Gordy and I are in training, our motivation is to get in shape for our 10k hike in Algonquin Park.  Gordy’s idea is to run up and down the Baldwin Steps at Spadina and Davenport, located just between Casa Loma and The Spadina House.  Not sure if this put us in shape for the hike but it sure was a good workout.  After climbing the stairs (five times), we wandered through the gardens at the historic Spadina House, did you know we have an apple orchard right here in Toronto?  Just when you think you know your city you can be surprised.  Time to make an apple crisp.


Whichever type of apples and pears you use, make sure to choose the best local varieties.

This recipe is a classic and is adapted from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. I added pecans for some extra crunch.

This recipe serves 8 to 10.


2 pounds ripe Bosc pears (4 pears)
2 pounds firm apples (6 apples), I use whatever I have in my fridge.
3/4 cup fresh cranberries
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup peacans
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Peel and core the pears and apples and cut them into large chunks. Place the fruit in a large bowl and toss with the cranberries, zests, juices, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch baking dish.
  3. For the topping:
  4. Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, pecans and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.
  5. Place the baking dish on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.