I don’t know about you, but we seem to get a lot of gift baskets the last quarter of the year and they usually contain pears. So we are whipping up some easy holiday baking recipes utilizing pears this month and this cranberry pear spice crisp is top on the list.
Because pears are related to apples, it’s a general rule that if a recipe calls for apples, pears can be used instead. Just like apples, there are a huge variety of pears to use and they make a great dessert.
We used Bosc pears for this recipe, they have a densely bold, sweet flavor. It holds up perfectly with hearty spices like cinnamon, clove and nutmeg, not to mention tart cranberries too!
- What to look for: Look for fruit with smooth skin that is free from blemishes, with their stems still attached. They should be fragrant and just beginning to soften near the stem. Leave them at room temperature to soften and sweeten. To ripen more quickly, store them in a paper bag with an apple.
- General pear knowledge can be found at PickYourOwn.com. Lots of tips here on the varieties of pears, picking and ripeness.
- Prepping: Pears can be left unpeeled for eating fresh, but be sure to peel them before cooking. Although the peel is edible, some may have tough skins with a slightly bitter flavor that’s more pronounced once cooked.
This cranberry pear crisp is the perfect holiday dessert because it’s easy to make and perfect for sharing! With hints of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg in the cranberry pear crisp, it really does taste like the perfect autumn night – even if you aren’t eating it outside.
The hardest part of this recipe is cutting the pears, if you count that as difficult. You are basically measuring everything out and putting it into the ramekins, then topping with the oatmeal crisp. I’d keep the pear slices thin like you see in the image and be consistent with cut and size for even cooking. We made four ramekins plus this white larger dish. If you wanted you could even put the entire recipe into a 9×13 pan and bake for a family style dish.
Crumbles, crisps and cobblers
Crumbles, crisps, and cobblers often get lumped together as the same dessert. While they share some of the same ingredients such as fruit and flour, each one has a very distinctive texture that sets it apart from its siblings.
Cobblers have a biscuit dough with a buttery, delicious crust. Crumbles and crisps are remarkably similar. The main difference being that crisps have whole oats and crumbles do not, yet once baked their texture is much the same.
Make ahead crisps
Crisp toppings are always a hit, regardless of the time or season. Not only can you make them in large batches and store them for later use, but they also freeze beautifully to give that extra touch of crispiness whenever you need it.
Other Cranberry Recipes
If you find yourself looking for other cranberry or even other easy holiday baking recipes you could try the CranApple Crostata or Chocolate Cranberry Scones. Don’t let fall go by without making this crisp.
Cranberry Pear Spice Crisp
- 3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar, firmly packed
- 3 Tbsp AP flour
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1/8 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/8 Tsp Ground Allspice
- 4 large Pears
- 2 Cups Frozen Cranberries (drained & thawed) (or fresh)
- 1 Cup Quick cooking or old fashioned oats
- 1/2 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Butter, melted
- 1/3 Cup AP flour
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375°. Spray 6 (8 ounce) ramekins with baking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice.
- Stir in pears and cranberries until combined.
- Divide mixture into prepared ramekins.
- In a small bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, butter, flour, and cinnamon until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Sprinkle over the fruit.
- Bake until golden brown and bubble, 30 – 35 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
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