This delicious Pear Crisp recipe is the best way to enjoy fresh pears. Tender slices of cinnamon spiced pears with a crunchy oat topping are just begging for you to eat them with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!
Late summer and early autumn bring new seasonal fruits into the kitchen, and pears are one of my favorites. I love eating them out of hand when they’re ripe and juicy, but I also really enjoy them baked into this easy Pear Crisp!
A crisp is one of the easiest desserts you can make with any type of fruit, and it’s by far the simplest pear dessert I know.
A sweet and lightly spiced mixture of oats, butter, sugar, and flour creates a crispy topping for tender cooked pears. Add a scoop of ice cream and it’s like heaven in a bowl!
Why You’ll Love This Pear Crisp Recipe
- An Old-Fashioned classic recipe – Just like blueberry pie or blackberry cobbler, pear crisp has been made just like this for years and years. It’s a winning recipe, you can trust the history!
- Warm, Sweet Flavor – Cinnamon is such an amazing spice to cook with. It adds spice, but just a little bit. The flavor of the pears is warm and sweet, not overpowered by the cinnamon, but elevated by it.
- Versatile Recipe – Feel free to use half pears and half apples if you’d like a more tart flavor, or add in any other fresh fruit that you enjoy. Fruit crisps are super forgiving in this way.
Ingredients In Pear Crisp
Here’s what you need to make this classic old-fashioned pear dessert:
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Pears: Peel the pears and cut them into thin slices. Green or red Bartlett pears or brown Bosc pears are the most commonly found in grocery stores, and perfect for this recipe. Be sure that your pears are ripe – they should give a bit when you squeeze them.
- Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon keeps the pear slices from turning brown and adds a needed sour note to the dish. Pears are sweet overall, so the lemon helps to balance the flavor.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: This is key to most great baking recipes.
- Ground Cinnamon: Pears and cinnamon go together perfectly. We’ll season the fruit with this, and add more to the crisp topping.
- Sugar, Salt, and flour: The final ingredients for our pear mixture. The sugar and flour blend with the juices from the pears to create a sweet, thick filling.
For the Pear Crisp Topping:
- All Purpose Flour: While you could make a crisp with just oats and no flour, the flour makes the topping bulky, thick, and crunchy.
- Light Brown Sugar: Sweet with a hint of molasses.
- Cinnamon: Again, it goes so well with pears.
- Unsalted Butter: use cold butter, cut into cubes, to make the crisp topping.
- Rolled Oats: Avoid instant oats, they’ll get too soft while they bake.
How To Make Pear Crisp
- Get Ready to Bake: Preheat the oven to 350°/180°C, and lightly grease an 8×8 inch pan or a 7.5×10.5 inch pan.
- Slice the Pears: After washing and peeling the pears, core them (I use a melon baller to do this) and slice them into pieces that are about ¼ inch thick.
- Mix the Filling: Add the sliced pears to a bowl, and combine them with lemon juice and vanilla extract. Then add cinnamon, sugar, salt, and flour and toss everything together until well combined.
- Make the Crisp Topping: Combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Then add the cubed cold butter and mix it in using a pastry cutter, a fork, or your hands. Just like making a pie crust, you want to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles wet sand. Stir in the oats.
- Assemble and Bake: Transfer the pears to the prepared baking dish, and use a spatula to spread them evenly in the pan. Then spread the topping in an even layer over the pears. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.
It’s best to slice the pears by hand. Pears are too soft and fragile to slice using a mandoline or food processer and they’ll just turn to mush.
Tips and Variations for the Best Pear Crisp
- Caramel – Serve your pear crisp with a drizzle of caramel sauce to make it extra sweet and rich.
- Nuts – Chopped almonds, walnuts, or pecans can be added to the topping mixture if you like. You can also toss in a few candied pecans just before serving!
- Extra Spice – A pinch of nutmeg or an extra bit of cinnamon is more than welcome here.
- Skip the Oats if you’d like to make pear crumble rather than a pear crisp. It’s the oats that make the two desserts different.
How to Store Pear Crisp
Keep leftovers covered and in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You can gently heat leftovers in the microwave if you want to, or enjoy pear crisp chilled, right from the fridge.
Unripe pears will be hard like rocks! When pears are ripe they are soft, but not mushy. Bartlet pears will give very slightly when they’re ready for baking.
Yes, crisps freeze quite well. It’s best to freeze the crisp unbaked. Assemble the pears and topping in the baking dish and wrap well with plastic wrap, then foil. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw overnight before baking as directed in the recipe. You may need to add a few more minutes, but not many.
Yes, it’s best to peel pears for baked recipes like this one. The peels will not soften in the oven, so they’ll be chewy and stringy inside of your crisp.
This crisp will turn out beautifully using your favorite all-purpose gluten-free flour for baking and gluten-free oats. Overall, the topping is very forgiving and most types of flour can be used.
Pear Crisp is a delicious dessert to make with fresh pears, and it’s super simple too! Be sure to pin the recipe so you have it handy the next time you have peaches to bake.
- 2 pounds ripe pears peeled, cored, and sliced into ¼-inch pieces.
- 1 ½ tablspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
For the Topping
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup (1 stick, 113g) unsalted butter cold and cubed into small pieces
- 1 cup rolled oats
- Preheat the oven to 350°/180°C, and lightly grease a 8×8 inch pan or a 7.5×10.5 inch pan.
- In a large bowl, combine the pear slices with lemon juice and vanilla extract. Then add cinnamon, sugar, salt and flour and toss everything together until well combined.
- To make the topping, in a bowl combine the flour with brown sugar and cinnamon. Then add the cubed cold butter, and mix it in using a pastry cutter, a fork or your hands (just like pie crust), you want to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- Add the oats, and mix them in with the mixture.
- Transfer the pears to the prepared baking dish (use a spatula to gently even it out), then evenly spread the topping over the pears. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.
- Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream and enjoy.
- A melon baller works really well to remove the cores from the pears once they’ve been cut in half.
- This crisp is delicious made with a combination of sliced pears and sliced apples too.
- If you like spice, add a pinch of ground nutmeg to the cinnamon in the pear mixture.
- Nuts can be added to the topping. Chopped walnuts or pecans are delicious.
- With oats, this dessert is called a crisp, you can leave the oats out to make a pear crumble instead!
- To store: Keep leftovers covered and in the fridge for up to 4 days.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen