Apple Pecan Crisp

Tested & Perfected RecipesCookbook Recipe
Apple Crisp

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

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!

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. It’s a dish of warm baked apples bubbling away in their own syrupy juices, topped with a mix of toasted pecans, 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 Pecan Crisp

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 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, divided
  • Pinch salt
  • 6 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 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

Instructions

  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. 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 oat 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.
  4. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The crisp can be frozen tightly covered for up to 3 months. Before serving, reheat it, uncovered, in a 300°F oven until heated through and crisp on top.

Reviews & Comments

  • Could I make this without nuts? Would I need to substitute more oats in place of the nuts?

    • — Izzy on November 11, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Izzy, Yes and yes. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 12, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, how do you think this would be with some cranberries thrown in? Thanks!

    • — Lisa DePaulo on November 8, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Lisa, I think you could include some, but I’d limit the amount as they are pretty tart.

      • — Jenn on November 9, 2018
      • Reply
  • I have made this recipe twice. Love the recipe. The second time I made this it had a lot of extra juice that made it a bit soupy. This did not happen the first time, I used all honeycrisp apples just as I did the first time. I do not think I made an error in measuring. Any thoughts?
    Ann

    • — Ann Smith on October 28, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Ann, even if you did everything the same this time around, there is some variability in fruit and how much juice it will generate, so it may be not exactly the same every time. I would suggest using a blend of different types of apples (like Fuji, Granny Smith, Jonagolds, Jonathans, Golden Delicious, Gala, Honey Crisp). That way, if one variety is juicier than another, it shouldn’t have a significant impact on the recipe.

      • — Jenn on October 30, 2018
      • Reply
      • Thank you for your reply. I just love your site.
        Ann

        • — Ann Smith on November 5, 2018
        • Reply
  • This was so delicious!! I used Cartland apples we picked the day before and toasted the oats and pecans before adding to the topping. My family loved it.

    • — Terri Capozza on October 6, 2018
    • Reply
  • This recipe did not turn out great. I make two errors — I used all MacIntosh apples, and they were not sour enough; I added a 6th apple, and that meant that there wasn’t enough crisp for the amount of apples. In all other ways I followed the recipe exactly. If I had to do again, I would use a mix of apples and make a third more crisp if I added a 6th apple. I would also add about 2/3 of the sugar that the recipe recommends, as the apple crisp was a tad too sweet for me.

    • — Esther Pittman on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • Have made twice. Cut sugar a bit both times. SO easy and delicious. Have been looking for years for an easy recipe and now I have it! Thanks for another great one!

    • — Ria on May 6, 2018
    • Reply
  • Simply delicious! We had tons of apples to eat and made this recipe with the last apples. Super easy and will make again.

  • I made this and topped it with vanilla bean ice cream AND whipped cream.
    Very delicious! My husband couldn’t stop saying “yum” while eating.

    • — Teri on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
  • This dessert was a complete hit at our Thanksgiving celebration today! I used Granny Smith apples and the only tweak I made to the recipe was to add cinnamon to the apple/sugar mixture. I will definitely be making this recipe again!!

    • — Holly on November 23, 2017
    • Reply
  • I used a mix of Granny Smith and Fuji apples for a trial run before Thanksgiving. Yum!!

    • — Mia on November 23, 2017
    • Reply
  • Did you use Raw Pecans or Roasted? I have raw and not sure to roast before adding to recipe.

    On another note-loved your Ratatouille recipe-a huge hit with my restauranteur Beau.
    The Secret is cutting and cooking items separately as you’ve stated. Delicious!
    Thanks!

    • — Keala on November 22, 2017
    • Reply
    • No need to toast the pecans Keala – they will get plenty toasted in the oven. And glad to hear you and your boyfriend enjoyed the ratatouille!

      • — Jenn on November 23, 2017
      • Reply
  • Hello! I just started this recipe and completely forgot to peel the apples. They are already cut and ready to be baked. Will I still be able to stick to this recipe? Also, should I bake tonight then reheat tomorrow, or refrigerate and bake tomorrow? Thanks!

    • — Lisa on November 22, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Lisa, I think it will be okay – some people like the apple skins for texture. You can bake tonight or tomorrow – it’s the same either way.

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2017
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn – could I use walnuts instead of pecans? I just happen to have walnuts on hand. Thanks!

    • — Mia on November 18, 2017
    • Reply
    • Sure, Mia – walnuts will work. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 19, 2017
      • Reply
  • I made this recipe and must tell you it’s very good.

    • — Priscilla on October 12, 2017
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen!
    My family is a huge fan of your recipes! Can’t wait for your cookbook.

    Can I use quick oats for this recipe?

    Thanks! Kristen

    • — Kristen Mikulcik on October 7, 2017
    • Reply
    • Thanks so much, Kristen! 😊 I think you get away with quick oats gere, although the topping won’t have quite the same hearty texture. Please lmk how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on October 7, 2017
      • Reply
      • Jen, it was fantastic! Thanks for the quick response. Off to make your Thai Chicken & Rice Noodle Soup now 😁

        • — Kristen on October 9, 2017
        • Reply
  • This is a great recipe! I did add a couple tablespoons of lemon juice and a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon to the apples. Delicious served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

    • — Valerie Bianchi on October 4, 2017
    • Reply
  • Fantastic! And both easier and healthier than traditional pie, with less mess.
    I used oat flour, and made it GF!

    • — Lauren Brimmer on September 18, 2017
    • Reply
  • How do you think it would work to make the crisp and freeze unbaked – then thaw and bake when you want to have it.

    • — Marina on September 8, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Marina, I haven’t tried the crisp this way, but I think it should work. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 8, 2017
      • Reply
  • This was absolutely delicious! I cut way down on the granulated sugar, just because I am trying to cut my sugar down, and served it with greek yogurt and a bit of honey. Such a great sweet treat. I will try this with other fruit as well.

    • — Carly on July 26, 2017
    • Reply
    • I agree…I also chose to cut back sugar and added fresh Meyer lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

      • — Lauren Brimmer on September 19, 2017
      • Reply
  • Is it possible to omit the pecans and maybe add more oats? Also, could I use oat flour instead of regular flour?

    • — Deena on July 5, 2017
    • Reply
    • Yes, Deena, you can omit the pecans (and no need to add more oats). Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 5, 2017
      • Reply
  • Made this yesterday, as I noticed a lot of apples in the fridge. Quick and easy and very good with a little dollop of whipped cream.
    I like that you omitted the dried cranberries (from the original recipe).

    • — SandraM on February 24, 2017
    • Reply
  • What a wonderful idea to mix different types of apples in a crisp! This is really yummy. The pecans add a really nice crunch and, in a good way, “un-sweeten” the crumble part. A great excuse to eat whipped cream! A+

    • — Marie-Jeanne on January 29, 2017
    • Reply
  • This was hands-down fabulous! Everyone cleaned the entire dish at a family birthday party. Made recipe exactly as described! A home-run Jenn..

    • — Sandy on January 29, 2017
    • Reply
  • Made this for Thanksgiving. Not a huge hit. Ended up tossing half of it. Apples were not as flavorful as in a pie. Used a processor for crumb topping but did not crumble enough even though the Butter was cold.

    • — Sandra smith. on December 1, 2016
    • Reply
  • I used half Honeycrisp and half Granny Smith and it was amazing! My four year old son helped me make the crisp topping!! I added some cinnamon to the sugar to the apples! Great fall recipe!

    • — Crissy on October 10, 2016
    • Reply
  • What are your thoughts about making this with another flour for gluten free diets?

    • — Karen on September 30, 2016
    • Reply
    • Hi Karen, I think that would work fine here. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 30, 2016
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, love your blog and have tried many of your recipes with great success! (I really should start adding reviews!). Might make this crisp for Rosh Hashanah to change things up. Made your French Apple Cake last year and it was great. I need more than what this recipe makes. Have you doubled or 1 1/2 times the recipe and used a larger dish 9 x 13? Suggestions please. Thank you!

    • — Susan on September 27, 2016
    • Reply
    • Hi Susan, Glad to hear you’re enjoying the recipes! You could definitely double this– just make sure you use a baking dish that holds 4 quarts. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 28, 2016
      • Reply
  • Great recipe!

    • — Natalie on September 15, 2016
    • Reply
  • Yum! I made this with Lobo apples we picked at our local orchard today, and the recipe is a nice, easy (but still very tasty) alternative to apple pie. The only addition I made to the apple slices was a dash of pumpkin pie spice, which another commenter inspired me to do. The only mistake I made was to try and rush the top-browning process by turning on the broiler and leaving it a minute too long…this resulted in a bit of burning of the topping, but it wasn’t seriously burnt, and the whole thing was actually quite delicious. (And the original recipe obviously did not recommend broiling, so that mistake was all mine! Just mentioning it as a warning to others who may also think of taking this shortcut).

    Thanks again, Jennifer!

    • — Jenn V. on September 5, 2016
    • Reply
  • How can I make ahead and reheat when ready to use?

    • — Meaghan on August 19, 2016
    • Reply
    • This is a recipe that works well when made ahead and reheated. I’d take it out of the fridge about an hour prior to sticking it in the oven, then I’d reheat at 300 – 350 degrees until warm in the middle.

      • — Jenn on August 20, 2016
      • Reply
  • So do you not toast the pecans before adding them? The recipe doesn’t say to do so, but in the step-by-step above, you mention mixing in the toasted pecans. Also, I assume that you roughly chop them? Thanks!

    • — Mary on November 25, 2015
    • Reply
    • Thanks, Mary. That’s a typo — you don’t need to toast the pecans; they get plenty toasted while they bake.

      • — Jenn on November 25, 2015
      • Reply
  • Is it ok to not peel the apples?

    • — Merle Singer on November 6, 2015
    • Reply
    • Hi Merle, I definitely prefer them peeled. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 8, 2015
      • Reply
  • Another very nice recipe, Jenn, but I think I would add a sixth apple next time, as there was a LOT of topping for a not-so-large amount of sliced apples. Also, I’m wondering if you think the pecans would toast adequately during the baking process, rather than toasting them before adding them to the oats? I over-toasted mine in advance and set them aside because I didn’t want them to cook any more in the oven and then I forgot to add them at the last minute – doh! I also think the amount of sugar can easily be cut back without compromising taste.

    • — Jenn on November 5, 2015
    • Reply
    • Hi Jenn, Glad you enjoyed. Where do you see the step to toast the pecans before adding them to the topping?

      • — Jenn on November 5, 2015
      • Reply
  • I hosted book club this month and was looking for something warm, seasonal, and delicious. This was perfect! Adding pecans really upgraded this already amazing apple crisp; there is a generous amount of topping, so it achieves a lovely crunch. Not adding a lot of seasonings, really lets the apples take center stage. I used a combination of honey crisp, and granny smith, along with one perfect gala, for a lovely variety of taste and texture. I did offer some local, vanilla ice cream to serve, but it hardly needs it. This one’s a keeper. Thanks, Jennifer!

    • — Connie Berggren on October 29, 2015
    • Reply
  • After making this the first time, I have made it weekly since! The pecan topping is the best I’ve tasted. I followed the recipe exactly as written and it has been perfect every time. It has become our family favorite for this autumn!

    • — Paula Fletcher on October 29, 2015
    • Reply
  • What happens if I don’t core the apples? What are the pros and cons?

    • Hi Sue, You will have seeds in your crisp, which won’t be very pleasant 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 28, 2015
      • Reply
  • This was very good and easy! I made the topping the day before and kept it in a bowl in the fridge. My son and a friend had a race peeling the 10 apples ( I doubled the recipe), it was done in a flash. I also added a little cinnamon to the apples.

    • — Mary on October 4, 2015
    • Reply
  • This crisp is the best I have had! The pecans in the topping make this dish. Fantastic recipe!

    • — Kate on October 3, 2015
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious dessert and very simple to make. I did add cinnamon when I tossed the apple slices with sugar and it gave a nice flavor. Perfect dessert for the fall. Hubby and teenage girls all loved it.

    • — Alicia on October 1, 2015
    • Reply
  • Delicious!!

    • — Julia on September 30, 2015
    • Reply
  • This was delicious! I loved the pecans in the topping. Other than adding a dash of cinnamon to the apples (because that’s what my mom always did), I followed exact recipe. Everyone loved it 🙂

    • — Molly on September 21, 2015
    • Reply
  • This sounds delicious ! Will try this in place of my usual apple crisp recipe – 4 c sliced tart apples, 1/4 c hot water, 1/2 c butter, 1/2 c flour, 1/2 c sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon. Thank you for sharing !

    • — Jeanne on August 27, 2015
    • Reply
  • 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

    • — 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!

  • 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 🙂

  • Dear Jenn,

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

    Cheryl

    • — Cheryl on September 29, 2009
    • Reply

Add a Review or Question

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.