Pecan Crusted Apple-Pear Crisp with Tuaca

For the latest installment of Sugar High Friday, hosted this time around by Spittoon Extra the theme is Drunken Apples. I was intrigued by the possible combinations. My first thought was of Tuaca, a lovely citrus-vanilla liqueur, to which I was first introduced when Quinn & I had known each other about six weeks. Quinn brought a bottle to a New Years Eve party we were both attending.

So, back to baking. I went in search of a recipe combining apples and Tuaca and finally found this recipe at Epicurious. There is Tuaca, as well as white wine. Granted, there are pears as well as apples, but I actually used three apples and two pears. I must tell you that the crumb topping is so good that I could have just eaten it on its own, unbaked. Seriously, that good.

I will make one recommendation for baking this crisp. Place a baking sheet lined with parchment paper under your baking pan. I had a good bit of overflow during baking and was very glad I had taken the precaution.

As for the finished product, it is beyond good. The topping is a bit crunchy, almost like a cookie. The liqueur adds a lovely hint of citrus that compliments the vanilla and cinnamon very well. And, of course, my favorite – pecans – add a nice crunch. Quinn says he is now ruined for all other fruit crisps, and he has definitely made amends with Tuaca.

Pecan Crusted Apple-Pear Crisp with Tuaca

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Pecan Crusted Apple-Pear Crisp with Tuaca


    For the filling:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 medium sized firm, ripe pears, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 medium sized apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise in half
  • 6 tablespoons Tuaca liqueur
  • 1/4 c. dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
  • For the topping:
  • 2 & 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 1 & 1/3 cups pecans, chopped


To make the filling:

Lightly butter a 9-inch square baking dish.

Mix butter, pears, and apples. Place in prepared pan.

Combine brown sugar, sugar, vanilla bean, Tuaca, and wine in a saucepan. Simmer mixture 5 minutes, or until it thickens. Pour over fruit mixture.

To make the topping:

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine flour, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor. Add butter 1/4 cup at a time while pulsing mixture. Mix until large clumps form. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in pecans.

Spread topping over fruit mixture. Bake for 1 hour, or until crust is golden brown. Cool slightly before serving.


Recipe adapted from Epicurious.

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  1. sara October 22, 2007 Reply

    Mmm, this looks absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to try it with some of our farmer’s market apples!

  2. womans health October 23, 2007 Reply

    I have got a bumper crop of apples just screaming for this recipe. Great blog..Di

  3. jennifer October 24, 2007 Reply

    Sara and Di, isn’t this the best time of year for warm apple desserts? I <3 fall!

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