You have to try this Awesome Gluten-Free Pear Crisp! It’s vegan too and made with no refined sugar. We love this guilt-free, healthy dessert!
If you don’t tell anyone this pear crisp is vegan, gluten free, and contains no refined sugar, no one would ever guess. And, they’ll be so busy shoveling in mouthfuls of this nutty, crunchy, salty-and-sweet dessert with cinnamon-spiced pears, they’d probably wouldn’t hear you, anyway.
But if you can’t resist blurting it out (who, me?), when your announcement registers, they’ll gleefully go for seconds. Since it’s healthy and all. At least, that’s my excuse for devouring half a pie plate of this awesome, gluten-free pear crisp.
Let me break it down for you so you can understand what I’m talking about. You’ll start with ripe, sweet pears (it’s OK if they’re a little firm, but best if they’re a little soft.) You’ll peel and slice them up and toss them with cinnamon.
Then, you’ll make the most delicious, gluten-free streusel topping, using whole-food ingredients. By that, I mean oats (use gluten-free if needed), almond meal or almond flour, olive oil (yes!), pure maple syrup and coarsely chopped pecans. And, last, but not least, a little salt, which will take us up the express elevator to salty-and-sweet dessert heaven.
My family shouldn’t be surprised to find me shamelessly scarfing down spoonfuls of that crisp topping. It’s basically granola, right?
I keep almond meal/flour (that’s my Amazon affiliate link) on hand in my freezer, just so I can make this gluten-free dessert. The original recipe called for blueberries and no cinnamon. We enjoyed it, but liked apple crisp better, and now this pear version best. I had to add the cinnamon, which provides the perfect accent without overwhelming the other flavors.
Tip: Store almond meal and alternative flours in your freezer to keep them fresh.
Finally, I usually serve this awesome, gluten-free pear crisp naked. (I’m not sure that came out right.) I mean, no whipped cream or ice cream is necessary. However, I happened to have a lonely half cup of whipping cream in my fridge and decided the photos would look extra enticing with some whipped cream for contrast. I think it worked, no?
(Recipe Source: Adapted from Shauna Niequist, Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes, 2013)
P.S. If you like the idea of using pure maple syrup as a sweetener, check out my Healthy Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins and my Apple-Mozzarella-Pecan Salad with Maple Vinaigrette.
- 3 large ripe pears (I use red Anjou)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsalted pecan halves
- 1 cup rolled oats (use gluten-free if needed)
- 1/2 cup almond meal/flour
- 1/4 cup regular olive oil
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse and peel your pears. Remove the stems. Slice the pears (avoiding the core) into pieces about 1/3-inch thick. Place your pears in an ungreased pie dish and toss them with the cinnamon.
- Give your pecans a rough chop, so they're still chunky. In a small mixing bowl, combine your pecans and all topping ingredients with a spoon or fork.
- Cover your pears with your topping, spreading it evenly. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling, and the topping is crisp and golden. Let the pear crisp cool for 10 minutes before serving. Store leftovers covered at room temperature for up to a week, but they'll probably be gone quickly.
This is so good plain, but if you don't need it to be vegan or lower in calories, you can add whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.