest (optional)
Dump the cherries with juice into your casserole dish - I used a 2 1/2 quart. Mix in the sugar and let that sit and dissolve while you peel and slice the apples. Mix the apple slices, flour, cinnamon, and orange zest into the cherries, getting it all evenly distributed. Sprinkle on the topping, and then bake for about 40 minutes, or until filling bubbles, apples are tender, and topping is browned. Let it cool for a few minutes before serving. If you're the type of person who likes ice cream over warm baked goods (and I am not) this would be good with some vanilla or even butter pecan.
This made enough for about 6 medium servings - enough for our family of three for last night and tonight. (It reheats well in the oven.)
If you need more, you can use 6 apples instead of 4, and increase the topping by 50%. (So, 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cups brown sugar, etc.) Everything else can stay the same, you just won't have quite as many cherries in each dish. You'll obviously need a bigger casserole too.
This is definitely one of my new favorite desserts, and will probably be my birthday treat for a long time!