This pumpkin crisp has a creamy, spiced filling topped with maple and oat streusel. It’s a bit simpler than traditional pumpkin pie but it’s just as good and has all of the best autumn flavors!
Hey, hi, hello! Last time I was here, we were all sweating and desperately in need of some ice cream and now it’s cozy colorful-leaf sweater weather. Where has 2021 gone? Anyways, I’m pretty stoked about the colder weather, because Reno is at its prettiest and my house officially has farmer’s market pumpkins everywhere. We already had our first snow of the year, but I heard it’s going to rain all weekend so I’m going to wear fuzzy socks and make pumpkin crisp! As should you.
This pumpkin crisp is deeply comforting with a super creamy, spiced filling and a lightly sweetened oat topping. If you love pumpkin pie, then you’ll definitely love this version with a borderline granola-ish crumble. Which, in my very biased opinion, makes it totally acceptable for breakfast. Yay!
This crisp also kind of happens to be my perfect dessert because it’s honestly so easy that you can just turn on a true-crime podcast and go through the motions. It doesn’t require finicky pie crust and can be made in essentially any vessel. It’s great with ice cream or on its own. Hot or room temp. Make it in advance or bake it up as your guests are arriving for a fall feast. If you make a little mistake, it will forgive you. Pumpkin crisp is your ride-or-die autumn dessert, and we must protect her at all costs.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Canned pumpkin – make sure to get pumpkin puree, not pie filling! I use classic Libby’s.
- Half and half – you can also use whole milk.
- Spices – pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and cardamom or ginger.
- Oats – regular old-fashioned oats work great!
- Maple syrup – 100% pure maple syrup is best for this recipe.
- Pecans – totally optional but you can also use hazelnuts, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds.
- Baking basics – eggs, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla extract, Kosher salt, and flour.
How to make this crisp
- In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs with the brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Whisk in the canned pumpkin.
- Next, add the half and half, vanilla extract, spices, and salt until the filling comes together. Pour into a buttered casserole dish, deep pie/tart pan, or cast iron skillet. Set aside.
- To make the streusel, add the unsalted butter and flour to a medium bowl. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into pea-sized pieces.
- Add the oats, brown sugar, maple syrup, pecans, and a pinch of salt. Stir until a thick dough forms.
- Crumble the dough over the pumpkin filling. Bake at 375°F for 40-45 minutes until the filling is just a little jiggly in the center and the crumble is golden brown.
- Let cool for at least 10-15 minutes. Serve warm or at room-temperature. Enjoy!
Or, just watch the video!
Canned pumpkin vs. pie filling
When you go shopping, you’ll want to look for canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree. You can use either, they’re the same thing! Regular, canned pumpkin is just unflavored, pureed pumpkin. Pumpkin pie filling on the other hand has sugar, spices, and everything yummy you would expect to find in a regular pumpkin pie.
For this recipe, you definitely want to make sure you’re using canned pumpkin! (I usually go with Libby’s but generic is fine too). That’s because we’re going to add our own flavorings. If you were to use pie filling, we’d be adding even more sugar and spices which would affect the overall texture and flavor. You’d likely end up with a sickly sweet filling which would be sad!
All about pumpkin spice
I know pumpkin spice can be a hot debate, but it’s a pretty normal ingredient! It’s literally just a spice mix with everything you’d already put in pumpkin pie. Think cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and the like. I would recommend just buying a little container that you can use for all fall baking. It’s also great in apple pie or snickerdoodles! If you don’t want to buy something special, you can just use extra cinnamon. Or, replace it with a variety of warm spices you’re into. Try ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, etc.
A note on baking pans
When it comes to a baking pan, you have options! First, you could make one large crisp in a 2-3 quart casserole dish. You can also use a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or a deep pie/tart pan. I also like making individual servings in mini cast-iron skillets or ramekins! Just keep in mind that you may have to adjust the baking time more or less, depending on what kind of pan you use.
When it comes to serving this crisp, you have quite a few options!
Hot vs. room temp
First off, pumpkin crisp is absolutely amazing either hot or at room temperature. If you want to serve it warm, just let it cool for at least 10-15 minutes after baking to let the filling finish setting. I personally like it a little better when it’s warm! However, you can also serve it at room temperature after it’s finished cooling. This is the easiest way to serve the crisp if you want to bring it to someone’s house or make it in advance.
I like topping the crisp with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. However, it’s also great with butter pecan ice cream or just on its own. If you want to get extra fancy, you could add a little caramel sauce, toasted pecans, or butterscotch. It’s also perfect alongside a cup of hot coffee!
Storing the leftovers
If you have any leftovers, just cover the crisp with plastic or beeswax wrap and store it on the counter for 2-3 days. It tends to go bad after a few days at room temperature. You could also store it in the fridge, although the moisture might make the topping a little soggy.
To re-crisp the topping, just let the entire crisp come to room temperature for 30 minutes or so. Then, bake the crisp at 350°F for 10-15 minutes. Make sure to watch it closely so it doesn’t burn. If necessary, lightly cover the top with tin foil while it warms up.
Tips & tricks
- If you don’t have a pastry cutter, you can use two butter knives to cut the butter into the flour. Or, you can use a food processor just to cut the butter into the flour. Then, do the rest by hand so you don’t blend up the oats!
- The filling is ready when the edges are set but the middle is just a little jiggly.
- If you want to make the streusel extra crispy, set it under a broiler on low for just a few minutes. Watch it closely to ensure it doesn’t burn.
- When it comes to baking the topping, you want to go slow and steady. Baking at 375°F will allow the filling to bake properly while crisping up the topping and preventing it from burning.
More fall pies & tarts to try out
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Pumpkin Crisp with Maple & Oat Topping
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 c brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 c white sugar
- 15 oz can of pumpkin*
- 1 c half and half
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cardamom or ginger
- 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
Maple Oat Streusel
- 1/2 c unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 c all purpose flour
- 1 c old-fashioned oats
- 1/3 c brown sugar
- 1/4 c 100% maple syrup
- 1/2 c pecans, roughly chopped
- Pinch of Kosher salt
- Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 2-3 qt. casserole dish, 12-inch cast-iron skillet, or deep pie/tart pan with butter. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, and white sugar until the mixture is thick and pale, about 1 minute. Add the canned pumpkin and stir until smooth.
- Next add the half and half, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, cardamom/ginger, and salt. Stir until thoroughly combined. Pour into the prepared dish and set aside.
Maple Oat Streusel
- In a medium bowl, toss the unsalted butter and flour together. Then, using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until you have pea-sized pieces. Add the oats, brown sugar, maple syrup, pecans, and salt. Mix until a thick dough forms. (You may need to use your hands. Just work quickly to prevent the butter from melting).
- Crumble the streusel over the pumpkin filling. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the edges are set, the filling is a little jiggly, and the topping is golden-brown. Let the crisp cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Serve the crisp with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Enjoy!
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: Autumn Sweater by Yo La Tengo