A twist on the crisp. This pear crisp with bourbon and cardamom is perfect for the fall. Brown sugar gives a hint of caramel while the cardamom and cinnamon provide the flavors of the season.
When fall rolls around the apples get all the attention, and I am not going to lie I give them a lot of attention too. This recipe makes the pears the star in this fresh twist on a crisp. Plus it is a fantastic excuse to eat ice cream. If you have any nay-sayers just give them a bowl and see what happens.
In this recipe
This recipe calls for quite a few pears. There are several pears that you can use for this recipe. I normally stick with Bosc. These pears are firmer than Bartlett and D’Anjou so they will keep their shape while baking. Using firm pears of the other types will help keep the pears from falling apart during cooking. Due to the cooking time Bosc pears might still be a little crispy and that is ok. That is what you want for a recipe like this. If they are softer that is ok as well just don’t be surprised if they aren’t all the way tender.
Preparing the pears
It is important to make sure the pears are skinned and cored. This will increase the prep time just a bit to skin them all. By doing so it will prevent having tough skin on the pears when cooking. When using Bartlett pears keeping the skin on is a good thing. This will help keep the pears together. The easiest way to core the pears is to cut them in half and then by using a spoon cut a shallow circle around the core and scoop it out. This will keep as much of the pear in tact as possible.
Making the pear crisp
Once the pears have been sliced you will want to mix the bourbon, lemon juice, sugar, and spices together. Then toss the pears in the sugar mixture. From there sprinkle the cornstarch on top and toss again. Depending on the pears you will still have some liquid left in the bottom of the dish and that is ok. However if you want almost all of it to be soaked up you can double the cornstarch and that will help get rid of a lot more of the liquid. There might still be a little left.
Crisp vs cobbler
One of the things that makes a crisp different from a cobbler is the texture of the fruit. In a crisp the fruit will have a little bit of the crisp still left in it. Cobblers are cooked until the fruit is nice and tender. Another big difference is the topping. A cobbler tends to have a biscuit or cake like topping and crisp will have nuts and oats blitzed with some flour and sugar. There isn’t a leavening agent in a crisp compared to cobbler that might use baking soda or baking powder.
Looking for other pear recipes?
Bourbon and Cardamom Pear Crisp
- Food processor
- 2 quart casserole dish
- Mixing Bowl
- 9 Bosc pears peeled, cored, sliced
- ½ cup brown sugar packed
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup oats
- ⅓ cup flour
- ¼ cup walnuts or pecans
- 3 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 1½ tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon divided
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375°F, 190°C, or gas mark 5.
- In a mixing bowl combine the granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, lemon juice, salt, and bourbon. Add the pears and toss to combine. Then add the cornstarch toss again and pour into the baking dish.
- In a food processor pulse the flour, brown sugar, cardamon, butter, remaining cinnamon, walnuts, and oats. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal and sprinkle evenly over the top of the pears.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the top has reached a nice golden brown. If you want the pears more tender cook for an additional 15 minutes.