So delicious and so easy to make, you’ll love this easy pear cobbler recipe. Fresh ripe pears, laced with cosy spices are baked until tender and topped with the most wonderful crumbly cobbler topping.
Why you’ll love it
Cobblers – soft baked fruit topped with a crumbly buttery topping. Just like this pear cobbler, they’re all easy to make and are impossible to refuse.
What’s more, they use a minimum of ingredients and are light enough for summer whilst being cosy enough for winter.
This one is filled with big chunks of tender pears, laced with cosy spices. The topping falls somewhere between scone / US-style biscuit and pastry, being crumbly and perfectly buttery.
One of the greatest thing about cobblers is their versatility. If you’re currently in the middle of peach season, use peaches instead of pears (keep in mind, soft fruits won’t need the pre-bake. Just assemble the whole thing and bake once).
Ingredients you’ll need
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Pears: You want fresh, ripe Bartlett pears for this. You could use tinned if you’re in a bind but drain them and skip the first baking time.
- Sugars: Brown sugar in the pear filling gives a caramel edge to this pear cobbler and white sugar in the topping is all you need. You can just use all white sugar if you prefer. There is an optional sprinkling of demerara (aka turbinado sugar) on top.
- Spices: The pears are spiced with ground ginger and ground cinnamon.
- Cornflour: Known in the US as cornstarch, cornflour (at least here in Australia) is a thickener and we use just enough here to thicken the resulting syrup.
- Flour: You just need plain flour / all purpose flour for the topping.
- Baking powder: Not the same as baking soda so don’t mix them up, baking powder is the leavener in the cobbler topping.
- Salt: A little salt for balance, as always.
- Butter: Unsalted butter is perfect. If you only have salted, leave the extra salt out.
- Cream: You’re looking for thickened cream / heavy cream / single or double cream. Just about any will work but full fat is best.
- Egg yolk: You just need one yolk for brushing over the top of the cobbler dough.
- Hazelnuts: Also optional, hazelnuts add a lovely crunch to the topping. You can leave them out or use something else instead like almonds or cashews.
Which pears to use
I use Bartlett pears that are great for holding their shape when baked. Anjou pears, Packham pears and Beurré Bosc will also work well here.
Pears ripen from the inside out so, to check the ripeness of pears before you buy, just give them a little press near the stem and it should have a little give. If the pear is soft all over, it’s over-ripe and won’t work so well in this pear cobbler. The main body of the pear should be firm to the touch.
Never choose mushy pears and check the pears for dark spots which could be due to rough handling and bruising.
To ripen pears that aren’t quite ripe yet, place them in a paper bag and seal – with a banana is even better. They will produce their naturally occurring ethylene gas which will speed up the ripening process.
Tools you’ll need
How to make pear cobbler
You’ll love how easy this pear cobbler is to make and once you’ve tried it, you’ll want to make a cobbler out of every fruit.
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Prepare the pears: Start by peeling the pears. Chop the top off (where the stalk meets the fruit) then cut them in half, then in half again. Cut on an angle to remove the core, then cut each piece in half again so that you have 8 pieces.
- The pear filling: Right in your pie dish, mix up the pears, sugar, spices, some water and cornflour. Bake for 25 minutes.
- The cobbler mix: While the pears bake, make the topping. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to evenly disperse. Grate in cold butter, then use your fingertips or a pastry blender to blend it until it looks like breadcrumbs. Now add cream and mix to a dough.
- Adding the topping: Roll small balls of cobbler dough and press them each into a thick disk (they don’t need to be perfect). Place them all over the top of pears, leaving some of the pears poking out the top. Brush them with the egg yolk then sprinkle over demerara sugar and hazelnuts.
- Bake and serve: Bake for a further 35-40 minutes until golden. Serve while warm with vanilla ice cream or, like I have here, crème anglaise.
Tips and variations
- Apples: This same recipe works well with apples substituted for the pears. You can also mix and match apples and pears.
- Oxidisation: If you’re not baking the pears immediately, squeeze over a little lemon juice to stop them discolouring.
- Ramekins: Try making individual serves by baking them in ramekins, remembering to warn your guests of the hot ramekins before they dig in.
Pear cobbler is best eaten fresh, however you can store leftovers in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap. It can be reheated in the microwave for a couple of minutes or in the oven at the same temperature for 10 minutes.
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Fresh Pear Cobbler
FOR THE PEAR FILLING
- 5 med-large Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and cut into 8ths
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch)
- ¼ cup water
FOR THE COBBLER TOPPING
- 195 g plain (all purp) flour (1 ½ cups / 6.9oz)
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 85 g unsalted butter, cold (¾ stick / 3oz)
- ⅓ cup thickened cream (heavy cream)
- 1 egg yolk, beaten with a dash of water or cream
- 1 teaspoon demerara sugar (turbinado sugar) (optional)
- 1 tablespoon hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- FOR THE PEAR FILLING: Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C.
- Combine pears, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cornflour and water in a 9 inch pie dish. Mix well.
- Bake 25 minutes, giving them a mix about ½ way through.
- FOR THE COBBLER TOPPING: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well to disperse.
- Use a box grater to grate the butter into the flour mixture. Use your finger tips to blend it together until it’s like bread crumbs.
- Pour in the cream and stir to a soft dough with a spoon. Roll small balls of dough (roughly a tablespoon), then press them out into thick disks. Lay the disks randomly over the pears, making sure some of the pears are sticking up.
- Brush the tops of the dough with beaten egg yolk, then scatter over demerara sugar and hazelnuts.
- Bake for around 30-35 minutes or until the top looks golden and crunchy.
- Serve immediately with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream or some hot runny custard.
- Please take a moment to rate this recipe. I helps me to keep creating free recipes and helps other readers too.
- Pears: You can also use Anjou pears, Packham pears or Beurre Bosc pears.
- Make sure your pears are ripe but still firm.
- You can swap some or all of the pears for Granny Smith apples.
- Store leftovers in the fridge covered well with plastic wrap for 2-3 days.
- Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave or oven.
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