Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp

August 31, 2023
With tender fresh pears topped with an oats, brown sugar, and walnut crumb topping, Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp makes for one delicious comfort food dessert. Enjoy it warm or chilled, with or without a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of whipped cream -- any way you take it, it's delicious!

Dish of Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp Topped with Vanilla Ice Cream Image
In my opinion, pears don't get enough dessert love. Tender, sweet, and full of flavor, they're the unsung heroes of late summer and early fall desserts.

And one of our favorite ways to show pears some dessert love? -- This Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp. Just like apples in apple crisp, sliced pears bake up into bites of soft and sweet fruity deliciousness. Top those baked beauties with a brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon crumb topping, and you've got yourself one very tasty comfort food dessert.

Now, this pear crisp dessert holds a very special place in my heart for two reasons. 

First, I often make it with pears from my mother-in-law's farm. She has a few pear trees in the small "orchard" in her yard. -- And when we're lucky enough to beat the squirrels to them, those fresh-picked pears are quickly turned into a fresh-baked pan of Pear & Walnut Crisp. This tasty dessert is truly one of our faves.

Pears Growing in a Tree Image

Close-Up of Pears Hanging from a Pear Tree Branch Image

Second, Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp is also the dessert I served the night my parents and my husband (then boyfriend, at the time) met for the first time -- way back in February, 2003.

We had been dating for about five weeks when these all-important introductions were made. The introductions evening apparently went well, because just four months later, Mark and I were engaged. -- And Mom, Dad, and hubby Mark got along fabulously right from the start.

Now, that night's Pear Crisp was made with store-bought pears. But I'm happy to say, store-bought pears work just as wonderfully as the home-grown ones! (And bonus -- you don't have to fight the squirrels for them.)

With tender fresh pears topped with an oats, brown sugar, and walnut crumb topping, Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp makes for one delicious comfort food dessert.

What's to Love About This Recipe?

  • Easy to make - Simply mix sliced pears with cornstarch and sugar, top with crumb topping, and bake. That's all it takes to whip up this delicious comfort food dessert!
  • Pears! - Fresh pears shine in this easy and delicious dish, giving this oft-neglected fruit some much-deserved dessert love.
  • Fabulous flavor - The combination of tender baked pears and the accompanying brown sugar-and-oats based topping delivers up fabulous flavor in every bite.
  • Enjoy warm or chilled - Enjoy this tasty dessert straight from the oven, at room temperature, or chilled. No matter how you take it, it's delicious!

Serving Spoon Scooping Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp from Baking Dish Image

Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp Ingredients:

Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp comes together with pretty simple, humble ingredients. With pears and some baking basics you probably have in your pantry, you can have a pan of this dessert done in no-time.

For the pear filling, you'll need:
  • Fresh pears - The star of the show. About 3 pounds of pears are needed for this dessert. I generally use Bartlett pears, which are a variety easily found in grocery stores.

  • Lemon juice - An acidic element that heightens the flavor of the pears, as well as helps prevent the cut pear slices from turning color. While either fresh or bottled lemon juice can be used, I recommend using fresh for the best flavor result.

  • Granulated sugar - Sweetens the pears, and helps release some juice from the sliced pears to create a bit of "sauciness" in the crisp's pear filling.

  • Cornstarch - Thickens the pears' released juices as the pear crisp bakes.

  • Cinnamon - A small touch of ground cinnamon nicely compliments the flavor of the pears.

Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp Pear Filling Ingredients Image

For the topping, you'll need:

  • All-purpose flour - Serves as the base of the crisp topping.

  • Old-fashioned oats - Lend texture and "bulk" to the topping. The larger flakes of old-fashioned oats work best and bring the best textural element to the crisp topping; I do not recommend substituting (the much smaller) quick oats.

  • Brown sugar - Provides the topping's sweetness.

  • Walnuts - Coarsely chopped walnuts bring a nice bit of textural crunch to the topping. Pecans could be substituted, if you prefer.

  • Cinnamon - A small bit of ground cinnamon nicely flavors the topping, complimenting the pear filling below.

  • Salt - As with most baked goods, salt enhances the topping's flavors.

  • Butter - Cut into the topping mixture, cold butter helps moisten the topping as it bakes and helps create those classic clumps we all know and love in fruit crisp desserts.

Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp Topping Ingredients Image

How to Make Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp:

Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp is really easy to make, which is nice.

To get a pan started, simply core and slice some fresh pears and place the slices in a 2-quart baking dish. Then toss the slices with fresh lemon juice, and coat them in a mixture of sugar, cornstarch, and ground cinnamon.

When working with store-bought pears there's no need to peel them. -- Unless, of course, you prefer the pears without skin. Then by all means, peel away to your heart's content. We've found that our home-grown pears have a thicker skin than store-bought ones and are too "chewy" in the crisp, so we peel them.

Sliced Fresh Pears in Baking Dish Image

Top the sliced pears with a mixture of flour, old-fashioned oats, brown sugar, coarsely chopped walnuts, and butter.

Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp Ready to Bake Image

Then pop the pear crisp in the oven and bake it up for about 40 minutes, until the pears are tender and the crisp topping is a nice golden brown.

Baked Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp in Baking Dish Image

Then you've got yourself one delicious comfort food dessert.

Throw on a scoop of vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt, or a little whipped cream for each serving, or go plain just as it is -- whatever you prefer. Because no matter how you take it, Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp is one delicious comfort food dessert.

It's one of my absolute favorites, for sure. And not just because of the wonderful personal memories that go with it.

Check out these other super tasty fruit-based desserts:

Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp in Serving Dish Image
Thank you for stopping by The Kitchen is My Playground. We'd love to have you back soon!

pear crisp recipe, pear walnut crisp recipe, desserts with pears, fresh pear crisp
Yield: 8-10 servings
Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp

Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp

With tender fresh pears topped with an oats, brown sugar, and walnut crumb topping, Fresh Pear & Walnut Crisp makes for one delicious comfort food dessert. Enjoy it warm or chilled, with or without a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of whipped cream -- any way you take it, it's delicious!
Prep time: 25 MinCook time: 40 MinTotal time: 1 H & 5 M


For the pear filling:
  • 6 c. sliced pears (about 3 lbs.)
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
For the crisp topping:
  • 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 T. cold butter, cut in small pieces
  • 1/3 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 c. coarsely chopped walnuts


Prepare pear filling:
  1. Core pears and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices. (You don't need to peel the pears unless they have a thick skin, or if you prefer to enjoy them skinless.)
  2. Combine pears and lemon juice in a 2-quart baking dish; toss gently to coat pear slices.
  3. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and the 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon; stir together with a whisk. Add this mixture to the pears, tossing well to coat pears.
Prepare crisp topping & bake:
  1. Combine flour, the 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt. With a fork, pastry cutter, or your fingers, work in the butter pieces until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Add oats and chopped walnuts.
  3. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the pears.
  4. Bake at 375℉ for 40 minutes, or until pears are tender and crisp topping is golden brown. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
  1. I generally use Bartlett pears, which are a variety you can easily find in the grocery store.
  2. Keep in mind that a 2-quart baking dish is slightly smaller than a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  3. Pear & Walnut Crisp is delicious plain just as it is, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, or with a dollop of whipped cream.
Did you make this recipe?
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This post is linked with Weekend Potluck.


  1. Saw you on Nifty Thrifty. Love that this is low in calories too. Will definitely be back.

  2. Lovely desert My little daughter would definitely love this Pear-Walnut Crisp, specially with a scoop of Praline and a Caramel fudge

  3. This recipe sounds delicious, I love pears so I have to make this.
    I signed up for you Blog hop earlier and posted the wrong picture. Once I hit enter, it was too late. Sorry about that, thats for hosting a blog hop. I put one on my blog now.

  4. Oh my goodness! I'm going to go get some pears NOW! We'd love for you to link this up to our party!

  5. When I saw "pears" I just had to get over and "pin" ...we had ton's of those pears here in southeast GA...I cook lot's and put up in the freezer for recipes just like this..thanks for sharing I'm new follower..visiting from Miz Helen

  6. Your photos are awesome and a lovely presentation for your delicious Crisp. Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  7. We have a pear tree and I'm always looking for new recipes that use pears. This looks divine. I hope I can persuade you to come over and share on my Blog Fest:

  8. Tracey,
    I recently bartered for some backyard pears I'd been eyeing a few blocks away. Those tough skins were no match for a day in the slow cooker in Nomnivorous' salted caramel pear butter. Yum! This crisp looks delicious. Thanks for giving me the link to include in my upcoming Band Fruit Fundraiser Recipe Round Up! It will be published on 12/4/2013!

  9. I love that you used pears instead of apples. I agree, pears are a very underrated fruit. Your pear crisp looks delicious!

  10. Excellent. I didn't have enough pears, so added two small apples.


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