Apple Pecan Crisp


My 4-year-old daughter brought home her field trip permission slip for the farm today, which means it’s officially fall and I’m on the hook for chaperone. Truth be told, these autumn school field trips really aren’t my thing: the hayrides are itchy, the pumpkin patches are muddy and prickly, and the farm animals…ehh. Thank heavens at least they have apples!

Farm 4
So what am I planning to do with all my hard earned apples, once I’ve cleaned my boots and picked the hay off my jeans? One thing’s for sure: I won’t be rolling dough or fussing over fancy lattice patterns for apple pie. I’ll be taking the easy route with this old-fashioned Apple Pecan Crisp — a dish of warm baked apples bubbling away in their own syrupy juices, topped with a streusel-like mix of toasted pecans, old-fashioned rolled oats, sweet butter and brown sugar. Served warm out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it’s the ultimate fall dessert.

Apple crisp

Begin by peeling and slicing the apples. Be sure to use firm baking apples that will hold their shape when cooked. For this recipe, I used a blend of Empire and Sun Crisp because that’s what was available at the farm. You might have different options; just be sure to buy varieties that are suitable for baking, otherwise you’ll end up with applesauce. I always like to use a mix of different varietals for a more nuanced flavor. Some readily available options include Granny Smith, Fuji, Honey Crisp and Golden Delicious.

Apple crisp 8

Next, in a food processor, pulse the flour, brown sugar, ¼ cup of the granulated sugar and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Apple crisp 10

Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and stir in the toasted pecans and oats.

Apple crisp 11

Toss the apples with the remaining 6 tablespoons granulated sugar and transfer the apple mixture to a buttered baking dish. Cover with the topping and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the apples are tender when pierced and the topping is toasted. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and enjoy.

Apple crisp 1d

Apple Pecan Crisp

Servings: 6


  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 6 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2-1/2 pounds tart baking apples (about 5 large), peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the flour with the brown sugar, ¼ cup of the granulated sugar and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and stir in the pecans and oats. Set aside.
  3. Generously butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish (I use a 12”L x 8”W x 1” deep ceramic oval). In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the remaining 6 tablespoons granulated sugar. Transfer the apple mixture to the prepared baking dish and cover with the topping. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40-50 minutes, or until the apples are tender when pierced and the topping is toasted. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream if desired.

Reviews & Comments

  • Hi Jenn,
    Can I use almonds instead of pecans? Thanks!

    - Shirley on March 21, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Shirley, Yes almonds will work; just be sure to use slivered, not sliced, which might burn.

      - Jenn on March 22, 2015 Reply
  • Can’t wait to make this! Can this be a make ahead dessert? WNt to make it the night before and pop it in the oven when needed.

    - Alena on October 31, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Alena, Yes, it’s a good make-ahead dessert and reheats well.

      - Jenn on October 31, 2014 Reply
  • I just loved this. The lack of the heavy typical apple pie spice was a refreshing change. The apples really do take center stage. Of course we served ours a la mode, and I mixed it all in my stand alone mixer with no problems to the texture at all. Very delicious!

    - Kelly on November 8, 2013 Reply
  • Another great recipe I’ve tried … Instead of using a food processor, I crumbled the ingredients with my hands, which worked fine. I left the finished apple crisp on the kitchen counter and we nibbled on it all day, until it was gone … Delicious!!!

    - Terri on October 27, 2012 Reply
  • This makes me want to make a peach crisp (I have some peaches) this weekend. I add a touch of cinnamon and a bit of vanilla to mine.

    - Mary Beth Elderton on June 22, 2012 Reply
  • Another one of our family favorites, apples and pecans yum!

    - Teresa Cochran on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • This looks to die for. Saving this one for fall.

    - @nola727 on May 22, 2012 Reply
  • I too use this as a classic standby for dinner guests. It works great in any season, on it’s own or with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Love it.

    - Adrian on May 20, 2012 Reply
  • This is now one of my go to desserts when we have company. It is so easy to make and everyone loves it.

    - Tracy on March 7, 2012 Reply
  • Made the Apple Pecan Crisp for my bookclub. Everyone loved it and asked for the recipe.

    Thanks for such a failproof recipe. And you’re right, the topping stays crisp.

    I added a little cinnamon and a tad less sugar to suit my family’s taste.

    - phyllis on March 2, 2012 Reply
  • I love new ways to use up apples in season!

    - Julie on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Jenn
    Could this recipe be adapted with matzah meal and Spring seasonal fruits?
    Loved the family picture……

    - Cheri on February 28, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Cheri, I think you’d be fine using matzah meal instead of flour, but I wouldn’t change the fruit.

      - Jenn on February 29, 2012 Reply
  • Apple season is finally here again! Made this for dessert the other night and everyone loved it…Delicious with vanilla ice cream!

    - Gayle on September 17, 2010 Reply
  • Fantasic recipe! Thanks!

    - K.H. on January 20, 2010 Reply
  • definitely going to give it a try then!

    - Chris on November 6, 2009 Reply
  • Chris – I hope you’ll try this topping over your favorite recipe. It actually stays crisp :)

    - Jenn on November 4, 2009 Reply
  • It’s such an individual thing, we all have our own favorite “Apple Crisps” some more streusal, some more granola like – they’re all wonderful!

    I always toss a bit of cinnamon in with my apples – can’t imagine a crisp without it, and my daughter always asks for apple crisp on her birthday in December LOL…Now…if there were ONLY a way to keep that topping “crisp” the next day…

    - Chris on November 2, 2009 Reply
  • Looks very very tasty! I have a few apples from my own tree and I need to get baking :-)

    - Suzy on October 19, 2009 Reply
  • Dear Jenn,

    Love your blog, recipes are very enticing. Hope it will motivate my girls who hardly cook at all.


    - Cheryl on September 29, 2009 Reply

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