Apple-pear crisp with macadamia crumb and Calvados Chantilly A grown-up fall fruit dessert, simple and luscious

Apple-pear crisp with macadamia crumb and Calvados Chantilly

Apples and pears… a simple combo; a surprising delight

Apples and pears are delicious on their own, but together they are superb. Here, the crunchy, tart apples mingle with the soft, sweet pears, making every mouthful of this crisp (or crumble, as it’s known in the UK) irresistibly luscious.

Another depature from the old-fashioned apple crisp: macademia crumb topping!

The macadamia crumb that adorns the fruits brings a rich and delightful crunch, while the Calvados Chantilly spikes things up a bit and makes this comforting dessert as grown-up as can be.

Easy to make, versatile and packed with wholesome fall fruits, this crisp can be served family style for a casual dinner or spooned in elegant dessert bowls for a more sophisticated meal. It all depends on what mood you’re in.

Food & spirit pairing: Calvados with apple-pear crisp

Spirit iconA glass of Calvados is superb here. But if that’s too hardcore for you, then try a demi-sec Champagne or a Moscato d’Asti – both would highlight the apple and pear flavors in the crisp.

Apple-pear crisp with macadamia crumb and Calvados Chantilly

Apple-pear crisp with macadamia crumb and Calvados Chantilly

serves 6
active time: 30 min

For the crumb topping

  1. 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  2. 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
  3. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  4. 4 oz (115 g) (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter – cold, cut in 1″ chunks
  5. 2/3 cup roasted, unsalted macadamia nuts (or blanched almonds)

For the fruits

  1. 6 medium firm-fleshed apples (Gala, Braeburn, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Macoun…) – peeled, cored and cut in 1/4″ slices
  2. 4 ripe Bartlett pears – peeled, cored and cut in 1/2″ pieces
  3. 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (use a microplane grater)
  4. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  5. 1 tablespoon Calvados or brandy
  6. 1/2 cup organic sugar

For the Calvados Chantilly

  1. 1 cup heavy cream – well chilled
  2. 2 tablespoons Calvados
  3. 2 tablespoons organic sugar
  1. 1 medium ceramic baking dish (13″ x 9″ x 3″) – lightly buttered

  1. Preheat oven to 375 °F (190 °C).
  2. Step 1: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Process at high speed for 15 seconds until well blended. Add the chunks of butter and macadamia and process until coarse crumbs form. Do not over-process or the crumbs will come together and form a dough. Set aside.
  3. Step 2: Place the apple and pear slices in a large bowl and sprinkle with the lemon zest, lemon juice, Calvados and sugar. Toss well. Place the apple-pear mixture into the prepared mold. Sprinkle with the crisp topping. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until topping is golden brown and the fruits are bubbly. Remove from the oven and let cool until warm.
  4. Step 3: In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream, Calvados and sugar at medium speed until the cream begins to thicken. Do not overbeat or the cream may turn to butter. Transfer to a Tupperware and refrigerate until ready to use or up to 12 hours.
  5. Step 4: To serve – Spoon into dessert bowl. Top with a dollop of the Calvados Chantilly and serve immediately.
  6. Cook’s note: The crisp can be made up to 6 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. Reheat at 375 °F (190 °C) for 5 to 7 minutes until just warm and serve as above. The crisp is best consumed the day it is made.

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Apple-pear crisp with macadamia crumb and Calvados Chantilly

dessert, crisp, apples, pears


  1. Pingback: A vegetarian Thanksgiving feast | Recipes | Food & Style

  2. Apples and pears are a delectable combination for your tempting crisp. The buttery macadamias are a the perfect complement to the fruit in the cumb topping. A most lovely winter dessert!

  3. Pingback: Apple-cranberry bread puddings with rosemary gelato and cider-Calvados reduction — food & style

  4. oooh I must have these… the macadamia crumb sounds sooo delicious! yummy!!

  5. How can you go wrong with this recipe. It’s perfect!

  6. Oh man! I love macadamia nuts. There so buttery and delicious. I’ve never thought to add them to a crisp. What a wonderful idea!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. A huge thank you to everyone for your comments – I’m so thrilled you’re enjoying the dessert. I’m vacationing in Sonoma right now. Apple and pear trees are heavy with fruits right now. It makes me want to bake this crisp and eat it al fresco this evening… while sipping a wonderful dessert wine like this Le Vol des Anges (aka The Angles’ Flight) from Bonny Doon Vineyards, which we just sampled a couple of days ago:

  8. I was thinking what I could make for dessert tonight, when I saw your blog on Twitter. Problem solved. This dish looks so good that I can almost taste it. The recipe sounds delicious. Thumbs up!

  9. Absolutely stunning! I love the idea of macadamias in this recipe. As usual, your pictures are stunning!

  10. I LOVE look of the macadamia crumb – nutty perfection with sweet apples and pears. Wonderful.

  11. What a great idea to combine the two fruits! 🙂

  12. Your photos are so beautiful and this crisp looks so delicious! I love the macadamia crumb and that calvados chantilly, yum!

  13. I never mixed apples with pears. Great idea!

  14. Oh, boy, does this look fabulous!! I love pear/apple desserts and the Calvados cream is the perfect complement to your crisp. Amazing photos, too~

  15. Yummy fall treat and Congratulations on Top 9.

  16. this sounds and looks incredibly delicious!

  17. Oh…the macadamia crumb and calvados chantilly make this great fruit combo sound so decadent! Looks amazing.

  18. Wow, Viviane this recipes looks delicious. And just in time for the weekend. Keep these beautiful recipes coming!!!!

  19. Great combo and looks fabulous!

  20. This looks beautiful and the pears sound so good this time of year. Great post!

  21. this looks a great desssert viviane! loves ur idea with the macadamia crumbs! 😉

  22. This crisp sounds so good! I want a big bowl of it with some cold vanilla ice cream!

  23. Crisp looks perfect! Can’t wait to try it! 🙂

  24. What a lovely crisp. I love pears and apples together and the macadamia crumb sounds wonderful.

  25. Calvados in your chantilly? I’ll be right over! Theresa

  26. Lovely! This crisp looks super delicious and perfect for fall! 🙂

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