The 16 Best Pear Desserts Ripe for Autumn

Apples aren't the only fall fruit you should be baking with.

August 18, 2019

I feel a bit bad for pears. Think about it—come September, apples start popping up by the bushel in farmers markets, and everyone promptly declares it "fall" and loses their minds.

Apples shine in cider (both boozy and not). They're often spied snuggling up to pies and donuts and crumbles and all those other fun, fall-y things we crave when the weather turns chillier.

So what about pears, their seasonal siblings? They have just as much to offer as apples. They're subtly sweet, come in many varietals, and have a giving texture (perfect for poaching and baking and roasting). In general, we underutilize pears, and wrongfully so.

Pears deserve their 15 minutes this fall. Here are 16 sweet recipes to place them squarely in the spotlight.

Our 16 Best Pear Desserts for Fall

1. Poached Pear Clafoutis

Poaching the pears in sherry lends a fall-forward raisin-coffee-molasses flavor to this light, delicately sweet clafoutis you'll want to bake all season.

2. Tarte aux Poires et Chocolat

This chocolatey pear tarte might look and sound fancy-schmancy, but the steps—though there are many—are actually pretty straightforward, and well worth the effort.

3. Honey-Poached Pears With Burrata

You might think burrata (mozzarella's dreamy, creamy cousin) is best served savory, but try it alongside these sweet and simple honey-poached pears and I promise you'll change your mind.

4. Gingered Cranberry-Pear Pie

Thinly sliced pears get layered with simmered cranberries over an all-butter-meets-graham-cracker pie crust and served with a cool scoop of vanilla ice cream—what's not to love?

5. Pear-Cranberry Double Crusted Galette

Another winning pear-cranberry combo, this marvelous creation from certified Pie Queen, Erin McDowell, has a crispy-golden crust on the bottom and the top. Win, win.

6. Caramelized Pear French Toast Bake

This fantastic French toast couldn't be easier or more satisfying: the whole thing is flavored with cardamom, nutmeg, and orange zest, and gets baked in one big casserole dish (so no frying up individual slices of bread).

7. Pear & Almond Cake

One Food52er described this unfussy pear and almond cake as "light and airy, and so fabulous," and yep, we'd pretty much have to agree with that.

8. Pear Ginger Walnut Muffins

Bake up a big batch of these ginger-spiced, nutty muffins on October 1 and eat them every morning, soaking up the newly crisp fall air with each bite.

9. Lindsey Shere's Baked Caramel Pears

When you're in need of a quick dessert that delivers on flavor, make these baked pears drizzled in thick caramel—they only take five ingredients and 20 minutes.

10. Apple Cider & Cardamom Roasted Pears

Another simple, last-minute dessert you can whip up on the fly: these oven-roasted pears basted in a heady mix of apple cider, maple syrup, lemon juice, cardamon, and vanilla.

11. Masala-Spiced Pear Pie

Instead of matching up pears with the usual suspects—cinnamon, cardamom, ginger—try them with garam masala. The spice blend's "heat of black peppers and red chili powder wake up the palate and make the other flavors sing," writes recipe author and Food52er, janeofmanytrade.

12. Red-Wine Poached Pears

These elegant, Cabernet-colored poached pears will stand out on any holiday dinner table, but taste even better the next day served over breakfast-y yogurt or oatmeal.

13. Rosemary Pear Cake

This cake has everything you could want in an autumn dessert—it's sweet and savory all at once, plus it's gluten-free, making it perfect for guests with dietary restrictions.

14. Pear Tarte Tatin With Anise Seed Caramel

Simply put: This anise-spiced pear tarte tatin, with it's buttery-crisp crust and caramel-drenched pears, is a keeper.

15. Amalfi Pear & Ricotta Cake

Pears are certainly the star of this thin-sponge, stuffed cake, but the ingredient you need to pay closest attention to is the ricotta—you want ricotta that can stand up on its own, and won't slump when you spread it.

16. Pear Galettes With Spelt Crusts

Much less fussy than their pie counterparts, these rustic galettes are perfect for impromptu weekend baking or a casual dinner party.

What's your favorite way to enjoy ripe pears? With sharp blue cheese? In a compote? As-is? Tell us in the comments!

This post has been updated by the Food52 editors in August 2019 to include more tasty pear desserts for fall.

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1 Comment

caninechef October 11, 2017
Last winter I went on a pear dessert extravaganza, mostly driven byFood52 recipes including pear crisp and the ginger/cranberry/pear pie showcased above. All were excellent but the showstopper was these stuffed pears by sdebrango. My Sunday lunch group demanded them multiple times. This year I need to try poached pears and