A fall and winter spiced favorite
Fruit crisps are one of my all-time favorite desserts because they work beautifully with nearly any fruit that's in season at the given moment. This Spiced Pear Crisp is my favorite variety to make in the fall and winter months when fresh pears start popping up at our markets again. The sweet fruit is enhanced with both vanilla and almond extracts, then topped with a perfectly crispy oat pecan topping spiced with a blend of cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and ginger. I prefer to bake my crisps in a cast iron pan which gives this sweet spiced dessert a gorgeously caramelized outer edge perfect for stealing spoonfuls of before it ever reaches the table!
What kind of pears are best to use?
The type of pear you use in this Spiced Pear Crisp is really up to you, however, I enjoy the following three varieties, which are most easily accessible where I live. If you have access to another variety you prefer, feel free to use that instead:
- Bartlett – Often green with yellow and red blushing, though you can also find red Barlett varieties as well. This pear is thin-skinned and very sweet.
- Bosc – Brown with firm skin and lightly sweet. This pear is a great choice if you find that you prefer a bit more bite to your pear as they do not turn to mush as easily as other pears.
- Anjou – Usually green, though sometimes red varieties can be found. This pear has a firm skin and medium sweetness.
How to serve this Spiced Pear Crisp
I prefer to serve this sweet pear dessert warm out of the oven, scooped into a bowl with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream on top. This crisp dessert also makes for super tasty leftovers for brunch the next day, if you're so inclined. I mean, it's basically fruit and oatmeal, right? (That's the excuse I use atleast).
What tools do I need to make this recipe?
- A 10-inch cast-iron pan or a 9x9 inch baking dish
- A cutting board
- A chef's knife
- A large mixing bowl
- A wooden spoon
- A kitchen scale (or measuring cups for less precise measurements)
- Measuring spoons
- A citrus juicer
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A note for special diets
This Spiced pear crisp is vegetarian and can easily be made friendly for gluten-free and vegan diets with a few simple swaps. The all-purpose flour can be swapped for an equal measure of 1:1 gluten-free baking flour. You'll also want to pay attention to the old fashioned oats. Although oats are considered naturally gluten-free, many are produced in facilities that work with gluten, so if you are gluten-sensitive, look for one certified gluten-free. For vegan diets, the butter can be swapped for an equal measure of melted coconut oil.
This Spiced Pear Crisp recipe includes fresh pears and perfectly crispy, seasonally spiced oat pecan topping baked in a cast iron pan.
For the filling:
- 5 medium pears (about 820-870g), pitted and sliced (I used Bartlett for this)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 50g (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- ¼ tsp Kosher salt
For the topping:
- 160g (about 2 cups) old fashioned oats
- 80g (about ⅔ cups) all-purpose flour (may substitute for an equal measure of gluten-free 1:1 baking flour for gluten-free diets)
- 133g (about ⅔ cup, packed) brown sugar
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- 80g (about ⅔ cup) pecans, chopped + more to top, if desired
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 4 oz (½ cup) unsalted butter, cubed + more to coat pan (may sub for equal measure of melted coconut oil for vegan)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Coat a 10-inch cast iron pan (or 9x9 baking dish) with butter and reserve to the side.
- In a large mixing bowl, gently toss the sliced pears with lemon juice. Then add the granulated sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt and gently toss to combine. Transfer to the fruit to your reserved pan, ensuring that the fruit is well-packed and reasonably even in the pan, then set to the side.
- In your mixing bowl, combine topping ingredients working the ingredients together by hand. Pinch the butter cubes together with your fingers until they are all well dispersed with the oat mixture and the combined mixture looks gravelly. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the pears evenly and dress with additional pecans, if desired.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the fruit juices are slightly bubbling around the edge of the pan and the crisp topping is golden and firm. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.
- Serving Size: ⅛th of recipe
- Calories: 436
- Sugar: 34 g
- Sodium: 111 mg
- Fat: 20 g
- Saturated Fat: 8 g
- Carbohydrates: 62 g
- Fiber: 7 g
- Protein: 5 g
- Cholesterol: 30 mg
Keywords: Spiced Pear Crisp