A cozy and delicious fruit dessert, these tender baked pears are topped with crispy oats, walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon butter. The pears are oven-roasted until fork tender. A simple dish that’s so impressive! Serve warm or at room temperature with pomegranate arils, a drizzle of butterscotch sauce and a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
Thanks to C&H® Sugar for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.
You know that classic Eddie Izzard sketch about pears ripening? Well these baked pears are a good solution to that problem. Roasting pears in the oven brings out their beguiling flavor, softening their flesh to buttery perfection. When filled with salty-sweet brown sugar walnut crumble, they make a pretty presentation that's fun to eat too.
Crumble Stuffed Pears
If you're a fan of cozy crisp and cobbler recipes anytime of the year (or day) like I am, you're going to love this baked pear dessert recipe! These stuffed baked pears are elegant enough to serve at holiday festivities and dinner parties when you need an easy and seasonal gluten-free dessert recipe. You can also find more gluten-free crisps and crumble recipes in my book Alternative Baker!
This recipe is adapted from Lizzie Pachter of The Crumb Blonde, whipped up in collaboration with C&H® Sugar! Serve these beauties up with a drizzle of butterscotch sauce and a dollop of vanilla ice cream for a holiday-worthy dessert.
Ingredients and Substitution Suggestions
- This recipe is all about the pears, so choose ones that are in season and locally grown. Firm-ripe pears that are fragrant and sweet but still hold their shape are ideal. More on pear varieties for baking below!
- Butter moistens the pears and filling. Feel free to use plant butter to make dairy-free or vegan baked pears.
- Oats form the base of the brown sugar crumble filling. Use certified gluten-free oats if need be.
- Toasted chopped walnuts combine with oats in the filling. You can use any nut you prefer, such as pecans, hazelnuts, and/or pistachios. For nut-free, try these with pumpkin seeds and/or sunflower seeds.
- Dark brown sugar gives the filling sweetness and molasses-y flavor. I used C&H® Dark Brown Sugar, which adds beautiful butterscotch tones. Golden Brown Sugar will work too if that's what you've got! Or sub coconut sugar for a refined sugar-free option.
- Cinnamon and salt add flavor and spice. Feel free to try this with other spices, such as cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, or my golden pumpkin spice blend.
- Toppings: pomegranate arils, ice cream, and butterscotch sauce make fun accompaniments if you like!
What are the best pears for baking?
Any of these varieties will work for making this baked pear recipe:
- Bosc pears are the firmest variety and hold their shape well for baking.
- Red pears, such as the starkrimson pears used here, have semi-firm flesh and also stand up well to baking.
- Bartlett pears are more soft and buttery. They break down more when baked, but they will hold their shape in roasted pears as long as they are firm to start and not overly ripe.
- D'Anjou pears are similar to Bartletts and will work well if not overly-soft.
How ripe do pears need to be for baking?
Ideally, pears that you plan to bake should be firm when you squeeze them, but have a subtle floral fragrance when you smell them. This way, they will be sweet when roasted but they'll hold their shape well and not turn into pear jam!
Buy pears a few days or up to a week before you plan to use them, and let them ripen on the counter until you're ready to bake them. Stash them in the fridge when they start to smell nice. Pears are sneaky – they ripen from the inside-out, so if you wait until they're soft to the touch, they will often be mushy inside.
This baked pears dessert is a great way to make use of pears that are a little under-ripe. This recipe is flexible, so change up the baking time if need be. If your pears are quite firm, bake them a little longer. If they're quite ripe, shorten the baking time so they don't fall apart.
Do I have to peel pears for baking?
It's not necessary to peel pears for baking! Here, the skin helps them hold their shape, making a cute and tasty vessel for buttery oat crumble.
How to make Roasted Pears
This baked pear dessert takes just 20 minutes to prep and 40 minutes to bake. It's naturally gluten-free (if you use GF oats) and can easily be made vegan by using plant-based butter. It makes 8 servings and leftovers will keep brilliantly for up to a few days in the fridge.
Here's how to make them!
Prepare the pears by halving them lengthwise and scooping out the center to remove the seeds and form a little bowl. Brush them with melted butter.
Make the filling by combining the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Stir in the melted butter to make a crumble.
Fill the pears with the crumble.
Bake the pears until tender but still holding a shape.
Sprinkle with pomegranate arils and serve with optional butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream.
Growing up, we always had a box of C&H® Dark Brown Sugar in our cupboard for baking into cakes and cookies around the holidays. Its fine texture melts into baked goods, while plenty of molasses adds warm depth of flavor.
I love it in all kinds of baking recipes including gluten-free ginger molasses cookies, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, and gluten-free blondies. You can find C&H® sugars at a shop near you using their store locator.
Bojon appétit! For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, purchase my gluten-free cookbook Alternative Baker, or subscribe to receive new posts via email. And if you make this brown sugar baked pears recipe, I’d love to know. Leave a comment and rating below, and tag your Instagram snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet.
Buttery & Tender Baked Pear Dessert with Brown Sugar Walnut CrumblePrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 4 large firm-ripe pears (such as Starkrimson, Bosc, Bartlett, or D'Anjou
- 5 tablespoons (70 g) melted butter or plant butter, divided use
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup (90 g) chopped toasted walnuts or other nuts
- ½ cup (50 g) old fashioned rolled oats (GF if needed)
- ¼ cup (40 g) C&H® Dark Brown Sugar
For serving (optional):
- ¼ cup pomegranate arils
- vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream
- salted butterscotch sauce
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
- Slice the pears in half lengthwise. Using a spoon or a cookie scoop, scoop out the seeds and core, making a 1 ½ - inch diameter hollow to hold the filling. If the pears won’t lay flat in the pan, trim the bottoms flat. Arrange the pears in a 9x13-inch baking pan.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the walnuts, oats, C&H® Dark Brown Sugar, cinnamon, and salt with 3 tablespoons of the melted butter.
- Brush the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over the pears. Scoop the walnut-oat mixture into the pear halves, mounding it slightly.
- Bake the pears until tender when pierced with a knife, 25-45 minutes depending on the size and ripeness of the pears.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with pomegranate arils, butterscotch sauce and ice cream or whipped cream if you like.
- Extra pears keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.
These were the perfect finish to Christmas dinner. And even my very picky 11 year old said they were good. We served them with ice cream and I used Comice pears.
Can't wait to make them again.
Aw I'm so glad you and the family all liked the recipe Claire! Thanks so much for the sweet comment and rating. Happy new year to you all!