Pear and Ginger Crumble (Gluten Free, Vegan Option)
If you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing but easy dessert that takes less than 20 minutes of prep, then this gluten free pear crumble is for you! Warm cinnamon and ginger spiced pears are topped with a buttery oat and walnut topping for a soul satisfying finale to any meal. Candied ginger gives the crumble unexpected warmth and spice, like a pair of bright golden earrings (but it’s optional). It’s the kind of dessert you can curl up with on a Wednesday night in your pajamas, or share with friends for an elegant holiday dinner. For a vegan version, swap out the butter for vegan butter or coconut oil.
Servings: 6 people
- Butter or cooking spray for pan
- ½ cup (60 g) old fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup (60 g) oat flour (or you can use regular all-purpose flour)
- ¼ cup (40 g) coconut sugar (or you can use light brown sugar)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 5 medium ripe but firm Bartlett pears (2- 2 ½ pounds), cored and cut into ¼-inch thick slices
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider
- 2 tablespoons packed coconut sugar (or you can use light brown sugar)
- ¼ cup finely chopped candied ginger (optional)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract (OR the seeds from ½ vanilla bean)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
- Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, coconut cream or yogurt, for serving (optional)
Make the topping
In a bowl, stir together the oats, oat flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, salt and nuts. Pour the melted butter over top and toss everything together until it’s the texture of damp sand.
Make the filling
In a large bowl, toss the pears with the lemon juice, apple cider, coconut sugar, candied ginger (if using), cinnamon and vanilla. Fold in the cornstarch.
Assemble and bake
Transfer the pear filling (and any juices that have accumulated on the bottom of the bowl) to the prepared skillet and spread them in an even layer. Scatter the pieces of butter over the pears. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over top.
Bake the crumble until the pears are tender when pierced with a knife and the topping is golden brown, about 45-50 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Serve the pear crumble warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or yogurt on top!
Storage: The crumble can sit out at room temperature for up to 8 hours before serving (reheat it in a warm oven, if you prefer). Leftover crumble can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 2 days (p.s. it makes for a great breakfast!).
- You’ll need a 10-inch cast iron skillet for this recipe, although you can use a 9-10 inch baking dish instead.
- Adding a splash of apple cider to the filling helps the pears soften and creates a glaze. If your pears are very hard and not ripe, add another 2 tablespoons of cider (unripe pears won’t release much liquid when cooked).
- Candied ginger gives the crumble an irresistible sparkle of flavor, but you can omit it if you prefer.
- This gluten free pear crumble topping is made with whole grain oat flour, but you can use regular all-purpose flour if you prefer.
- Vanilla paste is one of my favorite secret ingredients. It lends a rich vanilla flavor to baked goods at a quarter of the cost of fresh vanilla beans (and it lasts forever!), but you can use extract instead.
- Serve the crumble warm or at room temperature, with a dollop of whipped cream (take it over the top with this Cardamom Whipped Cream) or a scoop of ice cream. It’s also fantastic with yogurt as a healthier dessert (or breakfast!).