This old fashioned Pear Crumble is the perfect autumn dessert. Ripe pears are covered with a crispy cinnamon streusel topping and baked to perfection. Add a drizzle of cream if you like!
This Pear Crumble is a must-make recipe for fall.
The pears become soft and juicy as they cook, creating a sweet syrup. And it’s topped with a buttery, crunchy streusel.
You’ll love the taste of warm fall spices like cinnamon and nutmeg in every bite.
And, the smell of this crumble baking will make your house smell like heaven.
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Why is this the best pear crumble?
This Pear Crumble recipe is well over 60 years old and a time-tested favorite. One taste and you’ll understand why! It’s the perfect blend of pears, toppings, and warm spices.
The original recipe dates back at least back to 1963 (but probably before), and has been adapted from the Milwaukee Public Library’s Digital Recipe Collection. (Check out the original Pear Crumble recipe!)
It’s also the best because its a very simple recipe. In my opinion, simple ingredients provide extraordinary taste.
Another thing I loved about this recipe is how adaptable it is. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking.
You can also use brown sugar instead of granulated sugar for a deeper, more molasses-like flavor.
- Pears are the star of this recipe. Make sure to peel, core, and slice them before baking. I used bartlett pears, but bosc or d’anjou pears would also taste amazing. My pears were just barely ripe, but you can also use overripe pears.
- One draw back of cooking with fruit is browning. Lemon juice will prevent browning and offset some of the sweetness of the crumble. The original recipe also included port, which you can add if you like.
- I like to use all-purpose flour for baking. It will give a nice crunch to the baked topping.
- The streusel topping is sweetened by sugar. The sugar can be reduced by up to half, and you can use granulated sugar or brown sugar interchangeably. If you use brown sugar, the topping will have a richer flavor from the molasses.
- Fall spices are a must for the topping. I used ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Use freshly ground nutmeg if you have it!
- A little salt helps to bring out the natural pear and spice flavors.
- And, last but not least, butter. It’s easier to work the butter into the flour mixture if you bring it to room temperature and dice it before adding it in. You’ll use your hands to work it into the topping until it starts forming pea-sized lumps.
How to make pear crumble from scratch
Get ready to bake by preheating your oven to 375°F and greasing an 8×8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Prepare the pears for baking by peeling, coring, and slicing them.
Then place the sliced pears in the baking dish, and drizzle them with lemon juice.
Next, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl.
Work the diced butter into the flour mixture with your fingers, until pea-sized lumps form.
Pour the streusel mixture over the pears.
Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until the crumble is beginning to turn golden brown on top and the pear mixture is bubbling.
Serve with ice cream, or a drizzle of cream or half & half.
I prefer to eat crumble desserts warm. I love the way vanilla ice cream or whipped cream melt into the warm Pear Crumble and mix with the pear juices.
You can also serve it warm with heavy cream or half & half drizzled on top. Yum!
Can I make pear crumble ahead of time?
For the best taste and texture (and crispy topping!), make Pear Crumble the same day you plan to serve it.
If you have leftovers, it can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Keep in mind that the topping will not stay as crisp after being refrigerated.
Can you freeze pear crumble?
This is a definite yes! Cover and store the crumble in the freezer for up to 3 months. The day before you need it, defrost it in the fridge overnight and then warm in the oven.
Change it up with these easy swaps!
- Reduce the sugar in the topping by up to half.
- Use dark brown sugar for a deeper, molasses-rich flavor.
- Experiment with different varieties of ripe pears.
- Substitute canned pears if you don’t have fresh, ripe pears available (see below).
Can I use canned pears?
Yes! You will need three (15 oz) cans of sliced pears. Drain well before using. Then make and bake as directed.
More fall recipes
Don’t let the season pass you by without filling your home with the aromatic smells of baked goods! Here are a few of my favorite recipes to help inspire your fall baking.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!
- 5 medium pears, peeled, cored, and sliced (I used bartlett)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar (can use granulated sugar if preferred)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons cold butter, diced
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Place the sliced pears in the baking dish, and drizzle the lemon juice over the top.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Work the diced butter into the flour mixture with your fingers, until pea-sized lumps form.
- Pour the flour mixture over the pears. Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until the crumble is beginning to turn golden brown on top and the pear mixture is bubbling.
- Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or a drizzle of cream or half & half.