You'll love the delicious balance of sweet pears and crunchy pecans in this easy-to-make pecan pear crisp dessert. Warm and comforting for fall and winter, this gluten-free pear crisp has a buttery, crunchy oat topping.
❤️ Why you'll love this pecan pear crisp recipe
- So much flavour! Warm subtly sweet pears, a buttery caramel-like sauce, and a crunchy oat and pecan topping make this a dessert to remember. This is a recipe you'll make on repeat! I know I do.
- Comforting and nutritious! Pecan pear crisp has a warm and comforting flavour, with a balance of sweet and nutty notes and warm spices. Juicy pears provide a gentle sweetness complemented by the rich, buttery flavor of pecans.
- Quick to make. With only 15 minutes of prep time, this recipe is fancy enough for a dinner party or holiday dinner, but simple enough to serve on a weeknight.
- It calls for lower-glycemic coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is just as sweet as brown sugar but you'll also get a small number of extra nutrients from the coconut sugar that you won't get from brown sugar. Read more about the Benefits of Using Coconut Palm Sugar vs. White or Brown Sugar in this article.
- A gluten-free dessert. And you'd never know it!
Love fruit crisps? Everyone seems to! Check out 9 more fruit crisp recipes if you need extra ideas.
And if you love gluten-free desserts with pears, try these heavenly Mulled Cinnamon-Orange Pears with Maple Mascarpone and this Cinnamon Pear Tart with Caramel Sauce!
🛒 Ingredients and substitutions
You'll find a complete list of ingredients with amounts in the recipe card below. Before we get to the full recipe, here are a few notes about the key ingredients.
- pears: 5 medium to large pears. See the note below about the best pears to use for pear crisp.
- old-fashioned rolled oats: gluten-free if necessary. Rolled oats will give this dessert a better texture than quick oats.
- sweetener: I love coconut sugar in this crisp. It has a slight caramel flavour which complements the pears. You can also use brown sugar if you'd like.
- flour: use a gluten-free flour blend. I generally use either Bob's Red Mill 1-1n Gluten-free Baking Flour or Cup4Cup Gluten Free Blend. If you don't need this recipe to be free of gluten-free, you can use all-purpose flour.
- spices: warm spices like cinnamon and cardamom are the perfect match for pears. If you don't like cardamom, you can substitute nutmeg, or leave it out.
Here's an overview of what you'll do to make this recipe perfectly. You'll find complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- First, prepare the crumble topping. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, pecans, flour, cinnamon, cardamom, ½ cup coconut sugar and ½ teaspoon salt. Add butter and stir until the mixture starts to stick together.
- Prep the pears. In a separate medium bowl, gently toss the chopped pears with lemon juice, remaining coconut sugars, and cornstarch until well combined.
- Arrange in a baking dish. Transfer the mixture to a 2-quart (2 litre) baking dish. Top evenly with oat mixture.
- Bake at 350°F. for up to 45 minutes. If you have used soft ripe Bartlett pears, baking time will be closer to 30 minutes. Firm Bosc or Anjou pears will take 40 to 45 minutes.
- Serve warm with ice cream, dairy-free ice cream, or Greek yogurt. This dessert is delicious when cold, and spectacular when warm!
👍🏼 Tips to make the best pear crisp
- Use real butter. Butter is the key to the rich buttery flavour and crisp texture of this crumble topping.
- Use old-fashioned rolled oats. They'll provide a much better texture than quick oats or instant oats and they add to the homey appeal of this rustic dessert. While oats are naturally gluten-free, if you're serving this dessert to someone with celiac disease, you will have to use certified gluten-free rolled oats. (Sometimes oats are processed in a facility that also processes other grains, so there is a danger of cross-contamination.)
- To tell when your fruit crisp is done, look for a nice even golden crust. In most fruit crisps, the fruit should be bubbling up around the edges, or maybe even through little spaces in the topping. This may not be so with pear crisp. I simply poke it with a fork to see if the pears are softened (but not mushy.)
It depends! Fully ripe Barlett pears are naturally sweet, so they can be delicious in this recipe. Be careful not to slice them too thinly, or they will turn to mush.
I like to use ripe Bosc pears, because they are usually deliciously sweet, and they're my first choice for this fruit crisp recipe. However, you can use what you have! Try fully ripe but firm Anjou pears, too.
No matter what variety of pear you use, this gluten-free pecan pear crisp will still be a stellar dessert.
🔁 Possible Variations
If you don't need this to be a gluten-free pear crisp, you can substitute all-purpose flour for gluten-free flour.
You can also substitute brown sugar for coconut sugar.
I haven't tried substituting dairy-free butter (like Earth Balance) for the butter in this recipe, but I suspect it will work just fine.
One of the best features of this recipe is the buttery, caramel flavour from the butter and coconut sugar!
👍🏼 Helpful Tip: How to chop a pear
To chop a pear, start by washing it. You want to remove any dirt or bacteria that might be on the surface. Next, use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin.
Using a sharp knife on a cutting board, slice the pear in half from the stem to the bottom. Remove the stem, the core with seeds, and the calyx (the woody portion at the bottom or blossom end.)
A paring knife works well to remove the stem. Cut a small "V" to remove the blossom end. If you have a melon baller, it works beautifully to remove the core and seeds.
To prevent the pears from slipping while you slice them, place the pear halves cut side down on the cutting board. Slice into strips about ½ inch thick, then turn the strips and dice them into cubes.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Pear crumble with a crunchy pecan streusel topping makes a delicious gluten-free dessert that will be welcomed equally at a dinner party or for a weeknight meal.
It's best served warm, with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream or dairy-free alternatives. Or you could offer a generous drizzle of homemade caramel sauce! Be prepared to be asked for seconds!
⏰ Storage Instructions
To store: Store covered in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
To reheat: Reheat gently in the microwave.
Freeze it: Freeze unbaked or baked! Cover and wrap tightly, then freeze for up to 3 months. To bake from frozen, it's best to thaw it in the fridge overnight, then bake according to the recipe directions.
🗒 More delicious desserts
When you make this gluten-free pecan pear crisp recipe, please leave a comment and a star rating below. I love hearing from you! Thanks in advance. Subscribe to my newsletter and receive new recipes delivered straight to your inbox once a week.
Pecan Pear Crisp - Gluten-Free
- ½ cup finely chopped pecans
- 6 tablespoons gluten-free flour blend*
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¾ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar, divided
- ½ teaspoon sea salt or Kosher salt
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, certified gluten-free, if necessary
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 5 large pears peeled, cored and chopped
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, pecans, flour, cinnamon, cardamom, ½ cup coconut sugar and ½ teaspoon salt. Add butter and stir until the mixture starts to stick together.
- In a separate medium bowl, gently toss the chopped pears with lemon juice, the remaining coconut sugar and cornstarch until well combined.
- Transfer the mixture to a 2-quart (2 litre) baking dish. Top evenly with oat mixture.
- Bake at 350°F. for up to 45 minutes. If you have used soft ripe Bartlett pears, baking time may be closer to 30 minutes. Firm Bosc or Anjou pears will take 40 to 45 minutes.
- Serve warm with ice cream, dairy-free ice cream, or Greek yogurt.
Absolutely delightful! Simple and quick with maximum delicious results. The second time I made it I was out of pecans so I substituted pumpkin seeds which still gave it a bit of a crunch. Thank you, Elaine.
Thanks for commenting, Heather, and for sharing how you adapted this recipe. Pumpkin seeds sound like a great option!
Fantastic! The sauce has a wonderful caramel flavour. I made this for my parents yesterday and we all agreed it's a keeper recipe!
Thanks so much, Leah!