Caramel Pear Crisp

Caramel Pear Crisp

If you would have told me three days ago that a pear crisp, a divine caramel pear crisp, would render me speechless and make me question the most important parts of my life (like, why do I hide in the pantry eating dark chocolate chips when I could be eating spoonfuls of juicy, sweet pears encased in caramel and buttery, crisp topping?), I would have simply laughed (loudly because generally I kind of cackle instead of primly laughing) and said you clearly must be thinking of someone else with very different taste buds.

But that has actually happened, and while I’m not sure I know who I am anymore, I’m totally ok with that as long as pear crisp stays in my life forever and ever. This easily (easily!) fills a slot in my top 5 favorite desserts of all time. And if you think I’m being dramatic, my only response to you is: go ahead, make it and you’ll see what I mean. I didn’t expect to love, adore and worship it to quite this extent, trust me.

Caramel Pear Crisp

Perhaps it’s because while I enjoy an apple crisp here and there, I’ve never completely died over one, if you know what I mean. And I died. Over this pear crisp.

I really should just stop talking especially since I declared in the opening paragraph that I was rendered speechless (I was, but in true Mel form it only lasted for about 4 seconds). Your life will not be the same until you make this. It has the perfect ratio of sweet, caramel-covered fruit to crumbly, buttery streusel. Plus, I created an easy, dreamy caramel sauce (that I’ll be posting about separately soon) that doesn’t require finicky methods but is right up there with my favorite caramel sauce of all time. So basically, there are no excuses.

If I could request any kind of superpower it would be the one where I could make and deliver a warm dish of this to each of your kitchen countertops in the blink of an eye. Kind of like a pear crisp Santa. Except that’s weird and kind of creepy (assuming I could just appear in your kitchen like that). So just make it, ok? I’m giddy with anticipation to hear what you think.

Caramel Pear Crisp

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Three Years Ago: White Bean and Sausage Ragout {with Tomatoes, Kale and Zucchini}

Divine Caramel Pear Crisp

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Ingredients:

Easy Caramel Sauce:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Pear Filling:

  • 4 pounds (about 8 medium) ripe pears, peeled, cored and diced (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces

For Serving:

  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Caramel Sauce

Directions:

  1. For the caramel sauce, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, salt and cream. Melt over low heat. Once all ingredients are melted and combined, increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. There’s no need to stir but watch the heat – if it seems as though the mixture might be burning on the bottom (which can often happen if you are using a pan that isn’t heavy-bottomed), reduce the heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside to cool slightly (the caramel sauce can be made up to a week in advance – if using it in the recipe, warm slightly before adding to the pears).
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 8 1/2-inch by 12-inch pan with cooking spray (I know that’s a random size that I happen to have – if you don’t have that size, use something close like a 9X13-inch pan).
  3. Toss the pears in a large bowl with the lemon juice, flour and cinnamon. Pour 1 cup of the caramel sauce over the pears and stir to combine well. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
  4. For the topping, in a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, and salt. Toss the pieces of butter in with the ingredients and use a pastry blender, two knives, your fingers, or anything else to cut the butter in until the mixture is crumbly. Spread the topping evenly over the pears.
  5. Bake the crisp until the edges are bubbling and the top has deepened in color, 45-50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes. The crisp can be served warm or at room temperature.
  6. Serve with vanilla ice cream and remaining caramel sauce.

Notes:

Don’t dice the pears too small or they’ll turn to mush in the oven. I loved the larger chunks of pears – they’ll soften just right while baking. Also, the crisp can be made and baked up to a day in advance and warmed in the oven on low heat (about 200 degrees F) for 15-20 minutes before serving.

All images and text ยฉ.

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Recipe Source: caramel sauce from me, pear filling and topping adapted from Cuisine at Home “Celebrate the Seasons”