Cinnamon Walnut Pear Crisp | Ambitious Kitchen


by Sil Pancho



Pears! Such an underrated fruit that deserves more love, don’t you think? I only have a few pear recipes on the blog, but eagerly wanted to add another one before winter pear season ends.

Since I love my healthy apple crisp recipe so much, I decided to slightly modify it and make this juicy pear crisp recipe infused with cinnamon and studded with heart-healthy walnuts.

Did I eat this delicious gluten free pear crisp for breakfast with a scoop of yogurt? ABSOLUTELY.

healthy pear crisp in a skillet topped with ice cream

What makes this homemade pear crisp completely delicious?

Many traditional pear crisp recipes are filled with lots of excess butter and sugar. I made a few tweaks here and there to lighten up this pear crisp recipe just a bit, but don’t worry, it tastes just like the real deal kind that you know and love.

I cut down on the butter and used just a tiny bit pure maple syrup in the filling. You don’t need much at all as the pears are typically sweet and juicy enough on their own. Plus it has an oat walnut crumble that might just be the best part of the recipe. Perfectly sweet, slightly toasty and crunchy. SO DELISH.

unbaked healthy pear crisp in a skillet next to pears

Ingredients in this old fashioned pear crisp recipe

One of the best parts about this pear crisp recipe is that it’s made with ingredients you probably already have in your cupboards. For this recipe you’ll need:

  • Flour: unlike a lot of baking recipes, you can feel free to use all purpose, whole wheat, gluten free all purpose or oat flour.
  • Sweetener: you’ll want to use brown sugar or coconut sugar in the crumble, and a little pure maple syrup in the crisp itself.
  • Nuts: I love adding chopped walnuts or pecans to the oat crumble for extra crunch and toasty flavor.
  • Oats: the oat topping, of course, has oats as well.
  • Cinnamon: you’ll be adding cozy cinnamon to the filling and to the crumble on top for extra flavor.
  • Butter: melted butter helps the walnut oat crumble clump together to make delicious bites. You can also use vegan butter to keep this recipe vegan and dairy free.
  • Pears: I like to use Bartlett pears or green anjou pears, which are in season during the winter months. Make sure they’re ripe but not overly ripe.
  • Vanilla: don’t forget vanilla extract for extra flavor in the filling.
  • Arrowroot starch: a bit of arrowroot or tapioca starch helps to thicken the filling up so that it doesn’t have a soupy consistency.

How to make gluten free pear crisp

Making this pear crisp recipe gluten free is easy, simply use an all purpose gluten free flour or oat flour instead of a regular, all purpose flour or wheat flour. So many options! Good news, you can easily make your own oat flour right at home to use in this pear crisp recipe. Check out my tutorial with all of my best tips & tricks.

gluten free pear crisp in a skillet with ice cream scoops on top

How to tell if a pear is ripe

Pears typically ripen from the inside out, so you can’t tell if they are ripe just by looking at the skin. To tell if a pear is ripe, very gently squeeze the pear near the stem. If you can apply pressure and if it’s very slightly soft, then you know your pear is ripe.

Tips for making this classic pear crisp

  1. Slice your pears somewhat thick. I recommend about 1/4 an inch so that they become nice and tender for each bite of the crisp. I also recommend using pears that aren’t too ripe so that they stay together when slicing and baking, and so there’s not an excess of moisture in the filling.
  2. Make sure your topping is well-combined. I’ve found that mixing the crumb topping with your hands is best way to ensure that all of the flour and oats are covered with the butter and sugar. This creates the delicious, golden brown crumble that adds a yummy sweetness.
  3. Feel free to make this ahead of time! Looking to save time and prep for serving guests? Simply prepare the recipe as directed, cover it with foil, place it in the fridge and bake as directed before you’re ready to serve.

gluten free pear crisp in a skillet

How to make pear crisp on the grill

If you grill during the fall & winter months like we do, feel free to throw this pear crisp on the grill to cook it up!

  1. Preheat your grill. Turn on a burner on only one side of your grill to 375 degrees F or medium high heat.
  2. Prep your crisp. Follow the pear crisp recipe up until you’re ready to bake it. Once you’ve added all of the pear filling and the crumble topping to a cast iron skillet, cover the skillet with tinfoil.
  3. Grill your crisp. Place the skillet on the opposite side of the burner that’s lit. This is so that you are indirectly cooking the pear crisp and avoid burning it. Bake the crisp for 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until the topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling.
  4. Remove & serve. Your grill mitts are especially useful here! Use them to remove the skillet from the grill, let the pear crisp cool and then serve warm.

Make it ahead of time

Looking to serve this pear crisp at a later date? You can! Just prepare the whole thing as directed, cover it with foil and place it in the refrigerator. Feel free to bake it as directed whenever you’re ready to serve it.

gluten free pear crisp in a bowl with ice cream

Easily store & freeze pear crisp

  • In the fridge: store any leftover pear crisp in an airtight container in the fridge. Simply warm it up a bit in the microwave or enjoy cold straight from the fridge.
  • In the freezer: yes, this pear crisp is freezer-friendly! Assemble the pear crisp but do not bake it. Cover the crisp well with aluminum foil and transfer it to the freezer for up to 3 months. Bake the frozen pear crisp at 350 degrees for about an hour or until it’s golden and bubbly.

Try these delicious crisps & crumbles

Get all of our delicious crisp & crumble recipes here!

Finally, don’t forget to top your pear crisp! I love adding a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, coconut ice cream (omg yum) and even yogurt for a creamy, more tangy topping. Did someone say a drizzle of dairy free coconut milk caramel? Yes please. Grab an amazing dairy free caramel recipe here and enjoy!

I hope you love this pear crisp recipe as much as we do! If you make it, be sure to leave a comment and a rating let me know how you liked it. I greatly appreciate it – xo!

Cinnamon Walnut Pear Crisp

Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Incredible cinnamon walnut pear crisp is made with simple ingredients and topped with a delicious oat walnut crumble. This easy, classic pear crisp recipe tastes just like an old fashioned pear crisp can easily be made vegan and gluten free for a wonderful dessert you’ll make again and again!

  • For the topping:
  • 2/3
    flour (or sub whole wheat flour, gluten free all purpose flour or gluten free oat flour)
  • 1/3
    packed brown sugar (or sub coconut sugar)
  • 1/2
    chopped walnuts (or pecans)
  • 1/3
    oats (gluten free if desired)
  • 1/4
  • 1/4
    butter, melted (or sub vegan butter or coconut oil)
  • For the crisp:
  • 6
    medium Barlett pears, cut into 1/4th inch slices
  • 1/4
    pure maple syrup
  • 1
  • 1
    vanilla extract
  • 1/2
    arrowroot or tapioca starch
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease an 8×8 baking pan or 9 inch skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

  2. To make the topping: Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts in a large bowl until well-combined. Pour in the melted butter and use your hands to combine until the mixture becomes crumbly and resembles wet sand. You may need to use your hands/fingers to form into nice crumbles. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge until ready to use.

  3. To make the filling: place pears, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla and arrowroot starch in a large bowl and toss to combine. Take 1/3 cup of the topping mixture and toss with the pear mixture. Place the pear mixture in a prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with the remaining topping.

  4. Bake the crisp on a baking sheet (just in case the filling bubbles over!) for 45 minutes-1 hour, or until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Serve warm with your favorite vanilla ice cream or yogurt on top. Makes 9 servings.

TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE: in the topping, use certified gluten free oats and almond flour or an all purpose gluten free flour or gluten free oat flour.

TO MAKE VEGAN: sub a buttery vegan stick for the butter or use coconut oil.


Servings: 9 servings

Serving size: 1 serving (based on 9)

Calories: 239kcal

Fat: 9.9g

Saturated fat: 3.6g

Carbohydrates: 41g

Fiber: 4.1g

Sugar: 24.9g

Protein: 2.7g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

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