Warmly spiced pear crumble features a buttery crisp topping, maple syrup, ginger, and more in one easy seasonal dessert. Simple enough for casual gatherings and holiday meals alike, this recipe has multiple make-ahead steps to make your life easier.
Even though I thought an apple crumble would satisfy this season's new crumb topping dessert, I wanted to sneak in one more version before fall ends. With how easy it is to switch out the fruit, the sky's just about the limit with crisps, crumbles, and cobblers.
When compared to its apple counterpart, this pear crumble features the same tried and true crumble layer and gooey spiced filling, with a few ingredient tweaks that complement the pear flavor extra well.
Reasons to Love This Recipe
- It's an easy but impressive fall dessert, both simple enough for everyday but fitting for holidays like Thanksgiving, too. Plus baked in a deep dish pie plate? It resembles a crumb pie with a fraction of the work.
- Maple syrup and ground ginger pair well with pears, cinnamon, and buttery crumb topping for a well-rounded, warm and cozy dessert flavor.
- There are some make-ahead elements here! The crumble topping can be made and then refrigerated, or the whole pear crumble can be assembled and refrigerated or frozen before baking for entertaining ease.
- Pears: Look for pears that are slightly underripe. They should not be rock hard, rather they will have just a bit of give to them when squeezed without being too soft and mushy. Bartlett pears are easy to find and are a good variety to bake with as they're juicy and sweet, yet still hold their shapes when cooked. Do not use canned pears as they're too soft.
- Maple Syrup: This adds just enough sweetness, with the flavor of maple syrup going SO nicely with pears and the other ingredients.
- Cornstarch: Thickens the fruit juices, vanilla extract, and maple syrup into a gooey pear coating.
- Lemon Juice: Slows down oxidation which causes fruit to brown.
- Spices: Ground cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg are classic spices that bring a warm flavor to pear recipes. Feel free to experiment with other spices, such adding a pinch of cardamom or allspice, too.
- Crumble Topping: This is comprised of brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and flour.
Tip: Fruit crumbles aren't finicky by nature, so the order of preparing the fruit or topping isn't critical. That said, making the crumble topping first and then refrigerating it until ready to use is a nice way to streamline preparation when you're ready to bake and ensure extra large and crisp crumbs.
- Combine brown sugar and ground cinnamon, then stir in melted butter. Work in flour until crumbs form. You can see all of these steps in greater detail in this linked post on making crumb topping.
- Peel, core, and chop pears into chunks. Toss them in a mixing bowl with maple syrup, lemon juice, cornstarch, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.
- Pour out the pears and liquid into a greased baking dish. See notes below on various dish sizes that can be used.
- Crumble the topping up evenly over the pears. You will have a generous portion to completely cover this pear crumble.
- Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling and the topping has crisped up and turned golden to golden-brown. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before scooping and serving warm.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Cutting pears. Chop the pears into pieces of roughly the same size so that they soften evenly when baked.
- Pan sizes. This pear crumble can be baked in an 8-inch square pan, a 9-inch round pan, or an 8-inch by 11-inch oval casserole baking dish. Pictured in this post is a deep dish pie plate with a 1 ¼-quart (5 cup) capacity.
- Prevent over-browning. While I have not had this issue here, check on your pear crumble in the latter half of the bake time to see how it's going. If the crumble topping is browning too quickly before the fruit is bubbling, loosely tent a sheet of aluminum foil over top of the pan until fully cooked.
- Serving suggestion. With nearly all warm fruit desserts, a scoop of vanilla ice cream is the perfect accompaniment for serving.
While not entirely necessary, I prefer the smoother, less chewy texture of this pear crumble when made with peeled pears. I recommend peeling them.
For the best flavor, pears should be juuuuust underripe for baking. This means that they have a very slight give to them when pressed and are just shy of being of being ripe enough to eat raw as a snack. Too underripe and they will be very hard and lack flavor, while overly ripe pears will mush up and fall apart once baked.
Yes. You can mix up the crumble and refrigerate it until ready to use. If it's too hard after being chilled, let it sit out at room temperature for a bit until easier to handle. You can also assemble the whole pear crumble and refrigerate it for 1-2 days until ready to bake.
Yes, it can be frozen either before or after baking. My preference is to freeze it before so you don't have to worry about the topping overly browning when reheating. I recommend thawing the frozen, unbaked pear crisp in the refrigerator overnight so adjustments don't have to be made for the bake time.
More Fall Desserts
- Warm and cozy flavors totally make these maple cinnamon sugar cookies. Maple syrup and maple extract are key!
- It's hard to beat air fryer apples: gooey, soft, spiced, and EASY. You don't even need to flip them.
- Tart Granny Smith apples pair with a sweet crumb layer in this balanced apple crumble.
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating in the recipe card and/or a comment review below!
- 6 medium Bartlett pears slightly underripe (just under 3 pounds)
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons (140g) all-purpose flour
- Prep: Heat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square or 9-inch round baking dish with unsalted butter.
- Fruit: Peel pears, remove and discard the core, then cut into chunks approximately ¾- to 1-inch wide. Add to a mixing bowl along with the maple syrup, lemon juice, cornstarch, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Stir so that the pears are coated evenly.
- Filling: Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl, then stir in the melted butter. Scatter flour over top and stir into the mixture. The consistency should hold together when you press it into a shape, but be scatterable into larger crumbs. If it's a little too wet, work in an additional sprinkle or two of flour until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Assemble: Pour out pears, including the liquid, into the prepared baking dish. Gently press to level off the surface into an even layer. Scatter crumble topping over the pears.
- Bake: Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the pears are tender, everything is bubbling, and the crumble topping is golden-brown. If the crumbs are browning too quickly, loosely tent a sheet of aluminum foil over top of the dish until bubbling and fully baked.
- Serve: Let the pear crumble cool for 10-15 minutes before scooping and serving.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer