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. 

Originally published November 2021; this post has been updated.

white bowl with pear crisp and scoops of ice cream.

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 pear crisp 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. Use firm, ripe pears. Using canned pears is not recommended. They are too soft and will turn to mush when baking.

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 makes a perfect a gluten free pear crisp. 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 brown sugar or dark, 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. 

Nuts — If you are nut-averse, you can consider these optional, but adding nuts to the crisp gives it that delicious toasty, nutty flavor we all love in baked goods. You can use sliced or chopped almonds, walnuts, or pecans, as you like.

bowl of sliced pears tossed with cinnamon and a pan full of prepared pears.

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. 

Combine the sliced pears with one teaspoon of the cinnamon then pour into the prepared baking dish. Set aside while you make the topping. 

2 panel showing topping ingredients before and after mixing.

Combine the oats (and oat flour, if you opt to use it), brown sugar, butter, nuts of choice, 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. 

pears in a baking dish, half covered with topping.

Sprinkle the mixture over the prepared pears and bake until the fruit bubbles, the pears are soft, and the topping is golden brown. 

Baked pear crisp with a serving scooped out.

Serving Pear Crisp

Serve warm or 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 and drizzle on some of the juices from the bottom of the pan.

Store leftover pear crisp in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. 

How to Freeze Pear Crisp

This pear crisp can be frozen to serve later, either before or after baking. Wrap it tightly and freeze for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat or bake in the oven.

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

bowl of pear crisp topped with ice cream.

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bowl of pear crisp topped with scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Easy & Delicious Pear Crisp

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

This easy pear crisp recipe is a delicious way to enjoy 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 packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 cube) 
  • 1/2 cup nuts (almond, walnut, pecan)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided


    1. Peel and slice pears into a mixing bowl.
    2. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon on the pears and toss to coat.
    3. Transfer pears to an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish. Optionally, use a 10" cast iron skillet.
    4. Combine the oats, brown sugar, butter, nuts, 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. 
    5. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the prepared pear filling.
    6. Bake at 375ºF for 35-40 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. Read more about Kris and how she got started with this site here. If you want to send Kris a quick message, you can get in touch here.

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