17 Favorite Pear Desserts to Sweeten Your Fall

Aunt Josephine's Fresh Pear Cake
Photo: saraho

Whenever fall rolls around, the main players of the harvest immediately come to the forefront. Apples and pumpkins, in particular, are celebrated to the point of overload. But that just means there are more pears for the rest of us. And as the days get colder, pears get riper and sweeter, making them perfect for desserts. They add incredible moisture to cake, muffins, and cookies, and are downright delectable poached, roasted, or in a pie. And maybe we're a bit biased, but is there a more perfect fruit to adorn a tart than the humble pear? Before fall ends, whip up one of these delectable pear desserts and celebrate the best produce the season has to offer.

01 of 17

Pear Clafoutis

a white enamel baking dish filled with golden brown French custard topped with sliced fresh pears
Chef John

"It sounds odd to say that a recipe's biggest problem is that it looks too good, but that's sort of the case with this pear clafoutis, a crustless custard fruit tart that often looks a lot sweeter and richer that it actually is," says Chef John. "Usually made with cherries, this rustic French dessert adapts easily to any kind of seasonal fruit. If desired, brush top with warmed fruit preserves and honey and garnish with whipped cream, creme fraiche, or ice cream."

02 of 17

Sour Cream Pear Pie

sour cream pear pie
Stephanie Koteras

If you really want to capitalize on pears' saccharine nature, put them in a pie. This Sour Cream Pear Pie stands out from others thanks to its sweetness. The sugar, flour, and butter mixture sprinkled on top adds a bit of balance.

03 of 17

Apple, Cranberry, and Pear Crisp

Apple, Cranberry, and Pear Crisp
Photo by Chloe.

Three of fall's best flavors unite in this simple crisp. "This recipe is by far the best one I've tried for a Crisp," says user BIB07. "It has just the right amount of everything- I once mixed dried cherries in as well. Everyone I have served this to has loved it- even the GUYS."

04 of 17

Maple-Pear Tarte Tatin

Maple-Pear Tarte Tatin

This dessert looks so elegant, nobody will know it only came together in just under an hour. The secret is frozen puff pastry. You can also add a splash of whiskey or brandy to the sauce for a kick. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

05 of 17

Brown Butter Pear Cake

brown butter pear cake

This cake is straightforward, but for anyone who hasn't tried pears in cake, it's a real treat. If you can stand it, wait a day or two before you cut into this. That extra time makes this cake even better.

06 of 17

Spiced Pears and Pomegranate

spiced pears and pomegranate seeds in a bowl

Pears and pomegranate are some of the best fruits this season has to offer, so it only makes sense to combine them. The tart notes from the pomegranate arils complement the sweetness from the pears. Best of all, this treat requires no cooking — just blend the ingredients, then cover, and refrigerate until serving.

07 of 17

Chocolate Pear Spice Cake

chocolate pear spice cake

Boxed yellow cake mix undergoes quite a transformation when it's combined with ingredients like thinly sliced pear, shredded orange peel, ground cloves, and chocolate. This cake is super moist, and a great holiday treat. If you don't have a fresh pear on hand, feel free to use well drained canned pairs.

08 of 17

Fresh Fruit Cobbler

fresh fruit cobbler

Pears may not be the star here, but this dessert proves they're a valuable member of the team. It's crucial to use fresh fruit here, says creator Victor Pierson. Serve warm, with whipped cream, ice cream, or just cream.

09 of 17

Pears Baked in Amaretto Cream

Pears Baked in Amaretto Cream
Suzie Stallings

Baked fruit is somewhat magical. All you need is a warm oven, a little time, and sometimes, a handful of ingredients to completely transform a piece of fruit into a delectable treat. With this dessert, all you need is butter, sugar, amaretto, and heavy whipping cream. For such a low-effort recipe, these pears come out luscious.

10 of 17

Aunt Josephine's Fresh Pear Cake

Aunt Josephine's Fresh Pear Cake

"This dense, moist, creamy-sweet pear cake was the signature dessert of my great-great aunts, Beth and Josephine," says creator Sarah. "It was lost for several years. During that time we tried several different pear cake recipes, but none came close to this one. Now that it has been found again (and slightly updated), I want to share it with all of you, so that everyone can enjoy it!"

11 of 17

French Puff Pastry Tart with Pears and Chocolate

French Puff Pastry Tart with Pears and Chocolate

This pear tart sounds difficult, but thanks to frozen puff pastry you'll save some serious time and effort. Nobody will know, especially since they'll be focused on the thin chocolate layer and homemade custard.

12 of 17

Cheddar Pear Pie

Cheddar Pear Pie

"Without a doubt, this is the best pie in my arsenal of recipes," says creator MommaChef. "It is a pear-filled pie topped with a crumble of brown sugar and Cheddar cheese." Reviewers also enjoy this pie as a crisp.

13 of 17

Upside Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

Upside Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

Pears taste their best right around Christmastime, making this cake a fitting holiday treat, especially for anyone who loves molasses and gingerbread. Make sure you're using a tight springform pan and to wrap it with foil to prevent leaks.

14 of 17

Scandinavian Pear Tart

Scandinavian Pear Tart

Turn canned pears into an elegant dessert with the help of almonds, cinnamon, cardamom, and cream cheese.

15 of 17

Poached Pears Belle Helene

Poached Pears Belle Helene
Poached Pears Belle Helene | Photo by The Gruntled Gourmet.

Poached pears may seem intimidating, but they're definitely worth the effort and wait. Chef John's recipe pairs them with hot fudge and vanilla ice cream, which is a nice approachable twist.

16 of 17

Spicy Pear Cookies

Spicy Pear Cookies with frosting drizzle
Rob Tanner

Looking for a unique way to use up pears? Try these cookies. They get a light sweetness from diced pear which is then complemented by ground cinnamon and ginger. For a less moist cookie, go with a "harder" pear. Reviewers also love these as cookie bars or even muffins.

17 of 17

Hasselback Pear Tart

pear tart in a square pan

This gorgeous tart only looks complicated. Using the hasselback method on the pears allows them to cook perfectly and makes arranging them on top of the cream cheese layer. This recipe calls for a frozen puff pastry, but you can also make your own.

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