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!
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch cast iron skillet (or 8x8 baking dish) and set aside.
For the streusel topping
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, cardamom, and 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.
Add in the chopped toasted pecans and mix to combine. Set aside.
For the filling
Quarter the pears, remove the core, and slice into ½-inch slices.
In a large bowl, combine the sliced pears, lemon juice, flour, sugar, salt, cardamom, and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
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.
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.