Looking for a way to use pears in your baking this fall? Try this easy pear crisp made with fresh pears and an oat crumble topping. Spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, this dish is best served warm with vanilla ice cream.

pear crisp in a bowl with vanilla ice cream next with pears and baking dish.

Pears are in season during the fall and this quick and easy pear crisp is the perfect way to enjoy the seasonal fruit. The pears are tossed with sugar and spices while the crisp topping is made with oats, butter and brown sugar. This fall dessert is simply delicious!

Why this recipe works

The recipe calls for Bosc or Anjou pears, which stay crisp when baked. The oat crumble topping is reliable and a go-to of mine for other crisp recipes (such as my strawberry rhubarb crisp). If your prepping for the holidays, this dessert can be doubled and made ahead of time!

Ingredient notes

pear crisp ingredients in bowls labeled with text.
  • Pears: Use Bosc, Anjour or Barlett pears for the best texture after baking. The pears should be firm-ripe or right at the beginning of the ripening stage.
  • Oats: Old fashioned rolled oats are best for crumble toppings since they have a good texture. If you don’t have rolled oats, then quick oats will work in a pinch. I do not recommend steel-cut oats since they have a tough, grainy texture.
  • Unsalted butter: Use cold butter so the crisp topping stays crumbly and crisp.
  • Pecans: Nuts are optional for a crisp topping, but I do recommend them for better flavor and texture. If you don’t have pecans, almonds or walnuts will work too!

Recipe variations

To make pear crisp with cranberries, replace two pears with 1 cup fresh cranberries. If using frozen cranberries, do not thaw. If you like caramel with your desserts, simply drizzle homemade caramel sauce over the crisp right before serving.

Gluten-free pear crisp may be made with gluten-free oats and gluten-free flour. You could also make this dessert dairy-free with a nondairy butter in the crisp topping.

How to make pear crisp

photo collage demonstrating how to make pear crisp with oat topping.
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients for the crisp topping.
  2. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until a crumbly mixture is formed. Set aside.
  3. Make the pear filling. Peel and slice pears, then toss them with sugar and spices. Place pears in baking dish.
  4. Sprinkle crisp topping over the pears. Bake the crisp for 35 to 40 minutes.

Make ahead tips and tricks

Make ahead: Assemble pear crisp and store in the refrigerator 24 hours before baking. Alternatively, you can bake the crisp, let it cool completely and cover it. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat before serving.

How to freeze pear crisp: Let the crisp cool completely, then double wrap the crisp and the baking dish with two-layers of aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Crisp will last 3 months in the freezer. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Reheating instructions: Preheat oven to 350 F. Reheat crisp (uncovered) for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Frequently Asked Questions

How ripe should pears be for baking?

Pears should be right at the beginning of their ripening stage. They should be firm when gently pressed, but a little tender near the stem.

Do I have to peel pears for baking?

Yes, peel pears for pear crisp. The skin will likely fall off the slices when baked making a weird texture in each bite.

Can I use apples in this crisp recipe?

Yes, you can swap out two pears with two small apples for this crisp.

Can I use other nuts in place of the pecans?

Yes, for the crisp topping you can use walnuts or almonds as a substitute for pecans.

Can I make pear crisp with canned pears?

I do not recommend canned pears as they are softer than fresh pears. They will get mushy and fall apart when baked.

Pear crisp in a baking dish next to white cloth, pears and cinnamon sticks.

Related recipes

Pears are an underrated fruit that is wonderful to bake with. I suggest trying these recipes or another crisp recipe if that’s up your alley!

Did you love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below and if you REALLY loved it, consider leaving a comment further down the page.

Easy Pear Crisp

Pear crisp is made with fresh pears and an oat crumble topping. This dish is best served warm with vanilla ice cream.
5 (8 ratings)

Ingredients

Pear Filling

  • 5-6 medium Bosc pears, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Oat Topping

  • ½ cup (62 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (40 g) old fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup (50 g) packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup (35 g) chopped pecans, optional
  • 6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
  • Vanilla ice cream for serving

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease a 8-inch x 8-inch square baking pan (or 2-quart baking dish) and set aside.
  • For the crisp topping, whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and chopped pecans in a bowl. Add cold butter pieces and using a pastry cutter (or two forks) incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly and resembles coarse, wet sand. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine sliced pear, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Toss to coat pears and transfer to prepared baking dish. Sprinkle crisp topping evenly over pears in the baking dish.
  • Bake pear crisp for 35 to 40 minutes or until the crisp topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Allow crisp to cool for 10 minutes before serving warm with vanilla ice cream.

Notes

Best pears for baking are Bosc, Anjou or Barlett. Pears should be ripe, but still firm.
Pecans may substituted with walnuts or almonds if preferred.
Store crisp covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freeze pear crisp after cooling completely. Double wrap the crisp in aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
Reheat crisp in 350 F oven for 20 minutes.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 365kcal, Carbohydrates: 58g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 103mg, Potassium: 245mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 36g, Vitamin A: 391IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 38mg, Iron: 1mg

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