Apple & Pear Breakfast Crisp

1 Comment 07 November 2012

The Smitten Kitchen was one of the first food blogs I started reading and checking up on almost religiously a few years ago. Like many of you, I’m sure, I really enjoyed watching it grow over the years. The recipe choices were always interesting and the whole feeling of the site was one of approachable-ness and inclusion, as if I could do it, too. (The cooking, that is. Full Fork Ahead wasn’t in the making at that time.) I pre-ordered the cookbook as soon as I heard about it and lo – there was smitten-ing a-doin’ at Full Fork Ahead!

Apple & Pear Breakfast Crisp 17

The recipe originally calls for apricots, which are really lovely. And cute. And tasty. Devilish things they are! *ahem*

But since we’re not really in apricot or other stone fresh fruit season, Perelman does note that this recipe works well with plenty of other seasonal options. Pears and apples sounded divine. Could. not. resist. And when one cannot resist, well, you get what you want. Gotta love it.

Apple & Pear Breakfast Crisp 16

Hello, apples and pears! Gonna eat you all up.

The cook’s note said these should be chopped small and the cooking time increases a little, but no worries, this is still a very easy and pretty quick recipe. Save lots of time by just leaving the skins on.

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The flour/sugar mixture gets stirred into the fruit right in the dish it all bakes in. One less dirty dish to clean – score!

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As the kitchen gods are my witness…es, this is one of the BEST fruit crisp toppings we’ve ever tried.

So, naturally, we doubled it. Now wait, before we’re forced to change our blog name to Double the Topping, we looked at the amount of fruit. Only three pears and two apples fuh gosh sakes, but we decided we had a lot more fruit than the recipe called for and just doubled the rest. It was the right thing to do. Because it was DELICIOUS.

So we advise doubling the crisp topping anyway. We’ve never denied being enablers in the kitchen.

Apple & Pear Breakfast Crisp 13

So there it all is. Innocent. Yet tempting. We’re going to show you what happens to tempting little things like you, fruit crisp!

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Actually, we kind of give you a facial, little crisp! You went from a plain-ish little fruit crisp to a beautiful, browned and bubbling wonder. You’re welcome.

(Can you tell where I snatched a chunk of crisp topping off as soon as it came out of the oven? Could. not. resist.)

Apple & Pear Breakfast Crisp 5

And then I’m afraid we put you on a plate and surrounded you with forks.

But then we took lots of pictures while praising your beauty! Positivity, right?

And then we kind of ate you. Sorry! It had to be done.

Apple & Pear Breakfast Crisp 2

Just know this, little crisp. You made a lot of us really happy that day. You were tender and just the right amount of sweet while that crisp topping was buttery and – well – crisp! It was about as perfect as fruit crisps can get. And best of all, you’re for breakfast, when we really need to start the day with a smile.

Pear & Apple Breakfast Crisp

adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 40-45 minutes    Level: Easy    Serves: 6-8

For the fruit:

  • 2-3 apples, such as gala
  • 2-3 pears
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar (granulated or natural turbinado)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 pinches freshly grated nutmeg (though we used pre-grated)

For the topping:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar (granulated or natural turbinado)
  • 1 cup rolled (aka, old-fashioned) oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (or a mixture of whole-wheat and all-purpose flour)
  • Good pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons sliced or chopped almonds
  • Yogurt of your choice, to serve

Prepare the fruit:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Chop the apples and pears into small chunks, skins on (this saves time, but you can peel them if you have to). Place the fruit in a baking dish, such as a pie dish. Stir in the sugar, flour, and the nutmeg.

Make the topping:

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and stir in first the sugar, then the oats, and finally the salt and almonds, until large chunks form. Alternately, you can melt the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and proceed with the adding of the other ingredients. Sprinkle the mixture over the fruit. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until it’s bubbling and the topping is browned. Place foil over the topping if it’s getting too dark. Eat warm or chilled, with a scoop of your favorite yogurt.


We used a saucepan the first time to melt the butter and assemble the topping in, but the second time I tried just microwaving it till melted and hot and it worked just fine.

Since our version used more fruit, I did up the sugar in the fruit to 3 tablespoons the second time I made this and the flour to two tablespoons. You can knock the sugar back down to two tablespoons if you prefer.

We were super glad we’d doubled the topping. It really is super yummy and perfectly crisp for this type of treat.

The second time I made this, I went ahead and loosely covered the crisp with foil as it went in the oven and uncovered it when it had 20 minutes left, to let the topping brown. This worked perfectly.

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- who has written 347 posts on Full Fork Ahead.

Wife, mom, indulgent reader and Day Job Do-er, who occasionally likes to think she can cook. Sometimes she's right, sometimes she's wrong.

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  1. Reasons To Be Ready For Fall: Our Top 5 | Full Fork Ahead - September 18, 2013

    […] Apple & Pear Breakfast Crisp is a great recipe from the awesome Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. The fruit, while interchangeable, in this case, were perfectly sweet apples paired with milder pears – perfect for Fall! I’ve made this multiple times and to date feel this is the best recipe of this type I’ve tried. The topping is wonderfully crisp, the fruit sweet and soft. […]

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