Try this Delicious Pear Crisp

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. 

pear crisp with a spoon in a casserole dish

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. 

yellow pears in a glass bowl


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.

brown sugar, oats, and butter in a white mixing bowl

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. 

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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!

sliced pears in a casserole dish, with and without cinnamon

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. 

pastry blender mixing ingredients

Combine the oats, brown sugar, butter, walnuts, and remaining cinnamon in a mixing bowl.

raw crisp topping in a white bowl

Use a pastry blender or sturdy fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until well blended. 

pear crisp ready to bake

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. 

pear crisp in a white bowl

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. 

If you have lots of pears, consider making a batch of these pear preserves for the pantry.

baked fruit crisp in a glass casserole dish

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pear crisp in a white bowl

Easy & Delicious Pear Crisp

Yield: 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This pear crisp recipe is an easy dessert to make with an abundant fall crop. Serve it warm with vanilla ice cream!


  • 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


    1. Peel and slice pears directly into a 9" x 12" baking dish. Optionally, use a 10" cast iron 
    2. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cinnamon on the pears and toss to coat.
    3. 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. 
    4. Sprinkle the topping over the prepared pears.
    5. 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.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 388Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 82mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 11gSugar: 47gProtein: 3g

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About the author: Kris Bordessa is an award-winning National Geographic author and a certified Master Food Preserver. If you want to send Kris a quick message, you can get in touch here.

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