Pear Crisp, Pear Crumble, Pear Cobbler: What I Learned

Do you ever just sit around wondering about stuff?
Like, Why does the rain fall from up above?
And, Why do fools fall in love?
And, Wouldn’t those two lines sound great as song lyrics?

Well, it’s the height of the summer fruit season and I recently wondered how a crisp, a cobbler and a crumble differ. Before, I used the terms interchangeably. I mean, if someone served me delicious fruit, covered with a crumbly, sugary topping, bubbling hot from the oven, I didn’t care about the name, I just ate it!

Exploring differences: pear crisp, pear crumble, pear cobbler.

For the record, though, and in case you join me in wondering, the differences are mainly in the toppings:

  • The streusel topping on a crisp contains oats.
  • The streusel topping on a crumble does not contain oats.
  • A cobbler features a biscuit topping, giving it a cobbled-road appearance and inspiring the name.

Please allow me to demonstrate…with pears! What follows are three vegan pear recipes, each one using a different pear variety, all of which can be found at the Weaver’s Orchard Farm Market. (You may use any pear variety you like for any of the recipes.)

You will notice I left the peel on the pears in the recipes. I like the extra fiber. However, if you prefer to peel pears, go right ahead. Also, I served my crumble with non-dairy ice cream (soy vanilla), while I served the other recipes plain, without ice cream. I don’t know why. I assure you, ALL the recipes go well with ice cream!

Pear Crisp

I used Bartlett pears for this recipe:

pear crisp

Before baking (showing the two layers) and after baking:


Pear Crisp
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 6-8
 
I used Bartlett pears, but you may use any kind you like.
Ingredients
Bottom Layer:
  • 5-6 medium pears, cored and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Turbinado sugar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
Topping:
  • 1¾ cup old-fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup oat flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Instructions
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. For the bottom layer: In a large bowl (or right into a 9X9 baking dish), add pears, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon.
  4. To make the topping: In a medium-sized bowl, combine oats, oat flour, pecans, maple syrup, Earth Balance, vanilla and salt. Mix well.
  5. Spread oat mixture evenly over the pears and sprinkle with the ¼ teaspoon cinnamon.
  6. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the pears are fork tender.
Notes
Recipe (with variations) from The Simple Veganista

 

pear crisp

Pear Crumble

I used D’Anjou pears for this recipe:

pear crumble

Before baking (showing the two layers) and after baking:


Pear Crumble
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 6-8
 
I used D'Anjou pears, but you may use any kind you like.
Ingredients
Bottom Layer:
  • 7 medium ripe pears, cored and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped almonds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Topping:
  • ½ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup wheat germ
  • 2 tablespoons natural granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Non-dairy vanilla ice cream, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For the bottom layer: In a mixing bowl, toss together the bottom-layer ingredients until evenly coated. Pour into a 9X13-inch baking pan (or similarly sized casserole dish) coated with cooking oil.
  3. To make the topping: Combine the topping ingredients and toss to coat. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the fruit mixture.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the fruits are soft and the topping is golden.
  5. Serve with non-dairy ice cream (optional).
Notes
Recipe (with variations) from VegKitchen with Nava Atlas

 

pear crumble

 Pear Cobbler

I used Bosch pears for this recipe:

pear cobbler

Before baking (showing the two layers) and after baking:


Pear Cobbler
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 6-8
 
I used Bosch pears, but you may use any kind you like.
Ingredients
Bottom Layer:
  • 4 large Bosch pears, cored and cut into cubes
  • ¾ cup dried apricots, chopped
  • ¼ cup Turbinado sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
Topping:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • ⅓ cup cold almond milk, or other plant-based milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For the bottom layer: Spray a 9X9-inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Toss together all bottom-layer ingredients in large bowl. Place the mixture into the casserole dish.
  3. To make the topping: Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Cut or rub shortening into flour until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in milk. Dot pieces of dough over fruit mixture.
  4. Place in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
Notes
Recipe (with variations) from Vegetarian Times.

 

pear cobbler

After testing all the recipes, I no longer wonder about which is which and which is best: I’m a fool in love with all of them!

~ Vegan ~
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