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Quick and Easy Pear Cobbler Recipe

June 09, 2020 6 min read

Quick and Easy Pear Cobbler Recipe

Bring on the pears! While everyone loves a juicy apple cobbler, pear cobbler is just as scrumptious. Not everyone thinks of it either, until they've tasted it! Pears are naturally juicy, and pear cobbler is one of those perfect ripe pear recipes that are perfect when the trees are full of fruit and you've got family get together.

And if you want to treat yourself at any time, you can make this easy pear cobbler in oven safe ramekins or white ramekins and store extras in the refrigerator, or freeze a few for a rainy day. Or any day, for that matter!

How to make Pear Cobbler

Ingredients

Make 8 Servings

Filling

  •  6 medium-sized pears, peeled (if desired) and cut into large pieces (about 1/2 inch)
  • 1/2 a stick of unsalted butter
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of flour (whole wheat, all-purpose, any kind will do)
  • 1/3 cup of light brown sugar (packed) or caster sugar (not packed)
  • 1/4 tsp of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of ground allspice or nutmeg

Note: When cutting your pears, make sure the pieces aren't too small: they will disintegrate when baking and become pear mush.

A note on peeling fruit: If you like the peel - there's no need to peel them. Just wash the fruit first in cold water with a splash of vinegar and rinse.

Topping

  • 1/4 cup of flour (whole wheat, all-purpose, any kind will do. If not using oats, use 1/2 cup flour)
  • 1/4 cup of rolled oats (optional: you can use extra flour instead)
  • 1/2 cup of refined sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup of milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice)
  • 1/4 stick of unsalted butter, cut into small chunks

Ingredients for serving

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Candied pecans are nice too, sprinkled right over the top of the ice cream.
  • Other ice creams to try: coconut ice cream or salted caramel ice cream
  • Fresh whipped cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Melt the 1/2 a stick of butter while you prepare the pears.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the pears with the lemon juice and the vanilla extract. Set aside.
  4. In another large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and allspice or nutmeg.
  5. Stir the melted butter into the pear mixture. Do this gently so as not to break the pieces of pear. When well combined, add in the flour and mix well. (The flour will mix with the juices of the pears while baking so that no sweetness goes to waste!)
  6. Divide the filling between your ceramic ramekins.
  7. To make the cobbler topping, get another bowl and mix together the flour, rolled oats (if using), baking powder, and salt. Then stir in the milk a little bit at a time. It will be sticky, but when baked you'll have a delicious cake-like biscuit topping.
  8. Put dots of the topping over each ramekin and top with the chunks of butter. (Don't worry if the topping doesn't cover the pears completely. The chunky, rustic look of this dish is part of its charm, and it won't affect the taste!)
  9. Put your ramekins on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper (to catch any spills) and bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes.
  10. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. (Cobbers are best served warm, not oven-hot.)

Pear Cobbler FAQs

How long will my pear cobbler keep?

Fresh pear cobbler will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or 2-3 months in the freezer if it's well wrapped. Just be sure to defrost at room temperature or in the refrigerator. And do reheat your cobblers before serving, as they are best eaten warm.

Which types of pears are best to use?

You want your pears to be firm and ripe. The best pears for pear cobbler recipes are Bosc pears, Anjou pears, Bartlett pears, English pears, or a mixture.

Comice pears can work too, although they are juicier than other pears, so you might want to add a bit more flour or 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to the filling.

You could use 1 Comice pear with a mixture of other types of pears without having to add more flour or cornstarch.

How can I tell if a pear is ripe?

Press gently near the stem of the fruit. It should give a little without being mushy.

Can I use canned pears?

Absolutely! If you use canned pears, buy them in juice and use half the amount of sugar for the filling. If you can only find canned pears in syrup, drain and rinse them before using them.

You could use some of the syrup in the topping instead of the milk, but just be aware that it will be extra-sweet.

Do I have to use lemon juice?

No. But the zesty, tangy lemon juice balances out the butter and sugar and is delicious.

However, if you're out of lemons, don't let that stop you from making your cobbler!

At a pinch, you can use concentrated lemon juice or even lime juice.

What can I use instead of sugar?

You could substitute the refined sugar for brown sugar.

Another alternative is to eliminate the need for sugar altogether by mashing up 2 very ripe bananas. The bananas should be brown, the browner the better. That's when they are at their most sweet because the starch has converted to sugar.

Honey would work too. Substitute 1/3 cup sugar for 1/4 cup honey in the filling, and use 1/2 cup honey for the topping while eliminating the milk.

What can I use instead of butter?

Butter really is the very best thing to use in this cobbler recipe, but you could use 3 tbsp vegetable oil and it would be fine.

Coconut oil works as well, provided you like coconut, as it will add significantly to the overall flavor of the dessert.

Can I use gluten-free flour?

Yes. Gluten-free flour works just as well in this recipe.

Can I use different fruit?

Pears are great on their own in this recipe, but you can also use apples, peaches, or a combination of those with pears. You can also add berries such as blackberries, strawberries, or currants. That's the great thing about a cobbler. They are perfect for using large quantities of fall fruit.

You can even use mango! Fresh or canned mango is delicious when mixed in with pears, apples, or peaches.

Rhubarb or plums work as well, although you may want to add a bit more sugar, as rhubarb and plums aren't as naturally sweet as pears.

Any ideas for how to spice up the filling?

Definitely. You could add a handful of dried cranberries to the filling for added color and tartness. Blueberries are nice too.

A bit of extra cinnamon or nutmeg is nice, although if you are baking for small children, go easy on the nutmeg (not more than 1/4 tsp).

For extra warmth, add 1/2 tsp ground cardamom and 1/4 tsp ground ginger.

If you really like vanilla, try vanilla butter instead of unsalted butter.

If your pears are dry rather than juicy, add 1/2 cup cloudy apple cider and 1/4 cup extra flour. The cider will bubble up nicely in the oven and will add a spicy sweetness. Maple syrup would do a similar job: add 1/4 cup only, as it's very sweet.

What about spicing up the topping?

Absolutely. You could add grated lemon zest or chopped pieces of candied ginger. Be sure to mix them into the flour mixture before adding the milk.

Can I use a cake mix for the topping?

Yes, you can. Once your filling is ready, instead of the other topping ingredients, just take one 18 oz box of yellow cake mix and sprinkle evenly over the top of each ramekin. Melt 1/2 cup butter, pour it over the top and you're ready to bake!

Just be aware that this version is extra-sweet!

Can I make my pear cobbler ahead of time?

You certainly can, although we recommend you keep the filling and topping ingredients separate until you're ready to bake.

What can I serve it with instead of ice cream?

How about a stewed cinnamon rum sauce? Perfect if you have extra pears. Prepare your pears as normal, then put them in a large saucepan and cover them with water. Add a cinnamon stick and stew them by gently bringing them to a boil. Turn the heat to low, and allow them to simmer for 15-20 min or until pears are soft.

Blend the pears with 1 tbsp spiced rum, 1/4 cup sugar and enough cooking liquid to blend. Serve warm.

Note: Instead of rum and sugar, you can stew your pears in apple juice.

And if you really want to go all out on the pears, serve your pear cobbler with pear sorbet!



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