Fresh Pear Crumble
Made with juicy pears, spicy cinnamon and ginger, and topped with a crunchy, buttery topping, this fresh pear crumble is a delicious dessert that is perfect for serving at your next friend or family gathering!
At the close of every summer, my family and I go out to my great-grandfather’s farm to pick huge buckets of pears. When we get home and bring the boxes of fruit inside, it’s a bit overwhelming because pears are everywhere! Although we chop dozens of pears and make baked pears and pear preserves, there are often still plenty leftover to deal with. And, while baked pears taste good for a time, they start to get a little boring. So, to shake things up a bit, I have created something fresh and new: pear crumble!
You may have heard of apple, berry or cherry crumble, but have you ever tasted a pear crumble? If you haven’t, be warned…..because it’s delicious! In every bite, you get juicy pear, perfectly balanced spices and, my favorite part, a crunchy walnut topping. Whether you make this pear crumble for a summer party or serve at Thanksgiving dinner, I can assure you that, if you like pears, you will love this dessert!
The ingredients included in this recipe are simple and easy to find any time of year at your local grocery store. Check out the ingredients below:
Chopped Pears~ Pears usually can be found at any time of year at the grocery store, but most pear varieties are in season between August-October. Because my pears are harvested on our family farm, they have not been genetically modified like a lot of grocery store pears. This means that I don’t know what variety of pear they are! When I have used pears from the grocery store, however, I have found that Bartlett or Anjou pears are great choices for baking. Or if you have pear trees like me, feel free to use that fruit instead! Be sure that your pears are soft and ripe before chopping too.
Fresh Lemon Juice~ Lemon juice adds a splash of acid that keeps the pears from turning super brown, while also adding a fresh taste that complements spices in the filling.
Cornstarch~ Cornstarch is the thickening agent for the filling. Although I experimented with flour, I decided that cornstarch created a better texture that wasn’t too thick or too watery.
Ground Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Ginger~ These spices pair beautifully with pears and they definitely take this pear crumble to the next level!
Brown Sugar~ I love the deep flavor that brown sugar adds to desserts. If necessary, you can substitute white sugar. I have not experimented with honey or maple syrup, but you can give it a try if you’re adventurous.
Vanilla Extract~ Vanilla adds another layer or flavor that is subtle, yet powerful. I like to use homemade vanilla or quality vanilla extract, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand.
Crumble Topping Ingredients
Brown Sugar~ To increase the “caramel” flavor of this dessert even more, we’re going to use brown sugar in the topping too. In the topping, you could use white sugar if you absolutely must, but I do not recommend it. I would not use honey or maple syrup either because they will make the topping too wet and sticky.
Ground Cinnamon and Salt~ More cinnamon is a must! Spices, along with salt, tie all of the flavors together to create a sweet and slightly salty topping.
All-Purpose Flour~ I have not experimented with any other varieties of flour, so I can only vouch for using all-purpose. Be sure to let me know in the comments if you try something different!
Chopped Nuts~ I used walnuts, but pecans would be amazing too. If you don’t like nuts or have an allergy, you can omit the nuts and add an extra 1/3 cup flour to the crumble instead.
Unsalted Butter~ You will need one stick of butter to create a buttery, crunchy topping that is a perfect complement to the juicy, soft pears. If you only have salted butter, simply omit the salt in the topping.
The hardest part about this recipe is chopping all of those pears! After chopping pears, the rest of the steps are easy. Simply stir together the pears, lemon juice, cornstarch, spices, salt and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
Set the pear mixture aside and mix together the crumble topping ingredients in a separate bowl. I usually need to get my hands in the crumble in order for it to be completely combined.
Once the topping is mixed together, pour the pears into a 9×13 inch baking dish and spread them out evenly. Sprinkle the topping over the pears before baking for about 45 minutes or until the crumble is bubbly and golden brown. Allow the pear crumble to cool at least an hour before serving so that the filling can thicken. Serve with vanilla (or butter pecan!) ice cream or whipped cream for the most delicious experience!
Fresh Pear Crumble
- 9×13 inch baking dish
- 10 cups peeled and chopped pears
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice about 1 large lemon
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Crumble Topping Ingredients
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans**
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit and grease a 9×13 in baking dish with cooking spray.
- For the filling: In a large bowl, gently stir together the chopped pears, brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla extract.
- Pour the filling into prepared baking dish and spread out evenly before setting aside.
- For the topping: In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour, chopped nuts, cinnamon, salt and melted butter. The easiest way to do this is to use your hands!
- Evenly sprinkle the topping over pears in the baking dish.
- Bake the pear crumble for 40-45 minutes or until filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Allow to cool at least an hour before serving so that the filling can thicken. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if desired.