My mom comes over every Monday and we usually partake in some combination of baking, crafts, gardening, wine, and napping. This treat was the result of a recipe she brought over one November afternoon on a wrinkled, photocopied sheet of paper from a friend. The ingredients looked delicious but a bit outdated. We tweaked it all afternoon and landed on this beautiful vegan pear crumble. You’ll love how it’s:
- Full of thick, jammy fruit at the peak of its season in fall and winter
- Topped with nutty, crumbly oats and pecans
- Spiced with just the right blend of chai flavors
You only need 10 ingredients for this pear crumble:
Pears: Use the freshest pears you can find — ideally, local ones. Look for firm pears rather than soft juicy ones. They’ll bake better.
Cranberries: Fresh or frozen cranberries work well here.
All-purpose flour: You’ll use a couple tablespoons of flour to help thicken the fruit mixture. You’ll also use some for the crumbly topping. Always look for unbleached all-purpose flour. You can also substitute your favorite gluten free blend if you need this dessert to be GF.
Pure cane sugar: Cranberries can be quite tart, so a sprinkling of sugar added to the fruit helps balance out the sour notes.
Chai-inspired spice mix: I like to make my own chai-inspired spice mix to have on hand for baking, especially in the fall. You can find the quantities I use in the recipe notes. If you don’t have all the spices on hand, feel free to just substitute cinnamon.
Salt: Every sweet dish needs just a pinch of salt to balance out all the sugar. In this dish, it really brings out the flavor of the pears and compliments the nuttiness of the crumble topping.
Rolled oats: Oats form the base of the crumble topping. Use old-fashioned rolled oats rather than steel-cut or quick cooking.
Pecans: You’ll want to roughly chop the pecans. I put them in a ziplock bag and smash them with a wooden rolling pin. I like how this gives you some larger bits and some dusty crumbs. You can also use walnuts.
Brown sugar: Brown sugar adds a molasses-y depth to the crumble topping and gives almost caramel-y notes when combined with the butter.
Vegan butter: Use salted or unsalted. No need to soften it, as you’re going to melt it in the microwave.
How to Make the Vegan Pear Crumble
First, prep your pears. Peel them, core them, and roughly chop them into large chunks. It’s okay if some bits are larger or smaller than others — everything cooks down into a lovely jammy consistency in the oven.
Combine the pear chunks with the cranberries, sugar, flour, salt, and chai spice until everything is evenly coated. Pour this into a baking dish (I like to use a 10-inch cast iron skillet).
To make the crumble, combine the chopped pecans, oats, brown sugar, flour, and melted vegan butter. This should come together and feel like crumbly wet sand. Spread this evenly over the fruit mixture.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until it’s bubbly and the crumble topping is nicely browned. Let it cool for a few minutes and then serve warm.
This crumble is best served warm. I like it alone or with a scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream. To store it, cover and refrigerate for up to three days. Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes to re-crisp.
For more fruit-forward dessert inspiration, check out my raspberry bars.
Vegan Pear Crumble With Cranberries and Pecans
- 5 small or medium pears (firm)
- 2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 cup pure cane sugar
- 2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp chai spice (see note)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 3/4 cups pecans (roughly chopped)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup vegan butter (melted)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Peel the pears and chop them into large chunks.
- Place the pear chunks and cranberries into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the sugar, flour, chai spice, and salt. Mix well to combine.
- Spread the fruit mixture in a 10-inch cast iron skillet or other similar sized baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, combine the oats, chopped pecans, brown sugar, flour, and melted butter. Mix well. The mixture should be coarsely crumbly.
- Spread the crumble evenly over the fruit and bake for 45 minutes or until it's bubbly and the crumble has browned.
- Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes, and serve warm.
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp black pepper