Apple Pecan Crisp

Apple crisp 2

My 4-year-old daughter brought home her field trip permission slip for Homestead Farm today, which means it’s officially fall and, more importantly, 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 simple dessert 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. The recipe is adapted from Food & Wine, and it’s the best I’ve tried by far.

Apple crisp

Apple crisp 8

Apple crisp 10

Apple crisp 11

Apple crisp 1d

Note: Whenever you’re baking with 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. Your farmer’s market may have different options; just be sure to buy varieties that are suitable for baking, otherwise you’ll end up with applesauce. You can also use a mix of different varietals for a more nuanced flavor.  If you’re not sure, most farmers markets sell apple pies – just ask what they use and go with that.

Apple Pecan Crisp

Print Recipe
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. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes, or until very lightly toasted. Let the nuts cool completely, then coarsely chop them. Leave the oven on.
  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 toasted pecans and oats (be sure pecans are cool). 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.


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  • Cheryl

    Dear Jenn,

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


  • Looks very very tasty! I have a few apples from my own tree and I need to get baking :-)

  • Chris

    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…

  • Jenn

    Chris – I hope you’ll try this topping over your favorite recipe. It actually stays crisp :)

  • Chris

    definitely going to give it a try then!

  • K.H.

    Fantasic recipe! Thanks!

  • Apple season is finally here again! Made this for dessert the other night and everyone loved it…Delicious with vanilla ice cream!

  • Cheri

    Could this recipe be adapted with matzah meal and Spring seasonal fruits?
    Loved the family picture……

    • Jenn

      Hi Cheri, I think you’d be fine using matzah meal instead of flour, but I wouldn’t change the fruit.

  • Julie

    I love new ways to use up apples in season!

  • phyllis

    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.

  • Tracy

    This is now one of my go to desserts when we have company. It is so easy to make and everyone loves it.

  • Adrian

    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.

  • @nola727

    This looks to die for. Saving this one for fall.

  • Teresa Cochran

    Another one of our family favorites, apples and pecans yum!

  • Mary Beth Elderton

    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.

  • Terri

    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!!!

  • Kelly

    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!

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