Pear Crisp

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Cook's Illustrated pear variation on Apple Crisp. It turned out well, but if I were to make it again, I would 1.5x the topping amounts, because the topping is amazing!

Preparation time: 30 min
Cooking time: 40 min

Serves: 4-6

Dietary guidance: v 

Tags: dessert · fall ·


6 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
5 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 cup coarsely chopped nuts, such as almonds, pecans or walnuts (I used pecans)

6 medium pears (3 lbs)
1/2 tsp grated zest and 1 1/2 Tbsp juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup granulated sugar


1. For the topping: Place flour, sugars, spices, and salt in food processor and process briefly to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 times, about 4 seconds for each pulse. The mixture will first look like dry sand, with large lumps of butter, then like coarse cornmeal. Add the nuts, then process again, four or five 1-second pulses. The topping should look like slightly clumpy wet sand. (note: this level of detail in the recipe is music to my direction-following ears.) Be sure not to overmix, or the mixture will become too wet and homogeneous. Refrigerate the topping while preparing the fruit, at least 15 minutes.
2. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees.
3. For the filling: Peel, quarter, and core the pears (I did not bother peeling them, but do as you will), then cut into 1-inch chunks. (You should have 6 cups. ) Toss the pears, zest, juice and sugar in a medium bowl. Scrape the fruit mixture with a rubber spatula into an 8-inch square baking pan or 9-inch deep-dish pie plate.
4. To assemble and bake the crisp: Distribute the chilled topping evenly over the fruit. Bake for 40 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue baking until the fruit is bubbling and the topping turns deep golden brown, about 5 minutes more. Serve warm. (The crisp can be set aside at room temperature for a few hours and then reheated in a warm oven just before serving)

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