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Whether you save this idea for Thanksgiving dinner or prepare it for your next weeknight meal, a Pear Crisp is the perfect easy dessert recipe for fall! Sweet, warmly spiced pears are topped with a buttery, crunchy topping made with oats, brown sugar, and pecans for a simple, seasonal treat with just 15 minutes of prep. Add apples for an apple pear crisp, and serve a bowl warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce!

Pouring caramel sauce on a scoop of vanilla ice cream with pear crisp

How to Make Pear Crisp | 1-Minute Video

Truly — the best pear crisp recipe that you will ever taste! A fruit crisp is such a great dessert for beginning bakers because it’s almost impossible to mess up. So much easier than a pie — and ready for the oven in about 15 minutes!

What is a Pear Crisp?

A crisp is an American dessert that’s typically made with fruit that’s baked under a crispy topping. The topping usually consists of oats, brown sugar, butter, flour and warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

While an apple crisp is a more common dessert, I wanted to create an easy baked pear recipe that would take advantage of the other delicious fall fruit! For true autumn flavor, feel free to use a combination of both apples and pears in this recipe — you certainly can’t go wrong with an apple and pear crisp!

Easy pear crisp in a baking dish

Ingredients

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for an old fashioned pear crisp recipe. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Fresh pears: I prefer ripe, fresh pears (not canned) that are still a little bit firm — not too mushy. You can add some apples to the mix as well, if you like!
  • Vanilla extract: for warm flavor.
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg: warm spices that give this dish its classic fall flavor.
  • Salt: balances the sweetness and enhances the other flavors in the dessert.
  • Butter: gives the topping its delicious flavor and brings the streusel together.
  • All-purpose flour: the base of the topping.
  • Oats: for extra texture and toasty flavor in the streusel topping. I like old-fashioned rolled oats for their nice chew, but you can substitute with quick oats instead. Do not use steel-cut oats here.
  • Granulated sugar and brown sugar: to sweeten the topping.
  • Finely chopped pecans: for some toasty, nutty crunch! Feel free to substitute with almonds or walnuts, or omit the nuts altogether and replace them with extra oats.

Sliced pears on a cutting board with apples in the background

The Best Pears and Apples for an Apple Pear Crisp

I have tested this recipe with a variety of different pears, and my favorite (by far) are fresh Bartlett pears. Look for fruit that’s ripe and sweet — but not overly ripe or too soft. The pears will break down and soften in the oven, and you don’t want them to turn to total mush.

If you would like to replace some of the pears with apples for an apple and pear crisp recipe, choose apples that have a firm flesh and don’t break down into apple sauce when cooked. Try a combination of Granny Smith apples (for tartness) and a sweeter firm-fleshed apple (like Gala, Honey Crisp or Pink Lady). Other great options include Jonagold, Winesap and Braeburn apples.

Stirring together pears and warm spices in a white bowl

How to Make Pear Crisp

This is comfort food at its best! The warm spices smell amazing as it bakes, and the rich, crumbly, buttery topping is the perfect balance for the light, sweet fruit on the bottom. Let’s get started with this quick pear dessert…

  1. First, place the peeled, sliced pears in a large bowl and toss to combine with the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon of salt.
  2. Transfer the pears to an 8-inch square baking dish.
  3. Prepare the streusel topping by mixing together butter, flour, oats, sugars, pecans and an additional ¼ teaspoon of salt. Spread the topping evenly over the pears.
  4. Bake the crisp at 350°F for about 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crispy and the pears are soft. Remove from the oven and cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Oat streusel topping in a large white mixing bowl

What to Serve with Pear Crisp

Pear crisp can be served at room temperature, but it’s always best when it’s warm from the oven. Top each serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some caramel sauce and this old fashioned pear crisp becomes a decadent autumnal treat that will impress any family member or dinner guest that comes your way!

Hands holding a bowl of apple and pear crisp with oatmeal topping

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • Make Ahead: You can make this dessert up to 2 days in advance. To do so, bake the crisp according to recipe instructions. Allow to cool completely, cover, and refrigerate.
  • Storage: If you plan to enjoy the crisp on the same day that it is baked, then you do not need to refrigerate it before serving. If you don’t plan to serve the crisp on the same day as baking, then the dessert needs to be refrigerated overnight.
  • The pear crisp will keep in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 days.
  • How to Freeze: You can freeze the crisp before or after baking. To freeze this dessert after baking, allow to cool completely. Wrap tightly with a double layer of foil and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • How to Reheat: If frozen, allow the crisp to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. To reheat, warm the crisp in a 350°F oven (uncovered) for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through.

Square shot of a bowl of apple pear crisp on a wooden table

Recipe Variations – Easy Pear Crisp

  • Apple Pear Crisp: use a combination of both apples and pears. Just make sure that the total amount of peeled fruit equals about 6 cups.
  • If you like more spices in your streusel topping, you can add extra cinnamon to the oat mixture.
  • I love the flavor combination of pears with pecans, but you can use any nuts that you prefer in the topping. Try walnuts or almonds! If you’d like to omit the nuts altogether, that’s fine — just substitute with an extra ⅓ cup of oats.
  • Pear Crisp for Two: Cut all of the ingredients in half and bake the dessert in a 1-quart dish. The rest of the instructions remain the same.
  • For a zesty kick, make this pear crisp with crystallized ginger by adding about ¼ cup of chopped crystallized ginger to the topping mixture before baking. Alternatively, you can add a dash of ground ginger to the filling.

Hands holding a baked pear crisp with oats

Tips for the Best Pear Crisp Recipe

  • I tested the recipe with Bosc pears, but they lacked flavor. Instead, I prefer sweet, juicy, ripe Bartlett pears for this dish.
  • Don’t slice the apples or pears too thin. They will break down as they bake, so you don’t want them to completely disintegrate in the oven. Some visible slices in your filling are ideal.
  • This crisp can be enjoyed warm (my preference), at room temperature, or even cold!
  • This dessert is not gluten-free, as it contains all-purpose flour.
  • Have too many pears? You can freeze pears for later use. Sliced fresh pears will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • I used a simple store-bought caramel sauce to garnish this dessert, but a pear crisp with salted bourbon caramel would really be amazing! Here’s a homemade version that you can try if you’re feeling adventurous!

Side shot of an easy pear crisp recipe served in a white bowl with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top

More Recipes with Apples and Pears

Pouring caramel sauce on a scoop of vanilla ice cream with pear crisp

Easy Pear Crisp

4.82 from 27 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Cooling Time 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 456 kcal
This Pear Crisp is an easy dessert recipe that's perfect for fall. Try it with apples, too!

Ingredients
  

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 6 cups peeled and sliced pears (about 6-7 medium pears) (or use a combination of apples and pears)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

FOR THE TOPPING:

  • 1 stick (½ cup) salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • cup finely-chopped pecans
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Optional, for serving: vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.
  • Place peeled, sliced pears in a large bowl. Add vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon salt; toss to coat.
  • Transfer pears to the prepared baking dish.
  • In a separate bowl, use a fork (or your fingers) to mix together butter, flour, oats, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pecans, and salt until completely combined. The mixture will be lumpy and clumpy and should look like a streusel crumb topping.
  • Spread topping evenly over the pears.
  • Sprinkle with more cinnamon, if desired.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top becomes golden brown and crispy and the pears are soft. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce!

Video

Notes

  • I tested the recipe with Bosc pears, but they lacked flavor. Instead, I prefer sweet, juicy, ripe Bartlett pears for this dish.
  • Don’t slice the apples or pears too thin. They will break down as they bake, so you don’t want them to completely disintegrate in the oven. Some visible slices in your filling are ideal.
  • This crisp can be enjoyed warm (my preference), at room temperature, or even cold!
  • This dessert is not gluten-free, as it contains all-purpose flour.
  • Have too many pears? You can freeze pears for later use. Sliced fresh pears will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • I used a simple store-bought caramel sauce to garnish this dessert, but a pear crisp with salted bourbon caramel would really be amazing! Here's a homemade version that you can try if you're feeling adventurous!

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the recipeCalories: 456kcalCarbohydrates: 75.5gProtein: 3gFat: 20.8gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 213mgFiber: 6gSugar: 51g
Keyword: apple and pear crisp, apple pear crisp, old fashioned pear crisp, pear crisp, pear recipes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in September, 2017. The photos were updated in October, 2021.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was amazing! So delicious. Soooo good. I made it exactly as the recipe stated. Definitely a keeper. My husband is still talking about it 🙂

  2. 4 stars
    Made it almost exactly as the recipe stated except used more oats. It tastes very good but came out extremely watery. Thus the 4 star rating.

    1. I baked it longer than the recipe suggested, because it still looked runny when my timer went, and it made it less runny for sure.

  3. 5 stars
    When my aunt gave me a grocery bag full of pears she picked from her tree, I didn’t know what I’d do with them! This recipe was the answer! TO DIE FOR! Thank you for such a wonderful and easy recipe! The fresh juicy pears were probably part of the sweet success, but oh so heavenly good as a crisp. The topping is chewy and just nutty enough for a perfect contrast with the ooey gooey filling! I served with warm caramel sauce and Reddi Wip as I didn’t have any ice cream on hand, but I know it’d be great with ice cream as all crisps are! THANK YOU!! I will definitely be making this again the next round of pear picking!

    1. What a treat, Jamie. You’re so lucky to have fresh pears from your aunt’s tree! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the crisp!

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe is a keeper! We made it for our Thanksgiving dinner today and it was the perfect balance of sweet pears with cinnamon, soft, gooey and crunchy, and it presented very well!

  5. 5 stars
    I substituted plant butter for the dairy and GF flour for the AP flour and it was delicious! The house smelled heavenly while it was baking. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us!