Pear Crisp

Spiced pears topped with crunchy almond streusel and baked to bubbling perfection. The other night after dinner, Andrew expressed that he was craving some warm apple crisp for dessert. Apple crisp topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream have always been one of my favorite desserts, but with the abundance of pears we had in our fridge, I set out in search of a pear crisp instead. I knew I hit the jackpot when I spotted this pear crisp on the Cook’s Illustrated website. Instead of baking the crisp in an 8-inch baking dish as directed, I baked them in 6 individual 4 inch ramekins. They were delicious and so easy to prepare. Serve this pear crisp with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for an easy, crowd pleasing fall dessert.

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Pear Crisp

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  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Table salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 3 pounds (6-7 medium) ripe but firm Bartlett pears


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process almonds, flour, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon salt until nuts are finely chopped, about nine 1-second pulses. Drizzle butter over mixture and pulse until it resembles crumbly wet sand, about five 1-second pulses; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and pinch of salt. Peel pears, then half (from stem to blossom end). Use a melon baller to remove core. Quarter each half lengthwise and then cut each piece in half crosswise for eight pieces (pieces should be about 1 1/2 inches). Gently toss pears with sugar mixture and transfer to 8-inch-square baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle topping evenly over fruit, breaking up any large chunks. Bake until fruit is bubbling around edges and topping is deep golden brown, 27 to 32 minutes. Cool on wire rack until warm, at least 15 minutes, and serve.

Yields: 6 servings

Source: Cook Illustrated, September 2007

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13 Responses to Pear Crisp

  1. Caroline says:

    Now that’s what I call the perfect bite right there. I love pear desserts…this sounds delicious, Christina!

  2. brandi says:

    delicious! i can’t wait for pears season!

  3. ChgoJohn says:

    I, too, love my apple crisps and always look forward to the Fall harvest. But a pear crisp? This I have to try.

  4. I really love that topping. Great dessert.

  5. Yea! Perfect for fall! I like the addition of the almonds.

  6. jennknee says:

    oh yum…I want this right now!

  7. Yesim says:

    seems great dessert..

  8. There’s something about food in little ramekins that just screams EAT ME!

  9. Oh my gosh, this looks delicious.

  10. briarrose says:

    Beautiful crisp….oh how you make my belly happy…..gurgle in joy even. 😉

  11. This might be just the perfect dessert to serve for my dinner guests this weekend! Thanks for the idea!

  12. Eliot says:

    Sometimes we see neighbors in our area sitting buckets of pears on the street with FREE posted on them. I am hoping to see some this fall. Pears always make me think of autumn.

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