Pear and Pistachio Crisp -A Simple Thanksgiving Dessert

I'm okay offering kids dessert. There, I said it.

I know plenty of parents who don't like giving their kids dessert unless it is a special occasion. I respect that, but I also believe in moderation in most things and, sometimes, you've got to live a little. When it comes to desserts, I've been know to whip up everything from seriously rich holiday treats like Holiday Baked Alaska to the less exotic Sugar Cookies, but I often try to prepare desserts made with less sugar, like this Pear and Pistachio Crisp -- which my kids in fact prefer to more sugary desserts.

I like this dish too, especially when I want a pie but have no time to make a homemade crust (which is all the time!). A fall crisp is a lot more simple to make and still delivers a lot of what I love about pie. This one has a crunchy topping made from oats, pistachios, brown sugar, and aromatic cinnamon, and a naturally nummy sweetness from all of the chunks of baked pear. It's got so much less sugar than a regular dessert that I even served this to my kids one morning on top of plain Greek yogurt and they went bonkers with excitement at the thought of getting dessert for breakfast!

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Pear and Pistachio Crisp -A Simple Thanksgiving Dessert (serves 6)

Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 45 mins

egg free

Ingredients

  • 5 pears, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a bowl, combine the pears and cinnamon and toss to combine. Toss in the lemon juice.

3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, brown sugar, and salt.

4. Add the butter and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until the mixture comes together and the crumbles are about the size of peas. Mix in the pistachios and set aside.

5. Pour the pears into a greased 8-inch baking dish and cover with the oat mixture.

6. Bake until the top is brown and the pears are bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes.

Accompaniments

Vanilla Ice Cream or plain greek yogurt

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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.

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20 comments

  • Tifany

    Yep, I'm going to have to go buy some pears and pistachios now. This sounds very interesting and tasty! :-)

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  • Jamie

    This is going on the Thanksgiving dessert list. Thanks!!

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  • Erika

    Never made crisps before. Does the temperature of the butter matter? Room temp. or chilled? Thanks! Can't wait for my son to try this. He loves pistachios.

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    • Catherine

      I take the butter out of the fridge, chop it, and then let it sit out while I'm prepping everything. So it is somewhere between chilled and room temp! It needs to be soft enough that you can work it into little pieces, but not so warm that it melts at the touch of your hand!

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  • Hollie Garcia

    I will definitely have to try this. Our neighbors grow pistachios, and I had no idea how delicious they were! I like how you believe in moderation in most things! Thanks!

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  • Laura

    I love pear crisps....I have made a great one with the addition of cranberries as well. Could be a nice addition for all your American Thanksgiving dinners!

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  • Jill

    Do you prefer raw or roasted pistachios? Any preference on type of pears? Do they need to be really ripe? Thx

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    • Catherine

      I like to use roasted pistachios! I used a mixture of pears that I got at the farmers market so really any kind will do! The first time I made this I used ripe pears, and the second time I used slightly underripe. The underripe needs a few minutes longer to get nice and melt-in-your-mouth soft!

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  • Jill

    And one more question.... Can it sit for a few hrs or is it best to put in oven at the last minute? Thx

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    • Catherine

      It can sit for a few hours! I would pop it back in the oven for 5-10 minutes just before serving to heat it back up!

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  • Priscilla

    I try to avoid dairy, do you think coconut butter or shortening will work?

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    • Lorie

      I use coconut oil in place of butter all the time. I usually chill it in the fridge for a little bit. It's great.

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  • Dree Getz

    This looks so good. I am pinning it. Thank you.

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  • Catherne

    Saved! Thanks for a great new recipe. :-)

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  • Michelle

    So good...just made it tonight. Ate it right after Weelicious Mexican Lasagna...great dinner!

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    • Michelle

      Wish I had ice cream to go with this! I used 1/4 c brown sugar 1/4 c of sucanat. I also used 1/4 c butter and 1/4 c cold coconut oil. Yummy!

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  • Diedre

    Had family over (5 adults and 5 children). Everyone was so impressed with this dish and 2 of the older kids waited patiently for seconds. What a great combination. Another great receipe. Served fresh whipped cream on top with a splash of cinnamon.

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  • Julie

    Hi there, this is a great recipe and I am going to try it today or tomorrow. Do you think this can be combined ahead of time, like tonight, keep in fridge and then pop it in the oven tomorrow morning? I have a large number of people coming tomorrow and it would save me so much time.
    Thanks for all the easy and yummy recipes!

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    • Catherine McCord

      That should work great! Just keep the topping in a separate container and top just before baking.

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