Pear Cobbler

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
November 13, 2023 | Updated on November 22, 2023

This pear cobbler recipe is a sweet indulgence of ripe, juicy pears, warm spices, and a buttery, golden crust. This easy pear cobbler takes less than 1 hour to make and is the perfect dessert for fall.

Enjoy delicious cobbler recipes year-round, like this Easy Apple Cobbler and Peach Cobbler.

close up view of pear cobbler in a skillet topped with three scoops of ice cream

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Pear cobbler is to fall, what peach cobbler is to summer. If you’re wondering what to do with pears before they go bad, this is the answer. Pears aren’t the first fruit to come to mind when you think of cobbler recipes but after you try the best pear cobbler recipe, it won’t be the last!

Pears are an underrated fruit but when baked, they tenderize and unleash a rich sweetness. The natural sugar caramelizes, creating a luscious fruit filling enhanced by ingredients like fresh lemon juice, brown sugar, vanilla, butter, and spices. Your taste buds are in for a real treat!

Why This Pear Cobbler Recipe Works

  • Simple – If you are new to baking, this is an easy recipe to get you started. There are no special skills or equipment required. It doesn’t have to be picture-perfect because it already has a rustic appearance given the cobbler topping. Simply mix, assemble, and then bake.
  • Perfect Fall Dessert – Pears are in season from August through October, and some reach their prime in the winter months. It’s the perfect time to take a harvest of ripe pears and mix them with cinnamon and nutmeg, the flavors of fall.
  • Comfort Food – If any dessert could be considered a comfort food, it’s definitely cobbler. In one spoonful you taste the rich warm flavors of spiced pears, thick, buttery, soft cobbler topping, and velvety smooth vanilla ice cream.
pear cobbler in a skillet topped with three scoops of ice cream

Tools You’ll Need

The Best Pears for Baking

Not all pears are primed for baking. Here are my top suggestions.

  • Bartlett Pears – This is a variety of English pears. Bartlett pears have a high water content, making them especially juicy. They have a sweet, mild, delicate flavor
  • Anjou Pears – Also known as d’anjou pears, this fruit maintains its firm texture even when ripe. This makes them versatile for various culinary applications, from eating fresh to cooking and baking. They have subtle citrus undertones, with hints of lemon or lime.
  • Concorde Pears – This variety has a dense, firm texture, making them excellent for baking. They hold their shape and have a sweet taste with hints of vanilla.

Bonus Tip: You can use more than one type of pear for this recipe.

three pears on a counter top

Ingredients You Will Need for Pear Cobbler

This recipe for pear cobbler is easy to make using a few pears and a bunch of pantry staples.

Pear Cobbler Filling

  • Bartlett pears – You want them ripe but firm; peeled, cored, cut into strips, and then cubed. The Peel should be yellow with a tinge of green.
  • Water – Using just a little liquid to add liquid to the cobbler instead of relying solely on sugar.
  • Lemon juice –A touch of acidity rounds out the sweetness.
  • Sugar – I use a little white granulated sugar and more brown sugar for more depth in sweetness.
  • Salted butter – Melted butter is easier to mix and lends to the gooey filling.
  • Pure vanilla extract – I use Nielson Massey for warm vanilla flavor.
  • Spices – Spice things up with cinnamon, allspice, and freshly grated nutmeg.
  • Cornstarch – This thickens the filling, making it even more luscious and gooey.

Cobbler Topping

  • All-purpose flour – It provides structure and helps bind the other ingredients together. Flour is essential for creating the dough-like texture of the topping.
  • Sugar – It not only enhances the flavor but also contributes to the golden-brown color when baked.
  • Lemon zest – Add for a pop of fresh citrus flavor.
  • Spices – Use cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg.
  • Kosher salt – I stick with Diamond Crystal.
  • Baking powder – This leavening agent helps the cobbler topping rise and become light and airy.
  • Salted butter – Cubed and chilled.
  • Buttermilk – This tenderizes and adds moisture to the cobbler topping, helping bind the ingredients together to create a soft dough.

How To Make Pear Cobbler

This pear cobbler recipe is easy to follow. Prepare the pear filling and then the fluffy cobbler topping.

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Add peeled pears to a bowl along with brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, pure vanilla extract, lemon juice, cornstarch, and melted butter. Mix until well-combined. Pour into buttered 9 inch cast iron skillet.
seasoned and diced pears

3. Next, add flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, lemon zest and salt to a bowl and whisk to mix dry ingredients.

4. Blend cubed butter with flour using a pastry blender until butter is pea-sized. Add buttermilk and stir just until combined.

3 step visual showing how to make cobbler topping

5. Add topping by the spoonful. Bake until golden brown, ~40 minutes. Check after 30 minutes.

6. Enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Cobbler is best eaten when warm.

Tips and Tricks

  • Select ripe but firm pears for your cobbler. They should give slightly when gently pressed near the stem.
  • Don’t chop the pears too small or they may disintegrate as they cook. You don’t want to end up with mushy pears.
  • Leave spaces in the cobbler topping. When placing the cobbler topping on top of the pears, leave holes as this allows for steam to release (no mushy cobbler!) and also aids in caramelizing the sugars in the filling.
  • Use cold butter for the cobbler topping. Mix it into the dry ingredients until you achieve a crumbly texture.
  • Store leftover cobbler covered with aluminum foil at room temperature for up to 1 day. It lasts in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat it in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
uncooked and assembled pear cobbler in a cast iron skillet

Variations

  • Fruits – Pears pair well with a variety of fruits. If you want to switch up the flavor a bit consider adding apples or blueberries.
  • Add-ons – Want to save some calories? Instead of ice cream, you can serve pear cobbler with a side of whipped cream or vanilla Greek yogurt.
  • Spices – If you’d like to try alternative spices, cardamom and ginger complement the flavor of pears.
pear cobbler in a skillet

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to peel pears for baking?

Peeling pears for cobbler is optional. The skin is thin enough to not be too bothersome if you leave it on but it comes down to preference.

What are the best pears for baking?

The best pears for baking are Bartlett pears, Anjou pears, and Concorde pears. Ensure they are slightly firm and not too ripe.

Do pears need to be ripe for baking?

Generally, pears do not have to be ripe for baking. Underripe pears maintain their shape better once baked. But for this pear cobbler recipe, you should use ripe pears. You want the pears to be firm but ripe and slightly tender. Do not use soft, overripe pears as you will end up with mushy cobbler.

Can you freeze pear cobbler?

Yes. Frozen pear cobbler lasts in the freezer for up to 4 weeks. Store it in an airtight, freezer-safe container. You can defrost it overnight in the fridge and warm it up in the oven or microwave.

overhead view of pear cobbler in a skillet topped with three scoops of ice cream

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close up view of pear cobbler in a skillet topped with three scoops of ice cream

Pear Cobbler

This pear cobbler recipe is a sweet indulgence of ripe, juicy pears, warm spices, and a buttery, golden crust. This easy pear cobbler takes less than 1 hour to make and is the perfect dessert for fall.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 5 people
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Equipment

  • 9-Inch Cast-Iron Skillet
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • Pastry blender

Ingredients

Pear Cobbler Filling

See notes section (below) on pear weight needed for recipe!

  • pounds bartlett pears, ripe but firm, skin should be yellow, peeled, cored, cut into strips, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, I use Nielson Massey
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
  • small pinch allspice
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch

Cobbler Topping

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, Diamond Crystal
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, cubed and chilled
  • ¼ cup buttermilk

To Serve

  • vanilla bean ice cream

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Prepare the filling. Add peeled pears to a bowl along with brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, pure vanilla extract, lemon juice, cornstarch, water. and melted butter. Mix until well-combined. Pour into buttered 9-inch cast iron skillet.
  • Prepare the topping. In a separate bowl, add flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, lemon zest and salt and whisk to mix dry ingredients.
  • Add cold, cubed butter to the flour mixture. Blend with flour using a pastry blender until butter is pea-sized. Add buttermilk and stir just until combined.
  • Assemble topping and bake. Add topping by the spoonful. Leave some openings in the cobbler topping (this allows steam to release and helps with caramelize the filling). Bake until golden brown, ~40 minutes. Check after 30 minutes.
  • Enjoy with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Cobbler is best eaten when warm.

NOTES

You will need a total of 1½ pounds of cubed pears. This weight is after the pears are peeled and cored. I often purchase 2 -2¼ pounds of pears to ensure I have the needed amount after peeling and coring.
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close up view of pear cobbler in a skillet topped with three scoops of ice cream

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jeri-mobley

Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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