Comfort food typically calls to mind soups, stews and hearty meals meant to warm you up on a chilly day. However, you can also turn to tasty treats as a way to end a cold day on a hot note.

 For example, warm fruits baked into a crisp dessert provide an easy, heartwarming option for putting a smile on loved ones faces when the weather turns south. This Walnut Apple Pear Crisp combines two fall favorite fruits in a sweet and simple yet flavorful nibble. 

 Start by mixing the walnut crisp topping separate from the soul of the recipe: the apple pear filling. Then layer in a cast-iron pan and bake for an easy treat that cooks while you enjoy dinner with the family. In the end, the crunch of the crispy walnut crust provides a savory contrast to the sweetness of the fruity filling.

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Walnut Apple Pear Crisp

Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Servings: 4


Walnut Crisp Topping:

  • 1 1/2    cups California walnuts, divided

  • 1/4       cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/4       cup brown sugar

  • 1/2       cup quick-cooking oats

  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2       cup butter, chilled and sliced into pieces


Apple Pear Filling:

  • 4          apples, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices

  • 3          pears, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices

  • 1/2       cup granulated sugar

  • 2          tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1          teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/8       teaspoon salt

  • 1               tablespoon lemon juice


ice cream (optional)

caramel sauce (optional)

 Heat oven to 350 F.

 To make walnut crisp topping: In food processor, pulse 1 cup walnuts until finely ground. Set aside in separate bowl. In food processor, pulse remaining 1/2 cup walnuts until chopped. Set aside.

 In medium bowl, combine ground walnuts, flour, brown sugar, oats and cinnamon. Cut butter into mixture until coarse crumb forms.

 To make apple pear filling: In large bowl, toss apples, pears, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and lemon juice.

 Pour fruit mixture in bottom of 12-inch cast-iron pan.

 Layer walnut crisp topping mixture over fruit.

 Bake 45 minutes, or until fruit mixture is hot and bubbly and topping is golden brown.

 Top with ice cream and caramel sauce, if desired.


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