Apple pear crisp delivers big on coziness with warm tender fruit, gently spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, and a buttery tender crisp topping. This version offers a gluten free and refined sugar free option (plus I’ll throw in a dairy free swap too) to make it just right for whatever way you eat.Jump to Recipe
- Best made with a firm cooking apple like a Granny Smith.
- Use a pear that’s firm and sweet like Bartlett or Red.
- Can be made in advance and the components kept separate until baking.
- Easy to double, triple or 10x if needed!
- Use gluten free flour and oats if needed and make it dairy free with coconut oil or dairy free butter.
- Top with caramel sauce, ice cream or whipped cream.
Crisp vs. Crumble: What’s the difference?
A crumble doesn’t have oats in the topping. It’s just flour, butter, and sugar typically. Nuts might be found in a crumble too, but the oats are the defining factor.
What apples are best in an apple crisp?
You want a firm cooking apple that will still hold its shape when tender. I love a Granny Smith for this. They’re the green ones–and they are usually available all year round.
I don’t recommend a McIntosh here. I love their flavor but they turn to applesauce so easily. Honeycrisp, and Pink Lady would also work in this apple pear crisp though they are much sweeter than a Granny. Check out these apple charts if you need more help.
I don’t know the first thing about choosing pears. Which one is best?
Pears are in season during the fall and winter. Keep that in mind when making this recipe because getting pears in summer is going to result in very little flavor and a pithy texture.
This recipe calls for Bartlett pears. They are smooth skinned and green. You may also find red pears which are wonderful, and Bosc which have a brown sandpapery skin.
Get the Bartlett or Red if you can, and choose a Bosc if nothing else is left.
Make sure your pears are ripe. Give them a gentle press with your thumb. Ripe peaers should give only slightly and they should be heavy for their size. This is a good indication that they are juicy.
Other fruit ideas to add to an apple pear crisp
Fall fruits are going to be best here. Try these ideas for additional variations:
- Cranberries: Fresh cranberries add a pop of tartness. 1/2 cup would be great in this recipe. If you use them, increase the sugar a bit to compensate. Maybe add 1-2 tablespoons more.
- Orange zest: You wouldn’t want the whole orange in your recipe, but a bit of zest or juice as a swap for the lemon would be a nice change.
- Raisins: A classic raisin can add chewiness and a bit of tartness to your dish. 1/2 cup would be fine to try out.
Can this recipe be doubled?
Yes. The great thing about recipes like this is that you can double, triple or 10x it and it will still work perfectly.
Can I make this apple pear crisp in advance?
You can make the apple mixture up to a day in advance. Your apples will leak some moisture and they may turn brown but it won’t hurt anything. Pour it all in the baking dish.
The crisp topping can be made and refrigerated for up to three days before you need it. Keep the topping and fruit separate until you are ready to bake then spread the crisp topping on.
If you are baking it with fruit and topping that have been refrigerated, give the apple pear crisp a few extra minutes to bake.
How to assemble apple pear crisp
Peel, core and dice the apples and pears into 1/2 inch pieces. Toss them with the sugar, lemon juice, spices and salt and set aside.
Mix the crisp topping ingredients and then mash in the softened butter until a coarse texture with some clumps form.
Transfer the fruit mixture to an 8-inch baking dish or a 9 inch cast iron skillet if you have one and top with the crisp mixture. You can pile the fruit up a bit because it will sink some as it bakes.
Bake the crisp on a cookie sheet or place a large piece of foil in the oven below the dish to catch any drips.
To make this recipe gluten free
Everything I eat has to be gluten free so I always try to offer that option to you as well. Use a gluten free 1:1 baking mix like King Arthur’s . Certified gluten free oats will also be needed. Those are pretty easy to find in most grocery stores these days. Just check the label.
To make a dairy free version
Use coconut oil instead of the butter. Regular coconut oil will leave a coconut flavor. If you don’t want that, use refined coconut oil instead. You can also swap in a dairy free butter of your choice.
What to serve with apple pear crisp
You can round out your cozy apple pear crisp with a few things to really send it over the top. Try these ideas:
Homemade caramel sauce. Rich and creamy, a homemade caramel would be delicious. If you want to buy it, go for it but this version would be great to try.
Vanilla ice cream. Buy your favorite brand or make some homemade. I have been making homemade custard for years from Alton Brown’s recipe. I’d throw elbows for a bowl of it.
Homemade whipped cream. I hate Cool Whip. It’s a lie. Instead of whipped oil, make your own or just pour a little cream right on the crisp and go with it.
Want more baked apple recipes?
I have you covered. Any of these recipes are perfect as well.
Apple Pear Crisp
For the apples
Make the fruit mixture
- Preheat the oven to 350° and position a rack in the center.
- Peel, core, and slice the apples and pears into ½ inch pieces.
- Combine the sliced apples, pears, lemon juice, sugar, spices, and salt in a large bowl and toss to combine.
- Pour the fruit and all the juices into an 8-inch baking dish, or a 9-inch cast iron skillet.
Make the topping
- In a large bowl (the same bowl used for the fruit is fine), add the flour, rolled oats, pecans, sugar, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Add the softened butter and mash it all together using a fork or your hands until even crumbs form.
- Scatter the topping over the fruit in an even layer spreading it within 1/4" of the edges of the dish.
- Bake the crisp until the topping is golden brown and the edges are bubbling; 45 to 50 minutes.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce drizzled over the top.