Pineapple Coconut Crisp

This juicy, crunchy crisp blends the natural sweetness of La Dona air pineapple with classic streusel for a tropical dessert you can enjoy year-round.

4 persons
Cooks In
45 minutes
  • For the filling:
  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes
  • For the streusel topping: 
  • ½ cup cold butter, cubed
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Finely chop or mince 4 cups of the pineapple, making sure to remove the core and all the “eyes,” those brown spiky bits leftover when you cut off the rind. Store any remaining pineapple in the fridge or freezer for fruit salad and smoothies, or prepare some extra filling to use the next time you’re craving crisp.  
  3. Make the filling: into a mixing bowl, add the pineapple, coconut flakes, cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Mix until well combined and pour into an ungreased baking dish. You have some freedom with size and material; try using decorative stoneware, Pyrex, or even a cast-iron skillet. Alternatively, divide the filling into multiple small ramekins for single-serve portions. Just make sure the pineapple filling evenly coats the bottom of your chosen dish(es) with at least 1” of thickness. 
  4. Make the streusel topping: in a large bowl, add the remaining brown sugar, oats and flour, and whisk to combine. Using your hands, mix in the butter by smooshing it into the flour mixture until you have a well-combined paste that sticks to itself, with no visible butter chunks. Evenly crumble the streusel over the pineapple filling. You can add more flavor with an optional dusting of brown sugar, coconut flakes, or sea salt on top.
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes (check at 35 minutes for single servings), or until the streusel is golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving, or you’ll burn your tongue!

About this dish

It’s not quite summer yet where I live, but that won’t stop me from pulling out my favorite warm weather recipes. Sometimes the best way to beat the rainy springtime blues is to serve something that reminds you of long days at the beach and night skies filled with fireworks. For me, the ultimate summer dessert will always be fruit crisp a la mode. When I was a kid, there was nothing better than wrapping up a day spent frolicking in the sunshine with a big bowl of vanilla bean ice cream melting over hot, syrupy, crunchy blackberry crisp.

Baking fruit crisp is a relatively fool-proof endeavor that fills me with all the confidence of a TV bake-off champion. At this point, I think it’s safe to assume that half the planet has streamed (and is smitten with) the Great British Baking Show. It’s difficult not to binge an entire season of Britain’s charming take on competitive baking, enraptured as a handful of exceptionally skilled amateur contestants whisk, sculpt, banter, and fret over dazzling confections like mirror-glaze cakes and complicated French pastries. To my knowledge, none of the weekly challenges on GBBS have included fruit crisp. However, there is a delightful moment in season 10 when a baker named Karen celebrates finishing her biscuits before the buzzer by casually munching on a bag of salt and vinegar crisps as her competitors continue to work frantically in the background.

I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that this show made me into a wannabe pȃtissier, though my wheelhouse concerns savory dishes that almost benefit from my fast-and-loose approach to cooking. To qualify as a contestant, it’s required that you don’t bake for a living, but these people rarely appear truly amateur; on the contrary, by the quarterfinal round, the remaining bakers are known to churn out professional-grade soufflés. They are also collectively famous for an ever-present humble cordiality which somehow downplays their expertise. They just make it look so easy! Easy to the extent that, after watching a single episode, I accumulated enough hubris to attempt a batch of notoriously tricky macarons, to predictably disastrous results. I have henceforth learned that with baking, it helps to start small, lest you bite off more than you can choux.

Jokes aside, fruit crisp stands among the simplest, easiest, guaranteed-tasty desserts you can whip up at home, and makes a great starter recipe for kids (big or small) just entering the world of baking. Unlike pies and cakes, fruit crisp packs flavor and texture without the headache of fussy doughs or precise ingredient measurements. You can make a slew of mistakes with a crisp recipe–forgetting some of the sugar, using ‘too much’ filling, etc.–and still end up with a mouthwatering, colorful concoction that will make adults and kids alike beg for seconds. In fact, the filling-to-streusel ratio is entirely up to the baker; create a thicker layer of streusel if you prefer your desserts crunchy, or opt for more fruit if you, like me, love eating cherry pie filling straight from the can.

This year, instead of reaching for berries, peaches, or apples for my summer crisp, I’m using fresh air pineapple from La Dona. Walking the thin line between sweet and tart, pineapple’s pulpy flesh balances the crunchy streusel for a flavor that’s fresh, not cloying. The natural sweetness and golden hue of a La Dona air pineapple ensures your crisp will burst with flavor and bright, cheerful color. Pro tip: this pairs beautifully with coconut or key lime ice cream.