Table of Contents
  1. This easy dessert is perfect for fall time pears!
  2. Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
  3. Here’s how to make this recipe.
  4. These pro tips will make this recipe a success.
  5. Frequently asked questions about this recipe.
  6. Other fall recipes you will love.
  7. Watch how to make this recipe.
  8. Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
  9. Easy Skillet Pear Crisp Recipe

When pears are in season, they have both sweetness and lots of flavor. So there’s no better way to enjoy them to their fullest than with an easy crisp! Pile slices of pears in a skillet, top with streusel, and you have an amazingly simple dessert!

This easy dessert is perfect for fall time pears!

Whether it’s spring, summer, or fall, nothing works better at creating a seasonal mood than making a fruit crisp. Unlike a pie, a crisp is easy and quick to mix together. The filling is much the same as a pie would be, but you rest assured that the filling will be just the right consistency.

Unlike a pie, a crisp has no crust. Instead, there are copious amounts of streusel topping. This recipe highlights the streusel while allowing the pears to shine.

Pears are an autumn favorite. When in season, their flavor is off the charts, full of sweet, juicy, ripe goodness. Only minimal spices are used to ensure the pears are enhanced but never overshadowed.

Apple crisp will always have autumn’s heart, but this pear crisp may give it a run for its money!

Hand holding black skillet filled with pear crisp with towel around hot handle with pears and cups of coffee also sitting on the marble surface.

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.

This crisp is rustic, and that’s nowhere more evident than when looking at the ingredient list. The simple items are mixed together unpretentiously, with repeating flavors throughout the filling and the streusel topping. Here are some of the important ingredients:

  • Pears are ripe and in season during the fall months. When picking out a pear for this recipe, use whichever variety you can find. Each type of pear has slight flavor differences. Bartlett is firm and crisp and often easy to find.
  • Old-fashioned rolled oats are added to the streusel topping for a bit of extra texture. In this crisp recipe, some crunch in the streusel really goes a long way and that crunch comes from the oats.
  • Toasted pecans are an additional component in the streusel topping that creates texture. These nuts give the sugar and butter something to grab onto, creating small pockets of goodness on top of the pears. For the most flavor, make sure to toast them before adding them to the streusel.
  • Brown sugar is a classic in streusel. The caramel-like flavor of the brown sugar offsets the sweetness for more depth of flavor.
  • Cardamom is more earthy and spicy than its main rival, cinnamon. Regarding spiciness, cardamom does not have heat but rather an intense level of flavor.
  • Nutmeg enhances the cardamom. For the best flavor, choose a whole nutmeg and grate just a small amount with a grater.
  • Lemon juice works to bring out more flavor from the pears. That’s the magic of adding citrus to any baked or savory item. The lemon highlights and amplifies the underlying goodness of the fruit.
White marble surface filled with all the ingredients needed to make skillet pear crisp including pears, sugar, flour, lemon, nuts, and more.

Here’s how to make this recipe.

The process for making this pear crisp is relatively simple, with five main steps. Put together the streusel topping, then the filling, and you’re on the way to a great dessert. Here are the steps:

  1. Prepare the streusel topping. In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, cardamom, and nutmeg. Using your hands or a whisk, work the dry ingredients together until they’re lightly combined. Now add in the cubed butter and toss in the dry ingredients. Taking one cube of butter at a time, crush the butter between thumb and forefinger, flattening them out but retaining some chunky texture. Repeat this with the entire mixture until it becomes a coarse, sandy texture. You want it to stay together when making a fist with the dough but still have it crumble apart when flaked.
  1. Add the pecans to the streusel. Toast the pecans and chop them into small pieces. Add the chopped pecans directly to the streusel mixture and mix everything together. It’s best to add the pecans after the butter has been crushed with the flour and sugar so that the chunks of nuts do not get in the way. Once mixed, set aside.
  1. Prepare the pears. Using ripe pears, slice them into whatever size is desirable and place them in a large bowl. For me, I use the following technique. Slice the pears in half and then again in half. Remove the core, taking care to remove as little as possible of the pear flesh. Then cut each quarter of the pear into three wedge-shaped slices. Personally, I leave the peel of the pears on.
  1. Prepare the filling. To the sliced pears, add lemon juice, flour, sugar, salt, cardamom, and nutmeg. Mix together the pears with the filling components until everything is combined.
  1. Fill the baking dish and bake. To a skillet (or baking dish), pour in the pears. Make sure to pour in all juices collected at the bottom of the mixing bowl. Smooth out the pears to create an even layer with all pears lying flat. Sprinkle all of the streusel topping over the top of the pears. Place it in the oven and bake at 350°F for 50 to 60 minutes. Or until the crisp bubbles throughout, remove it and let cool before serving. Make sure to serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or even cinnamon ice cream)!

These pro tips will make this recipe a success.

  • When preparing the pecans, make sure to toast them before chopping them. While it may seem like an unnecessary extra amount of prep time, the recipe will turn out all the better! When pecans are toasted, their oils are released, creating a better texture. Additionally, toasted nuts hold better structure, preventing them from getting slightly soggy when baked in the crisp.
  • Once the crisp has baked, let it cool fully before serving it. If you scoop into the crisp before it has cooled, the juices that were activated by the heat in the oven will leak. Allowing the crisp to cool will provide ample time for the mixture to thicken truly.
Black cast iron skillet filled with pear crisp with wooden spoon resting in pan filled with serving of crisp all on marble surface.

Frequently asked questions about this recipe.

Can this recipe be made in a regular baking dish rather than a cast-iron skillet?

Yes, of course. The skillet is a great way to provide a rustic, carefree feel to the dish. But a regular 8×8-inch baking dish works just as well!

Can the pears be substituted for apples or any other type of fruit?

Yes, this recipe can be made with the same amount of apples. The flavor profile of this recipe was designed to accent pears, but apples will be a good substitution. I also have another recipe for apple crisp, so make sure to check that one out!

Will any type of pear work in this recipe? Are there specific varieties of pears that bake the best?

Yes, any type of in-season pear will work. A firmer-variety pear will hold a better texture once baked. Personally, I often choose a Bartlett pear.

Will this crisp be better with the peels left on the pears?

This is a personal preference. I love to leave the peel of the pear intact because I like the added texture. If you feel that the peel is unnecessary, then simply remove it while preparing the pears. There will be no other noticeable difference in the crisp once baked besides texture.

Watch how to make this recipe.

Have I convinced you to make this recipe?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your dessert table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they too can make, enjoy, and love!

Baked pear crisp sitting in black skillet on marble surface with towel wrapped around hot handle.

Easy Skillet Pear Crisp

5 from 2 votes
When pears are in season, they have both sweetness and lots of flavor. So there's no better way to enjoy them to their fullest than with an easy crisp! Pile slices of pears in a skillet, top with streusel, and you have an amazingly simple dessert!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

For the streusel topping

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • cup light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg freshly ground
  • 8 tbsp butter cut in ½-inch cubes
  • 1 cup pecans toasted and chopped

For the filling

  • 3 lb pears
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg freshly ground

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch cast iron skillet (or 8×8 baking dish) and set aside.

For the streusel topping

  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, cardamom, and nutmeg.
    ¾ cup all-purpose flour, ¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats, ⅓ cup light brown sugar, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp cardamom, ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • Add the cubes of cold butter. Toss the butter in the mixture to coat. Using thumbs and fingers, press pieces of butter between fingers with the dry mixture. Continue until the mixture is a sandy texture with irregular pieces of butter.
    8 tbsp butter
  • Add in the chopped toasted pecans and mix to combine. Set aside.
    1 cup pecans

For the filling

  • Quarter the pears, remove the core, and slice into ½-inch slices.
    3 lb pears
  • In a large bowl, combine the sliced pears, lemon juice, flour, sugar, salt, cardamom, and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
    3 lb pears, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 3 tbsp white granulated sugar, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp cardamom, ¼ tsp nutmeg, 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Pour the pears into the prepared cast iron skillet. Sprinkle the prepared streusel over the pears and place in the preheated oven. Bake until the crisp bubbles throughout the filling, 50-60 minutes.
  • Once finished, remove the crisp from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • When preparing the pecans, make sure to toast them before chopping them. While it may seem like an unnecessary extra amount of prep time, the recipe will turn out all the better! When pecans are toasted, their oils are released, creating a better texture. Additionally, toasted nuts hold better structure, preventing them from getting slightly soggy when baked in the crisp.
  • Once the crisp has baked, let it cool fully before serving it. If you scoop into the crisp before it has cooled, the juices that were activated by the heat in the oven will leak. Allowing the crisp to cool will provide ample time for the mixture to truly thicken.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 414kcal
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Difficulty Easy
Method Baking

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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