Apple Pear Crisp (Ina Garten copycat)
If you want to use both pears and apples in a recipe, this crisp will do the trick! The fall fruit is perfectly spiced and baked to perfection (after all, it’s inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe!). The crumble topping is buttery and sweet with a little crunch thanks to the pecans. Serve apple pear crisp warm with some vanilla ice cream for a delicious fall dessert!
Two of fall’s favorite fruits are featured in this delightful crisp: apples and pears. It’s such a simple and quick dessert to make for Thanksgiving or if you have fresh fruit from the farmers market. The crisp topping is perfectly crunchy and sweet, which makes each bite irresistible with vanilla ice cream!
Why this recipe works
It’s inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe for apple pear crisp so you know it’s going to be good! The fresh orange zest and juice bring a tart bite to bring out the natural flavors of the apples and pears. It also complements the spices. My favorite thing about crisps is that they are easier to make than pies and they can be made ahead of time for the holidays!
- Apples: Honeycrisp, Grannysmith or Macoun apples are best for baking. They will keep their crisp texture and flavor.
- Pears: Bosc pears are my pear of choice when it comes to baking, but you can also use Anjou.
- Unsalted butter: Cold butter is a must for the perfect crisp topping. If it’s not cold, it will melt into the filling.
- Old fashioned oats: This will give a chewy texture to the crumble topping. In a pinch, you can use quick oats, but the texture won’t be exactly the same. I do not recommend steel cut oats.
- Citrus: Orange and lemon add a zesty touch that complements the fruits and spices. Use fresh juice and zest for the ultimate flavor.
- Pecans: Nuts are an optional addition to the dish, but I like them for added flavor and crunch.
Crisps are such an easy dessert to make and it’s easy to “personalize” it. Try adding 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries or 1/4 cup dried cranberries to the filling. I think raspberries would make a nice addition as well!
The topping calls for pecans, which are optional, but you could also use walnuts or almonds. When serving dessert, I suggest adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle of caramel!
How to make apple pear crisp
- Prepare the crisp topping: Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add cold butter pieces and using a pastry cutter (or two forks) cut the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly and resembles coarse, wet sand.
- Chill the topping: Place the topping in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.
- Prepare filling: In a large bowl, add all the filling ingredients. Toss until apples and pears are coated.
- Assemble and bake: Place the filling in a grease baking dish and sprinkle topping over the fruit. Bake at 375 F for 25 to 40 minutes. Cool slightly before serving warm.
Use the right apples and pears. Crisp fruits will keep their texture and flavor better than soft fruits. I used Honeycrisp apples and Bosc pears. Fresh citrus juice and zest are best for flavor. They also help keep the fruit’s texture!
Use cold butter and keep the crisp topping in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble. Cold butter will make for a crisper topping. If the butter is warm it will melt into the filling and the dish will be a bit of a soggy mess!
Frequently Asked Questions
No, I do not recommend apple pie filling. It is too soft and has its own sugars and spices. It won’t work alongside the pears because the texture and flavor will be off.
The top will be golden brown and the filling will be bubbling around the edges of the pan.
No, you do not cover the crisp while it’s in the oven. If you are reheating a baked crisp, it should be covered so the top doesn’t turn dark brown or burn.
Pears should be ripe, but firm. Press down near the stem. If it’s tender, then the pears are good for baking. If it’s super soft, then the pears are too ripe, and if it’s hard, then the pears are not ripe enough.
Make ahead tips
This dish is easy to make ahead of time for holiday prep. The filling and crisp topping may be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours in advance. I suggest assembling right before baking.
Alternatively, you can bake and freeze the crisp up to 3 months in advance. Let the crisp cool completely before covering and freezing. Let it defrost overnight before reheating at 350 F for 20 minutes.
Try using pears and apples in these recipes next!
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Apple Pear Crisp
- 3 medium Bosc pears, peeled and sliced
- 4 medium Honeycrisp apples, peeled and sliced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon orange zest
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ⅓ cup (66 g) granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup (94 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (40 g) old fashioned oats
- ½ cup (100 g) packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup (35 g) chopped pecans, optional
- ½ cup (113 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Vanilla ice cream for serving
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish and set aside.
- For the crisp topping, whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and chopped pecans in a bowl. Add cold butter pieces and using a pastry cutter (or your hands) incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly and resembles coarse, wet sand. Set aside.
- Peel, core and cut the apples and pears into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Place the fruit in a large bowl and toss them with the orange juice, lemon juice, orange zest, lemon zest, sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss to coat and transfer to prepared baking dish. Sprinkle crisp topping evenly over pears and apples in the baking dish.
- Bake apple pear crisp for 35 to 40 minutes or until the crisp topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Allow crisp to cool for 10 minutes before serving warm with vanilla ice cream.