Those of you who know me know I often refer to fruit as “nature’s sugar,” and nothing could be more true for delicious, ripe, in-season pears right now. I’d take a juicy, nourishing pear over a lollipop any day — and do! Especially if it’s in the form of pear crisp.
This harvest time in Ontario (my favourite time of year, by the way) means Bartlett pears are so fresh and perfect for eating whole or baking. Not only tasty, pears are also a great source of fiber, vitamin C and potassium.
I have a confession to make, though. I originally set out to make an apple crisp the other fall afternoon. Three lonely and slowly wrinkling Honeycrisps sat on my counter staring at me for weeks until I obliged to make use of them in an oaty, crumbly, gooey fall crisp. Upon cutting into them, however, I realized the cores were rotten and mouldy. Cue a lengthy Google search for what this means and how this happens.’
So with all the ingredients for a crisp out in front of me and my trusty 8×8 Pyrex already coated in coconut oil, I scooped up the lucky three ripe Bartletts which also called my fruit basket home, and opted to use them, instead.
And I’m so glad I did! Not only were they not rotten at the core, but they were the perfect tenderness — it took all my willpower to stop myself from eating all the pieces while dicing them up. Similarly, when this beauty came out of the oven all golden and bubbling with goodness, I willed myself not to eat the entire pan.
I hope you enjoy this crisp as much as I do — whether it’s for an afternoon snack with tea, bringing to a friend’s house for dessert, or enjoying with Greek yogurt or a dollop of coconut whip on top after a crisp fall hike.
Healthy Pear Crisp (Gluten- and Refined Sugar-Free)
Serves: 6 Total time: 60 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 tbsp melted butter or coconut oil, plus more for greasing the pan
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
- Optional: handful of chopped walnuts
- 3-4 ripe Bartlett pears
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Wash and dice pears, leaving the skin on. Place in a bowl and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350° and grease an 8×8 baking dish.
- Make crumble by whisking oats, flour, and cinnamon (and nuts, if using) together in a medium bowl.
- Add melted butter and syrup to oats mixture and combine with a spatula or spoon until the wet and dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed and a crumble forms.
- To the pears, add cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg and toss with a spatula until the pears are coated (be careful not to mush the pears as they’re soft).
- Transfer pear mixture to prepared baking dish, spreading out evenly across the bottom of the pan.
- Layer oat crumble on top of pears.
- Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbling on the bottom and golden on top.
Enjoy warm with plain Greek yogurt as a delicious and healthy snack or — my favourite — with a dollop of coconut whipped cream on top for the best fall dessert!