Apple-pear crisp

Time Total time: 1 hour Active work time: 25 minutes
Yields Serves 6
Apple-pear crisp
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast them until they’re fragrant and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Set them aside.


Peel and core the apples and pears and cut them into 1-inch chunks. Spread the fruit evenly over the bottom of a shallow 2-quart baking dish. If desired, sprinkle the fruit with the brandy or rum.


Combine the flour, granulated and brown sugars, lemon zest, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender, two knives or your fingers, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Mix in the nuts.


Spread the topping evenly over the fruit. Bake the crisp until the fruit is tender and the crust is lightly browned, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm, if desired, with vanilla ice cream.

You can add half a cup of fresh, rinsed cranberries to the apple-pear mixture before spreading on the sugar topping. Or, for a summer crisp, substitute peaches and nectarines for the apples and pears. From “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cooking Basics.”.

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