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This rustic Pear Walnut Crisp made in a cast-iron skillet is quite the show stopper. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and dig in!

Pear walnut crisp with vanilla ice cream on a plate

An easy pear dessert

We can get pears pretty much any time of year, but there is something so comforting about indulging in a warm apple crisp or pear crisp during the colder months. It’s such a tasty treat.

This Walnut Pear Crisp is a twist on your traditional pear crisp. The addition of walnuts makes it extra crunchy and flavorful, while still being super easy to whip up.

It requires just a handful of simple ingredients and a whole lot of pears. The cast-iron skillet makes the edges and topping extra crunchy. You know how I feel about that!

Top the crisp with vanilla ice cream and sit next to the fireplace. It’s the perfect way to enjoy this fall fruit!

Pear walnut crisp on a black plate

What you’ll need

Both the filling and the topping are made with just a handful of ingredients!

Ingredients

  • Butter – Use unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt added.
  • Pears – Peel, core and cut the pears into wedges.
  • Lemon juice – Prevents the pear slices from turning brown.
  • Walnuts – Chopped so they fold easily into the dish.
  • Sugar – Both light brown sugar and granulated sugar are used in this recipe.
  • Salt
  • Ground cinnamon – Adds a warm flavor to the crisp.
  • Flour – You only need about 1 cup flour for the topping.

How to make pear walnut crisp

The ease of making this pear walnut crisp is one of the reasons it’s a favorite fall dessert!

Make the filling. Toss the pears with the lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients. Toss to coat. Transfer to a greased cast-iron skillet.

Make the topping. Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter until it’s broken into small pieces. Sprinkle over the fruit mixture.

Bake. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the juices are thick and bubbly.

Overhead view of pear walnut crisp on a black plate

Tips for success

If this is your first time making my pear crisp recipe, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. What are the best types of pears for pear crisp? You can use any variety of pears you like. I like to use multiple types for a variety in flavor. For this recipe, I used a combination of Barlett and Bosc pears.
  2. Can I use canned pears? I don’t recommend canned pears. They’ll turn out mushy and are also too sweet.
  3. Choose ripe but firm pears. When selecting your pears for your pear walnut crisp, opt for pears that are still firm. Avoid using pears that are already soft as they may become too mushy.
  4. Don’t over-mix the topping. Combine the topping until just resembles coarse crumbs. Over-mixing will cause it to lose its crumbly-ness.

Serving suggestions

Pear crisp is best served warm, either just after pulling it from the oven or reheated. I love it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, though others prefer it with some whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce or pure maple syrup.


How to store & reheat leftovers

  • Can I make this ahead of time? Yes, this pear crisp can be made a day ahead. Just store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • How to store leftovers. You can store leftovers for a day at room temperature or for a few days in the fridge.
  • How to reheat leftovers. The easiest way to reheat pear crisp is to pop it in the oven at 350F until it’s heated through. You can also reheat individual servings in the microwave.

More pear desserts:

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Pear walnut crisp with vanilla ice cream on a plate

Pear Walnut Crisp

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

This rustic Pear Walnut Crisp made in a cast-iron skillet is quite the show stopper. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and prepare to be amazed at the delightful taste.

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 pounds pears, peeled, cored, and cut into wedges, about 5 medium
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups (168 g) chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup (105 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the topping

  • 1 cup (130 g) all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cups (140 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, cold & cut into pieces

Instructions

Make the filling

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Generously grease the bottom and sides of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with the butter.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the pears with lemon juice. Add the walnuts, sugars, salt, and cinnamon. Toss to coat. Transfer to the prepared skillet.

Make the topping

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, brown sugar, and salt together. Use a pastry cutter or the tines of a fork to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the pear mixture.
  2. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the juices are thick and bubbly.
  3. The crisp can be made a day ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

Pears: Use any variety of pear you like. I used a combination of Bartlett and Bosc pears.

Make ahead tips

  1. This pear crisp can be made a day ahead. Just store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  2. Cover leftovers tightly and store at room temperature for 1 day or in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
  3. Just before serving, pop it in the oven at 350ºF until it's heated through. You can also reheat individual servings in the microwave.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 334Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 221mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 4gSugar: 35gProtein: 3g

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients you used in the recipe.

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36 Comments

  1. Like you Jen. . .I tend to swoon over summer fruits like cherries and peaches. But when you warm fall fruits up and top them with spices, nuts and a crunchy topping. . .well that can give summer fruits a run for their money any day. This pear crisp is the perfect example of this. I looks absolutely divine and I can practically smell the cinnamon-y goodness just looking at the photos.

    1. I’m so glad you can relate. Thank you for the lovely comment, Lynn. Have a wonderful day!

  2. I need to bake more with pears!! This sweet crisp would be a great place to start.

  3. Oh my word Jen this looks amazing! I love any crisp (really) but this takes it up a few notches, and the idea of baking it in a skillet makes it seem much more homey, rustic, and I love that 🙂

  4. What a perfect crisp for this time of year! I don’t tend to bake with pears much, but I definitely should more often because this looks delicious!

  5. I don’t bake with fruit often enough. & can you believe I’ve never baked with pear?!?! This looks like such a warm and comforting treat.

    1. You have to try baking with pear!! It’s such a wonderful fruit to incorporated into cakes, crisps, bread, etc.

  6. Desserts cooked in a cast-iron skillet are just BETTER. And whenever I make crisp, I can never stop eating it. So this one looks like a winner to me!

  7. Those pears look unbelievable! I feel like I need this in my life this week.
    Beautiful posting and photos as always x