A pear crisp might be the perfect fall dessert! Topped with a crispy cinnamon and oat topping, it’s delicious by itself, but nobody will be mad if you serve it with ice cream.
Be sure to try this easy apple cobbler recipe, too.
Enjoy a pear crisp!
Fruit crisps are a delicious way to enjoy the seasonal abundance, no matter what season you’re enjoying! Fresh fruit beneath a layer of crumb topping bakes up to make a dessert that’s full of fruit and delicious and faster to make than pie.
Apple crisp usually gets all the attention, but when fresh pears are abundant in the fall, this easy dessert is a winner! Serve it warm, right out of the oven. Scoop of ice cream optional.
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Fresh pears — Choose your favorite variety or what’s available locally. Bartlett pears are generally a good choice for baking. Anjou and Bosc are commonly available and will work well, too. I’m not sure what variety of pear I used; they were harvested from a mystery tree and less pear-shaped than I’m used to!
Rolled oats — They’re not just for breakfast! Old fashioned rolled oats give this pear crisp a delicious flavor with a crumb topping. Optionally, you can pulse half the oats in a blender to make them a bit more fine. Don’t use steel cut oats. I like to use oats for the flavor, but also because it’s perfect as a gluten free dessert. These can be replaced with all purpose flour, but the texture will be a bit different.
Brown sugar — The rich molasses flavor of brown sugar is delicious in this dessert. Use light or brown sugar, as you like. You can substitute granulated sugar if you don’t have brown sugar.
Butter — Allow the butter to come to room temperature for easy mixing. I used salted butter; if you prefer unsalted, that will work fine.
Cinnamon — This familiar and warming spice brings out the sweetness of the pears.
Walnuts — If you are nut-averse, you can consider these optional, but adding walnuts to the crisp gives it that delicious toasty, nutty flavor we all love in baked goods. Feel free to substitute pecans here, if you like!
Making this easy pear dessert
Start by peeling and slicing the pears. Cut away brown spots and minor blemishes; these are cosmetic issues and the rest of the pear is just fine to use.
I slice the pears right into the 9″ x 12″ baking dish that it will bake in, to avoid an extra dish to wash.
Once the pears are sliced into the pan, toss them with one teaspoon of the cinnamon. Feel free to use clean hands to coat the pear slices in cinnamon. Set aside while you make the topping.
Combine the oats, brown sugar, butter, walnuts, and remaining cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
Use a pastry blender or sturdy fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until well blended.
Sprinkle the mixture over the prepared pears and bake for about 30 minutes, until the fruit bubbles, the pears are soft, and the topping is golden brown.
Serving pear crisp
Allow the crisp to cool for 15-20 minutes before serving. You can also serve at room temperature, but there’s just something so cozy about a warm dessert. If you want to really get bonus points for your dessert delivery, top each dish with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Store leftover pear crisp in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
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- 4-5 cups pears, peeled and sliced (about 2 pounds)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter (1 cube)
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
- Peel and slice pears directly into a 9" x 12" baking dish. Optionally, use a 10" cast iron
- Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cinnamon on the pears and toss to coat.
- Combine the oats, brown sugar, butter, walnuts, and remaining cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Use a pastry blender or sturdy fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until well blended.
- Sprinkle the topping over the prepared pears.
- Bake at 350ºF for 25-30 minutes until edges are bubbly and topping is lightly browned.
If you'd like, you can process half the oats in a blender to create a coarse oat flour. This makes the crisp topping a little less chunky.
The pears will release juices as they cook. You can add a tablespoon of instant tapioca to the uncooked pears before adding the topping to help thicken the juice, but it's entirely optional.