1Chop your apples into bite size chunks. I prefer them unpeeled. I use a variety of apples, which I find makes for a more complex flavor. I try to use apples that stay firm when baked, such as Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Crispin, Gala, Fuji, etc.
2Chop your walnuts or pecans if you are using them.
3Toss chopped apples, chopped nuts, cranberries, and sugar together in a bowl. If you have time, let them sit for about a 1/2 hour to macerate, but this step is decidedly optional.
4Add pinch of salt, cinnamon, and whatever thickener you like to use for fruit pies (I usually use cornstarch) and stir until well mixed.
5Grease a baking dish. I use a small low metal roaster that is 6×9 inches, but it doesn’t matter. Just adjust the quantities of fruit accordingly. A standard 9×13 pan would work perfectly.
6Add fruit mixture to pan, piling it up in the center (it will sink as it bakes). You want the fruit mixture to be about 2" thick, ideally before it bakes.
7Dot fruit mixture with bits of butter scattered over surface.
8Bake in 350 degree oven until bubbly and apples are tender. This is usually about 30 minutes.
9Remove from oven, sprinkle with chocolate chips, and put back in oven for about 2 minutes until chips soften. (A classier version would be to melt chocolate and drizzle it over the top, but I can’t be bothered.)
Simple and easy to make ahead—this twist on the apple crumble is unbelievably good. With cinnamon-sugar butter between the layers, a crispy streusel sprinkle, and a dollop of ice cream on top, there’s no doubt this will be a hit at your home.