I’m teaming up with Harry and David today. This was a natural pairing, Harry, David, and… me, LOL. Truth be told, Harry and David treats have been in my life for 20+ years. My father was sent home with holiday gift baskets galore—my sisters and I always dived headfirst for chocolate truffles and Moose Munch. Harry and David is also known for their hand-picked, high-quality southern Oregon pears, a delicacy I didn’t really appreciate when I was 8 years old. If you’ve ever had a H&D pear, you know they’re the sweetest, juiciest, most buttery tasting pears around.
Harry and David sent me a box of their Royal Riviera pears and asked that I create a new recipe. Two things immediately came to mind: (1) PEAR CRISP and (2) we better have vanilla ice cream in the freezer. 🙂
I decided to make it an apple AND pear crisp because I love the textural difference between the 2 fruits. The pears get super soft and supple, while the apples—also soft of course—are a little more firm. I cut the pears a little smaller and kept the apples as full (and thin) slices. You’ll mix the fruit with only a few ingredients, just like we do with regular apple crisp. Oftentimes I find fruit crisps overly sweet where the fruit itself becomes an afterthought. Here we’ll only use 1/2 cup of brown sugar for the filling and you can reduce that amount based on how ripe and sweet your fruit is. So definitely give the pears and apples a taste before preparing the filling. Cinnamon finds its way into both layers and we’ll also add a touch of nutmeg for extra warm spice flavor. Tis the season!
I only add 1/4 cup of flour to the filling. I find that any more than that makes your filling taste a little gummy. Again, we really want the fruit’s natural flavor and texture to shine though in this fruit crisp!
The topping? Oh my goodness this is so simple. You’ll mix flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon together. Then cut in cold and cubed butter with a pastry cutter, just like we do with pie crust, and stir in oats and chopped pecans. You’ll stir the oats and pecans in last because you don’t want to break either up with the pastry cutter. You want lots of crunchy texture on top of the warm fruit. It’s the absolute best.
You’re going to bake it all for 40–45ish minutes. Once that topping is nice and golden and the fruit underneath is bubbling and steamy, it’s done and ready to be devoured.
This is a big dessert, which is what I know you’re looking for during these holiday months. It’s a large 9×13-pan size, but if you’d like to downsize a little, simply halve the recipe for a 9-inch square pan or pie dish. But I urge you to make the whole thing because leftovers freeze beautifully. That is, if you aren’t eating it directly from the pan before wrapping it up to freeze. I’ve never done that or anything.
And while I adore traditional fruit pies with flaky pie crust, crisps can be much easier and equally show-stopping. Another welcome benefit during the busy holiday season! You’ll absolutely want to include this one in your lineup of Thanksgiving pie recipes.
If warm apple desserts + sweet pears + brown sugar + cinnamon + ice cream on top + texture all tug at your heartstrings, we’re twins. And this cinnamon apple pear crisp is totally for Y-O-U!
Cinnamon Apple Pear Crisp
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
- Yield: serves 8-10
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Brown sugar, cinnamon, oats, and fresh fruit come together in this buttery and irresistible apple pear crisp.
- 4 medium/large ripe pears, peeled and sliced (4–5 cups, or 500–625g, slices)*
- 3 medium/large apples, peeled and sliced (4–5 cups, or 500–625g, slices)*
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (31g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (94g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 cup (85g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
- optional: 1 cup (125g) chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
- Mix all of the filling ingredients together in a large bowl, then spread into the baking pan.
- Make the topping: Whisk the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture becomes super crumbly. Stir in the oats. Sprinkle over filling.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit juices are bubbling around the edges. Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack, and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.
- Cover leftovers and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Baked and cooled crisp freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake (covered) in a 350°F (177°C) for 30 minutes or until heated through. You can prepare the crisp through step 3, then cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day before baking. You can also freeze the unbaked crisp for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then continue with step 4. Bake time will be a little longer since the crisp will be cold.
- Pears & Apples: Slice them into 1/4-inch slices or chunks.
- Oats: Whole oats are best, but you can use quick oats if that’s all you have. The crumble topping will just be a little more powdery. (Don’t be tempted to reduce the flour, though—the topping may turn out greasy.) Use a 1:1 swap from whole oats to quick oats.
Keywords: apple pear crisp, apple crisp
Reader Comments & Reviews
This is better than an apple crisp! I had some organic pears I needed to use, added two large honey crisp apples and a Granny Smith. I grated fresh nutmeg into it, and served it hot, with ice cream. My husband couldn’t stop talking about how good it was. He was a bit devastated when I gave the remainder away to a nursing mom at the dinner party, but I promised I’d whip another one up for him, thanks, Sally, for making me a better cook. I think my husband is hopelessly devoted!
I made this with all pears – from our pear tree! Made it the night before through step 3, then baked it the next morning for a brunch. Baked it for a little bit longer as mentioned – closer to an hour. Absolutely delicious!! A big hit as always with any of Sally’s recipes!!
We have an Asian pear tree in our yard, and despite being avid apple and pear fans, none of us appear to be crazy about the Asian pears, and every year it breaks my heart as I toss them all in the compost. Think they’d be a good substitute for the traditional apples & pears in this crisp (which looks delicious)? Thanks!
For the topping I had to add another 3/4 c flour to make it crumbly. I followed the amounts as described but the stick of butter made it mushy until I doubled the amount of flour. Otherwise a lovely recipe.
When you state whole oats , I live in NJ, are you talking about oat groats?
Hi Lorraine, I don’t think groats are what you’re looking for. You’ll want whole old fashioned (not quick oats) for this recipe.
This was UNREAL. Thanks Sally for yet another amazing recipe. Guests loved it!
I’m looking forward to trying this, but wondering if I can use a substitute for the brown sugar – maybe maple syrup or honey?
Hi SL! The apple mix may be too loose with a liquid sweetener, but we haven’t tested it. Let us know if you do!
I’m planning on making this tomorrow as my Gran gave me heaps of apples and pears from her garden but could I add in some frozen berries for a bit of a kick?
Would it work the same,
Hi Indigo, that should work just fine — do not thaw the berries. It may take a few extra minutes to bake. Hope you enjoy it!
So good! I made it for breakfast and served it cold with yogurt on top. I was worried about using that much nutmeg because I thought it might overpower, but there is a lovely balance to everything and a wonderful combination of textures. My first ever crisp and I’m completely sold! Thank you for this terrific recipe.
I used 2 packages of flavored instant oatmeal instead of plain oats, sugar, cinnamon because that is what I had. It turned out great!
Topped it with what I had: a mixture of sour cream and brown sugar. Just stir brown sugar (amount: to your liking) into sour cream until it turns a caramel color. ( Sounds inedible if you have not tried it but, it is amazing and takes this dessert to a gourmet level!)
I love your recipes and enjoy everything you write!
So very good! My man loves skins left on all fruits so I was not sure how it would turn out but it was wonderful. I like that it is not overly sweet. Can’t wait to have some tomorrow for breakfast with black coffee!
Should I tent the crisp during the bake? Thank you
Hi Andrew! No need to tent with foil unless it seems like the crisp is browning too quickly. We’ve never had an issue with that in this recipe. Enjoy!
Oh my goodness…I had a bunch of apples and pears free from the summer camp I work at. I made this recipe and it’s AMAZING! Topped it with vanilla bean ice cream. Out of this world!