Cardamom Apple Pear Crisp

810 -
1 hr 5 min

Deliciously easy apple pear crisp has notes of warm cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon with a gingersnap oat topping. Serve warm with some vanilla ice cream for a cozy fall dessert!

As much as I love cake and frosting, I absolutely love apple crisp in the fall.

Something about that tartly sweet fruit filling, those warm fall spices, a crispy crunchy topping and a perfect scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I really can’t think of a better way to snuggle up on the couch ;).

Sure, pie is good with it’s buttery crust and all, but this apple pear crisp has a buttery gingersnap and oat topping that makes it my first choice amongst fall baking recipes (plus it’s a lot easier than whipping up a homemade crust!).

Apples and pears are a match made in baking heaven (especially in this crisp recipe). The apples stay a little more firm while the pears are soft like butter, only adding to the amazing texture in this fall dessert.

Although I can’t say pear picking is popular near me, apple picking sure is top of the list of fall things to do in RI.

Especially where we live, there’s a farm every couple of miles with apple and pumpkin picking all season long. Even if you don’t take part in the apple picking part, you can still find bags of farm fresh apples from the local farms at the markets.

I currently have about 4 lbs. of apples sitting in my refrigerator that will certainly not go to waste.

Between savory fall dinners like my apple cider pork tenderloin or apple gouda stuffed chicken, to apple desserts like this apple pear crisp or my brown butter apple crumb crostata, we definitely take apple season seriously in this household ;).

Easy apple pear crisp ingredients:

  • pears
  • apples
  • brown sugar
  • flour
  • vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • cardamom
  • nutmeg
  • salt
  • lemon zest

The perfect apple crisp topping:

  • gingersnap cookie crumbs
  • old-fashioned rolled oats
  • flour
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • butter
  • pecans or other nuts (optional)

The gingersnap cookies are my secret weapon in this crisp recipe. Not only does that ginger spice work well with the fruit, but the cookies are so hard & crunchy that they make that topping extra crispy.

I use oats because I love the little bit of nutty texture they add but you can certainly omit them and use a full amount of gingersnap cookie.

This apple pear crisp recipe was adapted from Sally’s Baking addiction. You can get the original recipe here.

What apples are best to use in apple crisp?

You want to use apples that are more firm and won’t turn mushy when baked:

Gala, Honeycrisp, Courtland, Granny Smith and Braeburn are my favorite baking apples because they’re firm with a little tartness.

You want to avoid soft apples like McIntosh, Red Delicious or Golden Delicious.

The most popular pears you can usually find in the market that also bake well are Bartlett, Anjou or Bosc.

Should you peel apples for your crisp?

This is one of those “totally up to you” things.

I prefer peeling my apples and pears because sometimes the skin messes with the texture of the crisp, but again if you’re pressed for time and don’t mind the skin, then you can leave it on!

This is how easy cardamom apple pear crisp is to make:

  1. Mix all of the filling ingredients in a large bowl, then spread evenly into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
  2. Make the topping: add gingersnap cookies to a food processor and process until fine crumbs. Set aside. Whisk together flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or fork until mixture is evenly incorporated and you have pea-sized crumbs. Stir in the oats and gingersnap crumbs.
  3. Evenly spread topping on to apples and pears. Bake for 40-50 minutes until top is golden brown and juices are bubbling. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving.
Best way to store and reheat apple pear crisp:

I cover by apple crisp tightly with plastic wrap (or in an airtight container, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

To reheat it so it’s crispy again, I microwave for about 40 seconds to heat through and then bake it in the oven to get the top crispy.

For more fall desserts try:

  • Apple Cider Oatmeal Cookies
  • Apple Crumb Crostata
  • Cream Cheese-Stuffed Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Maple Meringue
Recipe details
  • 810  -
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 45 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 5 min
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Apple Pear Filling
  • 4 pears, peeled & sliced (about 4-5 cups)
  • 3 medium-large apples, peeled and sliced (about 4-5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Gingersnap Oat Topping
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed (*see recipe notes)
  • 3/4 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs (*see recipe notes)
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray or grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish or other 3 quart baking dish.
In a large bowl mix together all of the filling ingredients: pears, apples, brown sugar, flour, spices, vanilla, lemon juice and salt. Spread evenly into your baking dish.
For the topping: In a medium bowl whisk together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut in the cold butter with either a pastry cutter, two forks or with your hands. The mixture should resemble pea-sized crumbs. Stir in the gingersnap crumbs, oats and nuts (if using).
Evenly spread topping on top of pear-apple mixture.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the juices inside are bubbling. Remove and let cool at least 5 minutes before serving.
Serve warm or room temperature with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.
  • *Salted butter can also be used. Simply omit the 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  • *To make the gingersnap cookie crumbs simply place cookies in food processor and pulse until fine crumbs.
  • *Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Either wrap with plastic wrap or store in air tight container.
  • *To reheat: I microwave for about 40 seconds to heat through and then bake it in the oven to get the top crispy.
  • *To freeze: let crisp cool completely before wrapping. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw in refrigerator before baking. You can also freeze the unbaked crisp.
Wine a Little Cook a Lot
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