With warm sweet pears and brown sugary goodness, pear crisp with ginger is hard to resist served warm and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Black baking dish with pear crumble spiced with cinnamon and ginger. Topped with ice cream.

While apples are the fruit most people associate with fall, don’t forget about juicy golden pears! They are harvested around the same time as apples and markets are full of pears right now.

My aunt used to have a pear tree right in her backyard alongside her deck and she always brought bags of pears to share at family gatherings. Lucky us! They were tiny but so sweet and juicy. 

Pears are harvested when they’re hard but they ripen quickly once they’re picked, so be ready to enjoy them with delicious recipes like pear crisp. I also love to mix apples and pears in vanilla bean pear applesauce and this kale and pear salad with creamy yogurt dressing is one of the best fall salads. The savory granola topping on that salad makes it completely irresistible.

Okay, back to the pear crisp. Ginger accents the sweetness of the pears and the crisp cinnamon topping is so good! I’m a crisp girl all the way, so much easier to make than pies, and better than fussy cakes. And they smell so so good in the oven. It’s almost worth it just for that. Almost. 

A scoop of vanilla ice cream is pretty much mandatory. Serve pear crisp warm with ice cream and you’ll think you’ve gone to dessert heaven. 

Overhead view of pear crisp topped with three scoops of ice cream.

About this pear crisp:

Such an easy dessert to make! Is it a crisp or a crumble? Technically a crumble is made without oats so this recipe is a crisp because the topping includes oats, but let’s not stress out about names. All I care about is that it’s not at all fussy or technical to make. All you’ll need is a bowl, a baking dish to put the crisp in, and an oven.

Simply peel the pears with your vegetable peeler. Cut the pears in half and scoop out the core. Slice the pears into quarter inch slices or chop them up if you’d rather.

Mix up the pear filling and arrange it in a baking dish. You can use the same bowl to mix the topping. I like to get my hands in there to blend the butter into the topping. Spread the topping by handfuls on top of the filling. 

At this point, you could stick the pan into the fridge and bake it later since fruit crisps are best served warm. Depends on when you plan to serve your dessert! It needs about forty minutes to bake and another 20-30 minutes to cool slightly before serving.

Peach crisp with ginger in a black baking dish, being scooped out with a wooden spoon.

What you need to make pear crisp:

  • Pears, obviously, ripe but still firm. Most any variety will work. Don’t worry about getting the exact amount of fruit. More or less doesn’t make a whole lot of difference, the recipe is pretty forgiving. Just don’t fill the pan too full. You don’t want it boiling over into your oven.
  • Ginger root. I keep a big chunk of ginger root in the freezer. Whenever a recipe calls for ginger, it’s so easy to peel and grate as much ginger as you like, and return the rest to the freezer. 
  • Lemon juice. Freshly squeezed, please, but if you don’t have a lemon, don’t worry. I’ve tested this crisp both with and without, and it always tastes great.
  • Flour. I use whole wheat because why not? You really can’t tell the difference in this recipe so use whatever you have.
  • Rolled oats. Old fashioned or quick oats work fine but not instant oatmeal or steel cut oats.
  • Brown sugar
  • Butter
  • Cinnamon

Close up of crisp topping over baked fruit in a black baking dish.

How to make this fruit crisp your own:

  • Make apple pear crisp by substituting apples for half the pears. Perfect if you don’t happen to have enough pears.
  • No fresh pears? Used canned pears, drained well, instead of fresh.
  • Don’t care for ginger? Omit the ginger and add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the filling. A dash of nutmeg is good, too.
  • Add chopped nuts to the topping. A half to three quarters cups of pecans or walnuts adds a lot of nutty goodness.
  • Make a half batch if you’re cooking for two.
  • Cut back on sugar by not adding any sugar to the filling and decreasing the sugar in the topping to 1/2 cup.
  • Looking for gluten-free fruit crisps? Try this gluten-free recipe from our friends at the Kitchn. 

Baked pear dessert with crisp topping, garnished with ice cream.

Storage Tips

Pear crisp is best eaten the day you make it. It just is. If you do have leftovers, cover them tightly for up to 24 hours. It doesn’t have to be refrigerated unless you’re keeping it longer than that. Rewarm slightly in a low oven or microwave before serving.

Make Ahead Tips: You can prepare the pear crisp up to a day ahead and refrigerate it before baking. When you’re ready, bake the crisp so that you can serve it nice and warm with vanilla ice cream melting on top. Or make just the topping ahead of time and freeze it for up to three months in a quart size zip lock bag. No need to thaw, just crumble it on your fruit filling and bake as directed.

Pear and ginger crisp being scooped out of a black baking dish with a wooden spoon.

Bring on the fruit!

I really do love fruit desserts and have convinced myself that they’re good for you, too. Wouldn’t you agree? They have fruit and fruit is good for you. Here’s a few of my favorites:

 

Peach crisp with ginger in a black baking dish, being scooped out with a wooden spoon.

Pear Crisp with Ginger

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

With warm sweet pears and brown sugary goodness, pear crisp with ginger is hard to resist served warm and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients

Filling

  • 3 lbs. firm ripe pears, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Topping

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Vanilla ice cream for serving, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare 8-inch square baking dish (or a 10 x 8-inch dish) by lightly spraying with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine pears, lemon juice, ginger, granulated sugar and flour, and stir until the pears are evenly coated. Arrange in baking dish.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Use a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingers to blend the butter into the dry ingredients. The mixture should hold together in large clumps.
  4. Sprinkle topping evenly over the pear mixture. 
  5. Bake for 40 minutes, or until filling is bubbling, pears are tender, and top is golden brown. Cool slightly before serving.
  6. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Notes

  • If you really like ginger, feel free to double the amount. Or, if you're not wild about it, omit the ginger completely. Add a half teaspoon of cinnamon to the filling instead.
  • Substitute apples for half the pears.
  • Use canned pears, drained, instead of fresh.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 of 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 331Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 53mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 7gSugar: 38gProtein: 3g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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