This brown butter pear crisp is rich with comforting flavors and dreamy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I’m a huge crisp fan, because it’s essentially like pie but easier! I always find crisps to not have enough topping so I made sure it was loaded up on the top! Perfect dessert to make for a group or even just yourself. It’s delicious, easy, and so nice and cozy. I made mine into two mini dishes, but you can use one pan as well! Enjoy!
What you need to make brown butter pear crisp + substitutions:
- Pears– I used bosc pears because that’s what I found, but you could use any variety or try my blueberry or apple crisp recipes! You can also substitute with other fruits as well!
- Lemon + zest- The lemon really brings out the brightness of the fruit and it’s delicious. But the zest is key, that’s what really elevates the flavor in my opinion!
- Brown sugar- I used all brown sugar for the base and topping. You can substitute with regular sugar, but I love how the brown sugar caramelizes in this crisp recipe!
- Cornstarch- I used cornstarch to help bind the pears. You could also substitute with all-purpose flour, but I prefer the texture with cornstarch.
- Cinnamon- I added a little bit of cinnamon because it pairs so nicely with the pears.
- Rolled or quick oats- You can make my brown butter pear crisp with rolled oats or quick oats! I used rolled oats and it took about 40 minutes to bake. If you use quick oats, it’ll likely take closer to 35 minutes to cook!
- Flour- Flour helps to create the perfect topping and bind it all together. I used all-purpose. You can definitely substitute with gluten-free flour but I’m not sure how oat flour, coconut flour or almond flour would work.
- Butter- The butter gives the best flavor and texture and holds together the dry ingredients. I’m sure coconut oil would likely work just fine, but you just wouldn’t get the brown flavor. I used kerrygold butter and it gives it such a great richness to this dessert. You can also just melt butter and skip the browning part.
- Vanilla extract- A key to basically every baked good.
Equipment I used:
- Souper Cubes Baking Dishes– I have these cute little baking dishes that I love! They’re 5in baking pans. You can use the code daddioskitchen10 for 10% off on their website!
- 9×9 Baking Pan– I used the mini dishes to make them cute and more individual, but if you don’t have that you can use a 9×9 square pan or an 9in round cake pan for this pear crisp.
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Okay, let’s get to making the recipe!
Brown Butter Pear Crisp
For the filling:
- 4 cups pears chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ⅓-½ cup brown sugar (light or dark)
- 2 tbsp cornstarch or all-purpose flour
For the crisp topping:
- ½ cup unsalted butter browned
- ½ cup brown sugar (light or dark) packed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup rolled or quick oats
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour spoon & leveled
- ½ tsp sea salt
- vanilla ice cream
- Preheat your oven to 350F degrees.
For the crisp topping:
- Start with browning the butter. Cut the stick of butter into cubes. You can use the butter straight from the fridge. Using a light colored pan will help you to make sure the butter is brown. I used a stainless steel pot but if you have a light colored pan it's super helpful.
- Heat your butter on medium heat and make sure to stir frequently with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Browned butter can burn so you want to make sure you don't leave it!
- The butter will start to foam and bubble and you want to make sure to keep stirring. It should take about 5-8 minutes for the butter to turn brown. As soon as it starts to brown on the bottom, remove it from the heat. You want to make sure you're constantly stirring. The smell should become super rich and nutty. When it's done, remove from heat, and go ahead and pour the butter into your bowl to let it cool before continuing.
- OPTIONAL: You can completely skip browning and just melt the butter instead.
- In a bowl, add in the butter and brown sugar and give it a good mix. Then add in the vanilla and mix.
- Pour in the oats, flour, and sea salt and mix with a rubber spatula until it’s thick and incorporated. It should feel similar to cookie dough but less sticky. Set aside.
For the pear filling:
- In a medium mixing bowl, add all the filling ingredients: pears, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and cornstarch.
- Mix until everything is well incorporated and all the pears are covered.
- Spray your baking pans with oil. If you're using two pans (I used two 5in), divide the pear filling between them or just use a 9×9 baking dish. Sprinkle the crisp topping all over to cover the pears.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is golden and the pears are bubbly. Serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!