Pears! Such an underrated fruit that deserves more love, don’t you think? I only have a few pear recipes on the blog, but eagerly wanted to add another one before winter pear season comes and goes.
Since I love my healthy apple crisp recipe so much, I decided to slightly modify it and make this juicy pear crisp recipe infused with cinnamon and studded with heart-healthy walnuts. Yes, there’s a wonderful walnut oat crumble on top that’s perfectly sweet and toasty and yes, you’re going to fall in love.
Did I eat this delicious gluten free pear crisp for breakfast with a scoop of yogurt? ABSOLUTELY. It’s perfect for sharing (easily made vegan, too!) or sneaking bites straight out of the fridge, so get ready for your newest fall & winter obsession.
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What makes this homemade pear crisp completely delicious?
Many traditional pear crisp recipes are filled with lots of excess butter and sugar. I made a few tweaks here and there to lighten up this pear crisp recipe just a bit, but don’t worry, it tastes just like the real deal kind that you know and love.
I cut down on the butter and used just a tiny bit pure maple syrup in the filling. You don’t need much at all as the pears are typically sweet and juicy enough on their own. Plus it has an oat walnut crumble that might just be the best part of the recipe. Perfectly sweet, slightly toasty and crunchy. SO DELISH.
Ingredients in this old fashioned pear crisp recipe
One of the best parts about this pear crisp recipe is that it’s made with ingredients you probably already have in your cupboards. For this recipe you’ll need:
- Flour: unlike a lot of baking recipes, you can feel free to use all purpose, whole wheat, gluten free all purpose or oat flour.
- Sweetener: you’ll want to use brown sugar or coconut sugar in the crumble, and a little pure maple syrup in the crisp itself.
- Nuts: I love adding chopped walnuts or pecans to the oat crumble for extra crunch and toasty flavor.
- Oats: the oat topping, of course, has oats as well.
- Cinnamon: you’ll be adding cozy cinnamon to the filling and to the crumble on top for extra flavor.
- Butter: melted butter helps the walnut oat crumble clump together to make delicious bites. You can also use vegan butter to keep this recipe vegan and dairy free.
- Pears: I like to use Bartlett pears or green anjou pears, which are in season during the winter months. Make sure they’re ripe but not overly ripe.
- Vanilla: don’t forget vanilla extract for extra flavor in the filling.
- Arrowroot starch: a bit of arrowroot or tapioca starch helps to thicken the filling up so that it doesn’t have a soupy consistency.
How to make gluten free pear crisp
Making this pear crisp recipe gluten free is easy, simply use an all purpose gluten free flour or oat flour instead of a regular, all purpose flour or wheat flour. So many options! Good news, you can easily make your own oat flour right at home to use in this pear crisp recipe. Check out my tutorial with all of my best tips & tricks.
How to tell if a pear is ripe
Pears typically ripen from the inside out, so you can’t tell if they are ripe just by looking at the skin. To tell if a pear is ripe, very gently squeeze the pear near the stem. If you can apply pressure and if it’s very slightly soft, then you know your pear is ripe.
Tips for making this classic pear crisp
- Slice your pears somewhat thick. I recommend about 1/4 an inch so that they become nice and tender for each bite of the crisp. I also recommend using pears that aren’t too ripe so that they stay together when slicing and baking, and so there’s not an excess of moisture in the filling.
- Make sure your topping is well-combined. I’ve found that mixing the crumb topping with your hands is best way to ensure that all of the flour and oats are covered with the butter and sugar. This creates the delicious, golden brown crumble that adds a yummy sweetness.
- Feel free to make this ahead of time! Looking to save time and prep for serving guests? Simply prepare the recipe as directed, cover it with foil, place it in the fridge and bake as directed before you’re ready to serve.
How to make pear crisp on the grill
If you grill during the fall & winter months like we do, feel free to throw this pear crisp on the grill to cook it up!
- Preheat your grill. Turn on a burner on only one side of your grill to 375 degrees F or medium high heat.
- Prep your crisp. Follow the pear crisp recipe up until you’re ready to bake it. Once you’ve added all of the pear filling and the crumble topping to a cast iron skillet, cover the skillet with tinfoil.
- Grill your crisp. Place the skillet on the opposite side of the burner that’s lit. This is so that you are indirectly cooking the pear crisp and avoid burning it. Bake the crisp for 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until the topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling.
- Remove & serve. Your grill mitts are especially useful here! Use them to remove the skillet from the grill, let the pear crisp cool and then serve warm.
Make it ahead of time
Looking to serve this pear crisp at a later date? You can! Just prepare the whole thing as directed, cover it with foil and place it in the refrigerator. Feel free to bake it as directed whenever you’re ready to serve it.
Easily store & freeze pear crisp
- In the fridge: store any leftover pear crisp in an airtight container in the fridge. Simply warm it up a bit in the microwave or enjoy cold straight from the fridge.
- In the freezer: yes, this pear crisp is freezer-friendly! Assemble the pear crisp but do not bake it. Cover the crisp well with aluminum foil and transfer it to the freezer for up to 3 months. Bake the frozen pear crisp at 350 degrees for about an hour or until it’s golden and bubbly.
Try these delicious crisps & crumbles
- Best Healthy Apple Crisp Ever!
- Gluten Free Peach Crisp with Salted Coconut Milk Caramel
- Healthy Apple Pie Bars with Peanut Butter Caramel
- Tart Cherry Pie Bars with Oatmeal Crumble (vegan + gluten free)
Get all of our delicious crisp & crumble recipes here!
Finally, don’t forget to top your pear crisp! I love adding a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, coconut ice cream (omg yum) and even yogurt for a creamy, more tangy topping. Did someone say a drizzle of dairy free coconut milk caramel? Yes please. Grab an amazing dairy free caramel recipe here and enjoy!
I hope you love this pear crisp recipe as much as we do! If you make it, be sure to leave a comment and a rating let me know how you liked it. I greatly appreciate it – xo!
Cinnamon Walnut Pear Crisp
Incredible cinnamon walnut pear crisp made with simple ingredients and topped with a delicious oat walnut crumble. This easy pear crisp recipe tastes just like old fashioned pear crisp and can easily be made vegan and gluten free for a wonderful dessert you'll make again and again!
- For the topping:
- 2/3 cup flour (or sub whole wheat flour, gluten free all purpose flour or gluten free oat flour)
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar (or sub coconut sugar)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
- 1/3 cup oats (gluten free if desired)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter, melted (or sub vegan butter or coconut oil)
- For the crisp:
- 6 medium Barlett pears, cut into 1/4th inch slices
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 tablespoon arrowroot or tapioca starch
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease an 8x8 baking pan or 9 inch skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
To make the topping: Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts in a large bowl until well-combined. Pour in the melted butter and use your hands to combine until the mixture becomes crumbly and resembles wet sand. You may need to use your hands/fingers to form into nice crumbles. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge until ready to use.
To make the filling: place pears, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla and arrowroot starch in a large bowl and toss to combine. Take 1/3 cup of the topping mixture and toss with the pear mixture. Place the pear mixture in a prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with the remaining topping.
Bake the crisp on a baking sheet (just in case the filling bubbles over!) for 45 minutes-1 hour, or until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Serve warm with your favorite vanilla ice cream or yogurt on top. Makes 9 servings.
TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE: in the topping, use certified gluten free oats and almond flour or an all purpose gluten free flour or gluten free oat flour.
TO MAKE VEGAN: sub a buttery vegan stick for the butter or use coconut oil.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
I’m not a huge pear fan but ended up with some in my produce box this week. Looks like I’m making dessert!
This is the perfect way to use them! Let me know if you try it 🙂
Do you peel the pears>
Nope! I usually don’t.
Delicious and addictive
This recipe is just delicious! I live in Australia, It’s late Feb, so used new season Packham Pears,
Left skin on pears, bonus fibre & used Wholemeal Spelt flour. Very flavoursome, with Vanilla Bean ice-cream with just enough sweetness for after dinner. Covered remainder in fridge & reheated In oven after 2 days, was so YUM! Will be making this again, again, thank you Monique!
Perfect! Such a delicious treat. I’m so glad you loved it!
I don’t have arrowroot or tapioca starch. Can cornstarch be substituted? Would it be a 1:1 substitution?
Yes it would! Cornstarch is a great option!
Wonderful, healthy recipe. I followed it fairly faithfully, although I, added nutmeg and 1/4 tsp ginger to the crisp. Didn’t bother to peel pears and added one sorry-looking apple, thinly sliced. After 40 minutes nothing much seemed to be happening so I threw in a half cup of water and increased temp to 375. That was the ticket! 20 minutes later — hot, bubbly delicious and healthy enough for breakfast, with greek yogurt. Good call to thickly slice the pears. Liked the drizzle of maple syrup. This is a keeper.
It can take up to 1 hour, but it also depends how juicy and ripe your pears are 🙂 glad you enjoyed it!
Incredible!! So quick and easy to make-and it’s absolutely delicious.
So glad you loved it!
Followed the recipe exactly. It was an odd texture with the pear skins. I would peel the pears next time and add more brown sugar to the filling. My family loves your apple crisp but this one was a miss for us.
Sorry to hear that! Absolutely feel free to peel the pears next time.
by far the most delicious crisp I’ve ever made!! the walnuts in it are perfect and it’s the perfect combination of sweet with a little savory from the salt & nuts
Hands down the best fruit crisp recipe! I used pecans instead of walnuts and peeled the pears! The maple flavour really comes through in the crisp! It was so delicious and a huge hit with my family. Thank you!!
Perfect! So glad you loved it 🙂
In Step 3, don’t you mean “pear mixture” rather than “apple mixture”? A bit confusing…
Yes, thank you for the catch!
This recipe looks amazing! I am going to make it tonight. Should the pears be peeled or not?
no need to peel unless you want to! I don’t mind pear skins though 🙂
I halved the recipe using coconut sugar and oat flour and it was absolutely delicious, Will definitely be one of my favorites year round,
Perfect! So happy to hear that.
Wow this pear crisp was really good! I didn’t use walnuts just more oats, coconut oil instead of butter and flour instead of arrow root. After mixing the ingredients for the filling i scooped out the pear mixture and put it in the pan without all the extra juices. Next time i would add a pinch of salt to the topping. It wasn’t overly sweet and perfect with vanilla ice cream. My kids devoured it!
I’m glad that worked out well! Perfect treat.
This was absolutely delicious. I ended up using a mix of pears and apples as I didn’t have enough pears.
Hopefully I don’t eat all before getting ice cream to go with it!
Love that! Glad you enjoyed 🙂
THIS. WAS. AMAZING!!! My family LOVED it! I made it using the recommended tweaks (whole wheat flour, coconut sugar, coconut oil, pecans), and 4 large Costco sized organic pears…baked it in a cast iron pan for 40 minutes…it was perfect and delicious! My husband has already asked me to make it with apples or peaches…so we’ll be trying that soon. =)
Oh YAY! I’m so happy that you guys loved it so much! Can’t wait for you to make it again with the apples and peaches 😊
I just made this Cinnamon Walnut Pear Crisp and it was so delicious! I only had four pears on hand and it still turned out amazing! Excellent flavour and so easy to put together! I will be keeping this recipe for future fall desserts! It’s perfect!!
Yay! I’m so happy it turned out perfect and that you loved it, Chantelle! 🙂
Wow! I am in love with this. I tried it today and will be a go-to of mine!
Yay! Happy you enjoyed it!
Hello! This recipe looks delish!!! I was trying to decide between your apple or pear crisp so I was comparing the recipes…and noticed that the pear crisp topping calls for 2/3 c. flour, while the apple crisp topping calls for only 1/3 c. The rest of the topping ingredients are pretty much the same, so I’m wondering why such a big difference in the amount of flour. Thanks so much!
Delish! Used four pears and one apple, all peeled. Subbed pecans because that’s that I had. Not too sweet and super flavorful. Made my house smell amazing while it baked!
Nice! That all sounds amazing. Happy you enjoyed it!
Looks AMAZING!! Thanks for sharing!
Could this be made in ramekins? What would you recommend changing to bake in ramekins? Thanks!
Hi, Meera! Yes I’m sure it could. I haven’t personally tested it though so I’m not sure about the bake time, but just bake them until the topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling 🙂
This was delicious! We made this for Christmas dinner and it was a favorite! Warm, flavorful, and light!
Loved this recipe, everyone thought it was great.. Very tasty and easy to make.
I’m so glad!
I made the recipe exactly as directed. I doubled everything and placed it into 9 x 9 dishes. Absolutely delicious! At this recipe was easy and super flavorful.
Happy to hear that it was simple to make and that it came out delicious, Farah! Thanks so much for commenting 🙂
This is really tasty and easy to make! We have an Asian pear tree, so I used those instead of Bartlett. I used 3 Tablespoons of brown sugar instead of maple syrup, and 1 tsp of corn starch instead of the tapioca starch. It turned out great and I will definitely use this recipe again.
Will the crisp be gluten free if I use cornstarch instead of arrowroot or tapioca starch? Thanks!
We really enjoyed the recipe as written with apples and pears, but I’m planning to make it gf for friends recovering from surgery. Thanks!