Fresh Pear Cobbler

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Fresh pear cobbler is the best dessert to make for the holidays. Fresh pears, sweet sugar, and cinnamon come together in this easy to make dish that is sure to satisfy! A delicious accompaniment for a light spring or summer dinner. This fresh pear cobbler recipe is gluten free, diabetic friendly and perfect for picky eaters! Serve it with a scoop of ice cream for dessert.

Easy Fresh Pear Cobbler

As soon as Fall starts I highly recommend making this pear cobbler recipe for dessert. It has a bottom layer of sweet, juicy, fresh pears that are smothered with an amazing tender biscuit topping! A fantastic fall dessert I’m sure you’ll want to repeat often during the season.

White bowl with serving of pear cobbler, white cloth

Cobblers are one of the easiest desserts ever, don’t you think? The day I made one for the first time (it was this peach cobbler and it happened a million years ago), I was 15 and decided on the spot that it was one of my favorite desserts.

Many decades later I still love it and falls under the category of dessert savior or rescuer recipe, the type that saves the meal, literally, because it comes together quickly, is a total crowd-pleaser, travels well if needed and can be made year-round. A savior for last-minute dessert needs, clearly.

What is a cobbler?

It’s a dessert that consists of a layer of fruit filling and a biscuit topping.

The topping can also be made with pie crust on top, like the plum cobbler recipe, and it’s a great dessert for using seasonal fruit. Some recipes also have a thin layer of dough in the bottom, but the ones I make never do.

The fruit layer is mixed with sugar and a thickener (cornstarch in this recipe) so it creates a syrup as it bakes, and the topping cooks to a tender sweet biscuit.

It is a very similar idea as that of a fruit crumble or crisp. And as easy to put together.

Today we’re making what can be considered a basic cobbler recipe.

With pears because it’ll soon be autumn or fall for most of you, and pears are still sweet and juicy where I live. But it can easily be made with apples or peaches if you’re still enjoying the last fruits of summer.

Ingredients

There are two parts to this easy pear dessert and both use everyday ingredients that you probably have at home right now.

For the filling:

  • Pears – choose ones that are just ripe, not mushy or over ripe.
  • Lemon juice – a drizzle over the pears brings out the flavors and adds great acidity.
  • Sugar – white granulated sugar is used for this layer.
  • Cinnamon – use the ground cinnamon you regularly use for other baked goods.
  • Cornstarch – it will thicken the syrup that forms with the fruit juices as they bake.

For the topping:

  • Flour – all purpose flour or pastry flour, both work.
  • Salt – I use kosher salt which I feel is the best for baking. It brings out the rest of the flavors.
  • Baking powder – it’s the leavener and will help the biscuit topping rise as it bakes.
  • Brown sugar – light or dark, both work and give this dessert a golden hue.
  • Milk – use whole or almond milk.
  • Unsalted butter – it’s used melted to bind the rest of the topping ingredients.

Types of pears to use

I use Anjou pears or Bartlett or English pears (image below), which are very common and hold their shape very well when baked.

Don’t mistake them with comice pears, which sometimes look similar, because they’re not the best for baking as they don’t hold their shape as well as the other two. At least that’s my recommendation.

How ripe should they be? Look for pears that are just ripe but not starting to get too soft.

The fruit layer

  • Pears: I find that cutting the fruit in chunks works best (images below). They make good sized bites and hold their shape well after baking. I’d rather cut large chunks than risk the pears disintegrating too much which is bound to happed if you cut small dice. But it’s up to you.
  • Lemon: I find the drizzle of lemon juice (image 2) to be essential in most cobblers and crumbles. No matter what fruit I use, they all benefit from the citrus, which balances the butter and sugar. Pears are sweet by themselves, so I find it even more necessary to add the lemon juice.
  • Sugar: some sugar is added to the pears before the topping (image 3). It mixes with the cornstarch and liquid and created a thick juice, much like it does in a pie. This is the part where you can add more or less depending on your sweet tooth. And you can also use brown sugar, both to the pear mixture and/or the cobbler topping.
  • Cornstarch: as mentioned above, this ingredients acts as a thickener (when mixed with the water) and creates a wonderfully thick syrup that mixes with the natural juices that are released from the pears as they bake. It’s added before the topping (image 4).

The biscuit topping

This is my favorite part, as I love all types of biscuits and scones. The recipe is similar to drop scones, a very old-fashioned recipe from Ireland if you asked my grandmother, but who many will probably claim as being from Scotland or England. A question for another moment.

The topping of this dessert is easy to make, a one-bowl mixture that comes together in no time and doesn’t even has to be spread carefully. It won’t cover all the fruit and that’s the beauty of this dessert. It’s rustic and irregular, with different textures in every bite.

It bakes into a fluffy, starchy and tender biscuit that pairs wonderfully with the warm and syrupy fruit.

  • Simply mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and add the butter and milk. Stir with a spoon or spatula until you have a thick batter, similar to a wet scone. Images below

Two ways to apply the topping:

  1. Drop mounds of the biscuit batter roughly marking the servings. Don’t touch them, flatten them or anything like that. They will bake like regular biscuits, but it will take longer. Image 1, below.
  2. Slightly flatten the biscuit mounds and spread the topping a little, making sure it doesn’t cover the whole surface. Some pears should be exposed so the juices have space to bubble up and the topping can fully bake. Image 2, below.

I like the second option, spreading it so it bakes faster and the pear filling doesn’t soften too much.

Freezing a cobbler

Yes, you can freeze this dessert, and it keeps for 2-4 weeks in the freezer, well wrapped. To defrost, put it in the fridge overnight or leave it at room t° before warming it in a 325°F oven (this goes for both methods).

You can keep it in the refrigerator for several days, well covered. Warm it before eating.

Serving it

  • Individual servings: use small ramekins to make individual pear cobblers. They are ideal if you have a dinner party.
  • Whipped cream: this is how my father eats it, warm with barely sweetened whipped cream or plain, unsweetened cream straight from the container.
  • Ice cream: this is my favorite way to serve it, warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. And sometimes some toasted sliced almonds on top.

Variations

This is a basic recipe that can be adjusted to different palates.

  • Fruit: use apples instead of pears, or a mixture of both. Add some berries to the mix.
  • Flavorings: use ground cardamom or ginger instead or together with the cinnamon. Add chopped candied ginger or lemon zest to the biscuit mixture.

Frequently asked questions

Which spices go well with pears?

Ground cinnamon is one of the best. Also, nutmeg, mace, ground ginger, and cardamom. Most spices that go well with other fall flavors (know as fall spices), like apples and pumpkin, can be successfully paired with pears.

Can I freeze pears?

Yes you can. Depending on what you’ll use them for, peel (or not), core, and slice or dice them. Make sure they are washed and dried completely so that no extra water freezes with them. You don’t need to thaw them before using, but keep in mind that the texture will not hold as much. They won’t be very good for eating them alone by themselves.

PEAR COBBLER

Move over apples. This fall, pears deserve a little more of that spotlight and it’s all thanks to this delicious, autumn-inspired Pear Cobbler! It comes stacked with a sweet and gooey, cinnamon-spiced, fresh pear filling with a fluffy, golden buttermilk biscuit crumble on top.

Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dreamy dollop of whipped cream at the holiday table! It’s the perfect dessert for a crowd!

Pear cobbler topped with whipped cream and cinnamon on a white plate with a fork and pears behind it.

HOW TO MAKE PEAR COBBLER

Pear Cobbler is a simple, 3-part recipe that comes together easily and quickly. You’ll begin by assembling the filling, and then making a sweet buttermilk crumble topping to go on top!

There’s not too much prep required ahead of time, but you’ll want to be sure you have your oven properly preheated and a greased 9×13″ pan ready to go. Also, peel and cut your pears into ¼” slices.

1. MAKE THE PEAR FILLING:

First, add granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, spices, and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

Then, add the sliced pears to the sugar mixture and use either your hands or a wooden spoon to toss and coat. Once the pears are evenly coated in the mixture, squeeze in the fresh lemon juice, add the vanilla, and toss once more. 

Add the filling to the prepared casserole and move on to making the topping!

2. MAKE THE COBBLER TOPPING:

To kick off your sweet, buttermilk biscuit crumble for this Pear Cobbler, first add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon to a large bowl and whisk to combine. 

Then, add the cold, cubed butter to the dry mix and work it into the dough using a  pastry blender or two butter knives. Stop once the mixture resembles small coarse peas.

Lastly, add the buttermilk and stir until a dough forms.

QUICK TIP:

Do you have a food processor? If so, you can bypass all the elbow grease by adding the dry ingredients to the bowl of a food processor fitted blade attachment.

Process briefly to mix, then, add the cold, cubed butter and pulse until the butter is broken up. With the food processor running, stream in the buttermilk through the feed tube. Once the dough comes together, stop the food processor, and you’re done!

3. ASSEMBLE AND BAKE

Once the crust comes together, pinch off and drop small clumps of it over the pear filling. Bake for about 45 minutes at 350°F. Allow the Pear Cobbler to cool and set up slightly before serving and enjoy!

An overhead shot of pear cobbler in a white casserole dish on a cooling rack with pears around it.

INGREDIENTS FOR PEAR COBBLER

  • Pears | Green Anjou pears were used when developing this recipe. This specific variety of pear has a firmer texture than most and bakes very much like an apple. If you have another type of pear on hand, you can use it, just keep in mind the filling might not require as much time to soften up. More on that below.
  • Sugar | You will need both granulated and brown sugar for this Pear Cobbler recipe. The granulated sugar will be used in both the filling and the cobbler topping. The brown sugar, on the other hand, will go only into the filling. This recipe calls for light brown sugar, but feel free to sub in dark brown sugar if it is all you have.
  • Spices | Cinnamon, ground allspice and cloves are all the spices you need to add warm and cozy fall feels to your Pear Cobbler! Cinnamon is used both in the filling and in the topping.
  • Vanilla | Vanilla boosts the flavor of both the spices and the pears in the filling! Pure vanilla extract is best.
  • Lemon Juice | Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds a bright, tart undertone to this fall dessert, while simultaneously enhancing the flavor of the pears.
  • Flour | Flour is used for both the topping and as a thickener in the filling. Be sure to use only all-purpose flour for this recipe.
  • Baking Powder | Baking powder enables your cobbler topping to puff up into gorgeously golden, fluffy crumbles. Do not confuse it with baking soda!
  • Butter | You’ll need cold, unsalted butter for the Pear Cobbler topping. Keep in mind, cold and unsalted are keywords and matter when it comes to the success of this recipe! 
  • Buttermilk | Buttermilk adds tang and tenderness to the cobbler topping.
An overhead shot of a pear cobbler's biscuit crumble topping.

WHAT TYPES OF PEARS TO USE

Green Anjou pears were used to develop this recipe and therefore work best, but (as mentioned above), if you have another variety on hand, feel free to use it.

A word of caution worth giving: super soft pear varieties and overly ripened pears will soften and cook through faster than a crisper pear. If this is the case, you’ll want to shave 5 or so minutes from the bake time.

HOW TO SERVE IT

Pear Cobbler can be served warm or at room temperature. However, you’ll want to allow 20-30 minutes of rest time before serving it. As the cobbler cools, the sugar mixture coating the pears will thicken up into a sweet, cinnamon-spiced, gooey masterpiece!

Serve it with a simple scoop of vanilla ice cream, a heaping spoonful of homemade whipped cream, or a decadent drizzle of Créme Anglaise. 

A spoonful of pear cobbler being scooped out of a casserole dish with pears lying next to it.

HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?

Store any leftover Pear Cobbler in the refrigerator. You can leave it in the casserole dish and cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Or, transfer it to an airtight container. Your cobbler will stay good for about 3 days. 

To reheat it for a single serving, transfer a serving to a microwave-safe plate and heat it on high power for 45 seconds to one minute.

CAN I FREEZE IT? 

Yes! Pear Cobbler will freeze and reheat wonderfully! Freeze your leftovers in an airtight container with very little headspace for up to 3 months.

Easy Fresh Pear Cobbler

Pear cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream on a white plate

Prep:15 mins

Cook:60 mins

Total:75 mins

Servings:8 servings

Yield:1 cobbler

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
357Calories
13gFat
60gCarbs
3gProtein

(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)SAVE RECIPE

This is a classic, buttery pear cobbler made with fresh pears and a cake-like batter. While it’s impressive enough to serve at a potluck or gathering, it’s extremely simple to throw together.

To make pear cobbler from scratch, melted butter is added to the pan followed by a quick-and-easy batter and sliced fruit. Cinnamon adds a nice spice that pairs perfectly with pears. Plus, there are no special skills or equipment required; you don’t even have to peel the pears.

Use firm, ripe pears for the best results, as pears that are soft to start won’t hold their shape as well in the oven. Pears are in season in the fall, and that’s when you’ll find the best fruit, although a few varieties are usually available year-round. Bosc and Anjou pears are excellent choices and are widely available or combine either variety with Bartlett pears for a slight variance in flavor and texture. Add 3 cups of fruit for a more cake-like dessert or 4 cups for a fruitier version. Cobbler is a great way to use up extra pears and is always a crowd-pleaser.

Serve warm as is or, for an extra special dessert, top with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Caramel or cinnamon ice cream would also pair nicely.

Tips

  • Some pears are better for baking than others. Bosc and Anjou varieties are excellent in baked items. Bartlett and Comice pears tend to break down. For good texture and flavor, try a combination of a firm variety with Bartlett.
  • Depending on the depth of your dish and how many pears you add, there is a slight chance that the cobbler will bubble over the sides as it bakes. If you notice this, place a baking sheet on a separate rack underneath the dish.

Recipe Variations

  • For a pear-blueberry cobbler, add 1 cup of fresh blueberries to 3 cups pears.
  • Add about 1/2 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts to the pear filling for additional texture.
  • Sprinkle toasted slivered or sliced almonds over individual servings.
  • Use other spices, such as nutmeg, cloves, ginger, or cardamom instead of cinnamon.

How to Store Pear Cobbler

Store a fruit cobbler covered at room temperature for about two days or in the refrigerator for up to five days.

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