This easy Pear Crumble with gingersnaps is just what you need to greet the fall season. A sweet pear filling, seasoned with ginger, is topped with a nutty oat crumble complete with gingersnap cookies that bakes up sweet and crunchy.
It's great to serve fresh out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce. It's a simple and delicious pear dessert that's casual enough for every day and delicious enough for company.
Hellooo Fall! I simply love fall, the cool weather, the colorful leaves, and all the wonderful flavors that go with the season.
Apples, pears, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, squash, and sweet potatoes all come to mind when September finally arrives.
The season has barely started and I've already made Apple Cider Donuts and Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins along with my newest recipe, this ginger pear crumble. It's now one of my favorite desserts to start the fall season. And it's so easy to make all you do is slice, dump, and bake!
All you need for this baked pear crumble is an iron skillet, a couple of bowls, and a spoon to stir it all up. It's even relatively healthy for you with no bottom crust and just an oat crumble on top.
Plus the spicy ginger in the pear filling and the gingersnaps in the crumble give an extra snap to the milder pears. It's exactly what they need to shine.
Table of contents
What is the difference between a crumble and a crisp
Most people tend to interchange the name of these desserts and either call it a crumble or a crisp, much like I do. Technically, a crisp is topped with a crispier, crunchier topping made with flour, sugar, butter, and oats.
A crumble's topping combines flour, sugar, and butter and usually omits the oats and nuts. So I guess you could say this was more of a pear crisp than a crumble but it's all good!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can although a crisp or crumble is always best right after it is baked. There are two alternatives.
1. Prepare it per the directions up to the baking step then cover tightly and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, bake as stated in the recipe adding an additional 10 minutes to the overall time.
2. Cook the crumble as stated then cover tightly in the original baking dish. When ready to serve, reheat the dessert at 350 for 20 minutes until the crumble has warmed and the top has gotten back a little of its original crunchiness.
Yes, but it is not recommended. If you have to freeze it, freeze it unbaked then, when ready to eat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bake as directed adding an additional 10 minutes to the total time.
If you want to freeze it after baking, let it cool completely, cover tightly with plastic wrap then foil. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator then warm crisp for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
It can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
No, please don't! The canned pears are too soft and will disintegrate when baked.
By just adding different fruits you can change this up and serve a different crisp every night all through the season.
Pear Blueberry Crisp - Try a ratio of 4 cups pears and 3 cups blueberries.
Apple Pear Crumble - add 3 cups of apples and 4 cups of pears for a tasty fall dessert. Granny Smith, Gala, Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, and Winesap are all good apples to choose from. Cut the slices smaller than the pears as they will take longer to cook.
Pear Cranberry Crumble - 6 cups pears to 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries. It's the perfect dessert for the holiday season.
Pear Blackberry Crisp - Combine 4-5 cups of pears and 2 cups of blackberries for a change of pace
Other fruit - Try peaches and cherries as additions to pears too.
Tropical flavor - Add sweetened coconut to the filling or the crumble or both!
Gluten-free Pear Crumble with Oats - use a 1:1 gluten-free flour in place of the all-purpose flour. In addition, make sure the oats and the gingersnaps are labeled gluten-free.
Ingredients for Pear Crisp
- Pears – look for fresh, ripe pears that are slightly firm but not mushy. Barlett or Bosc pears are the best type of pear to use as they tend to hold their shape when baked. Cutting the slices thin and uniformly, about ½" thick, will also help the pears become tender and not mushy when baked.
- Sugar – adds a touch of sweetness and mixes with the flour to make a nice thick filling.
- Flour – is a thickener and makes the filling hold together
- Ginger – adds the classic fall flavor to the mix
- Salt – balances all the flavors out
- Lemon Juice – helps prevent the fruit from browning
- Vanilla Extract – adds a warm accent to the filling
- Gingersnaps – add a spiciness and add to the crispiness of the crumble
- Flour – is the binding agent and helps give it the crumbly texture the name implies
- Butter – good quality, creamy butter will deliver a rich flavor and help create a nice crumb
- Brown sugar – adds a hint of molasses as well as a little moisture to the topping
- Oats – add the chewy texture. Use old fashioned rolled oats for the best crumble
- Walnuts – add the crunch and any nuts will work. Try it with pecans, almond and even hazelnuts. For an even nuttier flavor, roast the whole nuts in a 350 degree oven until browned. Watch them carefully as it is easy to burn them. Chop when cool.
- Cinnamon – adds the traditional fall flavor to the crisp
How to Make Pear Crumble with Ginger Snaps
- Peel and core pears. Slice them in ½" slices as too thinly sliced pears with disintegrate when baking. Toss with lemon juice to prevent browning then add vanilla extract.
- Combine flour, sugar, ginger and salt in a large bowl. Add pears and stir gently.
- Pour the pear mixture into a prepared iron skillet. If you don't have an iron skillet you can also use a pie plate placed on a cookie sheet. Bake it for slightly longer than the skillet version, adding about 10-15 minutes.
- Level the filling in the pan. Now it's ready for the gingersnap crumble.
- Crumb gingersnaps. I like to use my Ninja Chopper as it makes it so quick and easy. You can also crush by placing the cookies in a large ziplock bag and roll over them with a rolling pin.
- Combine flour, brown sugar, oats, walnuts and cinnamon.
- Add cubed cold butter. Make sure the butter is very cold so the topping will crisp up.
- Using a pastry cutter, work butter through dry ingredients until it resembles crumbs.
- Sprinkle on the crumble.
- Bake. Wait until those aromas start filling your house. And it's perfectly understandable if you start drooling well before this pear ginger crisp is served.
Now the best part! It's time to dive into the deliciousness. But before you do, place a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream on top of the freshly baked pear crumble, then drizzle some warm caramel syrup on top. Of course, that's totally optional but it puts this fall dessert over the top!
OK, one last thing. Take a bite of this sweet, warm, delicious goodness and you'll feel like fall is really here! Enjoy!
More Sweet Fall Recipes
Find lots of fall recipes here on 2CM!
Pear Crumble with Gingersnaps
- ⅔ cup sugar (can lower to ½ cup if you like your filling less sweet)
- ⅓ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 ¼ lbs pears, room temperature (about 8)
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 15 gingersnaps, ground into coarse crumbs
- ½ cup flour
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup oats
- ⅓ cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup butter, cubed (make sure it is very cold)
- Garnish: hot caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 10” iron skillet with nonstick spray.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, ginger and salt.
- Peel and thinly slice pears and place in large bowl.
- Sprinkle with lemon juice and vanilla extract and stir.
- Add dry mixture to pears and stir gently until all pear pieces are covered with mix.
- Pour into prepared iron skillet.
- In a medium bowl, combine gingersnaps, flour, sugar, oats, walnuts and cinnamon. Stir.
- Take butter from refrigerator, cut down center of stick then cut horizontally into small cubes. Add to gingersnap mixture.
- Using a pastry cutter, cut through mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. I like to use my hands at the end to make sure there are no chunks of butter and all the dry mixture has been coated.
- Sprinkle on top of pears.
- Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove carefully, remembering to grab the handle with a pot holder. Place on wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Drizzle hot caramel sauce over topping.
- Serve warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top. You can even drizzle more caramel sauce if you want.
This post has been updated with easier step-by-step and tips to make the best crumble each and every time. It was first published on September 23, 2018.