Apple-Cranberry Crisp with Cornmeal Streusel Topping

For the topping:

  •  1 tsp anise seed
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal or polenta
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg, beaten

For the filling:

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375°F.  For topping, toast anise seed in small skillet over medium heat until slightly darker in color, about 3 minutes. Place anise seed in food processor or spice grinder and process to a rough powder. Add flour, cornmeal OR polenta, sugar, baking powder and salt; blend 5 seconds. Add butter; blend, using on/off turns, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Drizzle egg over and stir until ingredients are evenly moistened. For filling, combine cranberries, sugar, brown sugar, lemon and orange zest, cinnamon, salt and pepper in a large bowl; stir to blend. Add apples and lemon juice; toss to blend. Transfer filling to a glass or clay baking dish.  Crumble topping evenly over filling. Bake until apples are tender, juices bubble thickly and topping is crisp and golden, about 1 hour. Cool completely. Serve warm with gelato.