This Pear Cobbler is the perfect combination of cinnamon spiced pears topped with buttery biscuits, making it the ultimate fall and winter dessert. The easy-to-make recipe is full of flavor and perfect when served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Any time I have the opportunity to bake or cook with pears, I'm all in!
You usually hear about peach cobbler or apple cobbler. But how often do you hear about pear cobbler?
Well, you're hearing about it here and I promise you won't forget it. And once you make it, you'll be shouting about it with everyone else you know.
It's such a great fall and winter dessert, but sometimes I'm even tempted to eat it for breakfast.
🍎 Difference between crumble, crisp, and cobbler
The three Cs: Crumble, crisp, and cobbler are all popular fruit-based desserts and it can be tough to remember what makes them different. Here's a brief run-down:
Crumble, as the name suggests, has a topping made of a mixture of butter, flour, and sugar that is crumbled together. It's often made with apples, berries, and peaches.
Crisp also features a topping made with butter, flour, and sugar, but it also often includes oats or nuts so it has a coarser and crispier texture. It's often made with apples, cherries, or other berries.
Cobbler has a topping that's more biscuit- or cake-like. The batter is dropped around the fruit and rises around it as it bakes, creating a "cobbled" surface, which is where the name comes from. It's often made with peaches, apples, or berries.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
If you're a fan of fresh pears, you'll love this cobbler dish! It's packed with sweet pear flavor and lots of warming spices.
I use brown sugar in both the pear filling and the biscuit topping to add to the deep flavors perfect for cool days and evenings.
This dessert is super easy to make and while you can certainly add it to your meal plan, it's also the kind of thing you can make on a whim if you happen to have a surplus of pears. If you enjoy baking, it's likely you have all the other ingredients in your pantry already!
The ingredients for this pear cobbler are pretty simple! Here's everything you need (but be sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for ingredient amounts and full recipe directions):
For the pear filling:
- Thinly sliced pears: I like to leave the peels on, but you can peel the pears if you prefer
- Light brown sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground ginger
- Ground nutmeg
- Vanilla extract
For the biscuit topping:
- All-purpose flour
- Light brown sugar
- Baking powder
- Ground cinnamon
- Melted unsalted butter
- Vanilla extract
- Coarse sugar: optional
🍐 Best pears to use
You can use pretty much any type of pear you want to make pear cobbler. I generally use bartlett because they're sweet and juicy and a little bit softer than other varieties (I don't like to cook my pears before baking them in the cobbler).
But other pears that are good include bosc or red or green anjou pears. If you can find concorde pears, they have a bit of a vanilla flavor and are delicious.
If you're interested in learning more about all the different kinds of pears, check out this pear guide.
🧈 Do you have to pre-cook pears?
Some cobbler recipes call for blanching or parboiling the fruit before baking them into the cobbler. This is to soften the fruit a bit.
I find this step to be unnecessary and never do it.
I try to find pears that are pretty ripe and I slice them thinly. I also don't mind if my pears have a bit of crunch after they're baked into the cobbler. It's so much better than mushy pears!
If you do want to pre-cook your sliced pears, I recommend cooking them in a skillet in a little butter.
👩🍳 How to make pear cobbler
This pear cobbler recipe is so easy to make, it can become one of those last minute desserts you bake when you happen to have a bunch of pears lying around.
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and lightly buttering or greasing a 9x9 baking dish.
If you're not pre-cooking your pears, I recommend cutting them into ¼" slices.
In a large bowl, toss together pear slices, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla extract until well combined.
Put the pear mixture in the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer.
Now for the cobbler topping! It's basically like a biscuit, but I make mine with melted butter instead of cold butter, which gives it more of a cake-like consistency.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Add melted butter, milk, and vanilla extract into the dry ingredients and, using a wooden spoon, stir until mixture is just combined into a soft dough.
Scoop the cobbler dough over the pear filling in the baking dish, using about 2 Tbsp for each dollop.
Sprinkle dough with coarse sugar if desired.
Bake for about 35 minutes, until the cobbler topping is turning golden brown on top.
Place under the broiler for another minute to get it even more golden if you like.
There's something so comforting and homey about this pear cobbler. It's a kind of old-fashioned dessert, but one that's truly timeless. And one that doesn't need any modern touches.
Sweet juicy cinnamon-spiced pears and cake-y biscuits with a lightly crispy exterior.
It can be enjoyed warm out of the oven, but I also love it chilled (just like I enjoy a cold slice of apple pie!).
This pear cobbler is delicious any way you serve it, but it's especially amazing if you add a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!
The best of both worlds.
It's the kind of dessert that after I enjoy a serving, I find myself going back to the dish to grab another pear slice and another one. Oh, and maybe a little piece of a biscuit, too.
I can't help it.
⏲️ How to store
If you do have any leftover pear cobbler, it's easy to store!
If you're planning to eat it pretty quickly (trust me, you are!), once it's cooled, cover the cobbler loosely with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and keep it at room temperature. It should be OK for 1-2 days.
If you want to keep the cobbler fresh for longer, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
🎉 Variations on recipe
I especially like the simplicity of this recipe, but there are also plenty of ways you can jazz it up a bit. Here are some options:
- Add more fruit: I love this pear cobbler as is, but you can also make a pear blueberry cobbler or a pear peach cobbler. Adding strawberries, cherries, or apples would also be delicious. Choose the seasonal fruit that's available to you.
- Add nuts or oats: You don't typically find nuts or oats in a cobbler, but almonds or pecans would add to the cold weather comfort of the dessert. You can also incorporate oats into the topping.
- Add citrus: I don't include any citrus in my cobbler, but a little lemon juice and zest or lime juice and zest (I love the combination of pear and lime together!) will add a little brightness to the flavor.
- Add alcohol: To make this a more adult, sophisticated dessert, you can infuse the pears with bourbon, rum, or brandy.
- Flavor the biscuits: You can make any flavor biscuits you want, but I especially recommend maple, ginger, honey, or gingerbread biscuits.
- Add cheese: Have you heard of apple pie baked with a cheddar crust? It's so good! Cheddar would also be delicious if baked into the biscuits of a pear cobbler. Blue cheese or gorgonzola would also add a complex, sophisticated flavor.
- Serve with caramel sauce: Drizzling a little caramel sauce over this cobbler would be delicious. Butterscotch sauce would work, too.
- Make it dairy-free: You can easily use a dairy alternative for the biscuits and vegan butter if you want to make this dessert dairy allergy-friendly.
🥫 Can you use canned pears?
I haven't tried making this cobbler with canned pears as I always prefer fresh pears when I can get them, but you should be able to just fine.
I do recommend using pears canned in juice instead of syrup as syrup can be too sweet for this dessert.
You may want to lessen the amount of sugar you use in the recipe since canned pears are generally much sweeter than fresh. You also probably won't get a lot of crunch in the pears after baking them.
Lastly, for best results, I recommend stirring in a little cornstarch or another thickening agent like flour into the fruit filling as canned pears are likely to release more juice than fresh.
😍 More pear recipes
Nothing makes me happier than a ripe and juice pear and I love incorporating them into recipes, both sweet and savory. Here are some of my favorite pear recipes:
I hope this pear cobbler becomes a staple dessert in your household this fall and winter! It's a simple recipe that's perfect for the holiday season, but is also great for serving after a weeknight dinner when everyone is craving a little something sweet.
- 5 cups thinly sliced pears (from about 5 pears)*
- ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp melted unsalted butter, slightly cooled
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Coarse sugar, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly butter or grease a 9x9 baking dish.
- In a large bowl, toss together pears, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Put the pears in the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer.
- Make the cobbler topping: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add melted butter, milk, and vanilla extract and, using a wooden spoon, stir until mixture is just combined into a soft dough.
- Scoop the cobbler dough over the pear filling in the baking dish, using about 2 Tbsp for each dollop. Sprinkle dough with coarse sugar if desired.
- Bake for 35 minutes, until the cobbler topping is turning golden on top. Place under the broiler for another minute to get it even more golden.