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Old-Fashioned Pear Dessert

This never-fails pear recipe turns out moist, firm and fruity every time. Some members of our family request these rich squares instead of cake for their birthdays.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    9 servings


  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups chopped peeled ripe pears


  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, 3 tablespoons sugar and salt; cut in butter until crumbly. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks and lemon juice; stir into dry ingredients with a fork. Remove 1 cup to another bowl; stir in the remaining sugar and set aside for the topping.
  • Press remaining crumb mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 8-in. square baking dish. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile, for filling, combine the sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, salt and cinnamon in a small saucepan; slowly stir in water and lemon juice until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in butter and vanilla.
  • Toss pears with remaining cornstarch; spoon over crust. Top with filling. Sprinkle with reserved topping. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 430 calories, 20g fat (12g saturated fat), 119mg cholesterol, 511mg sodium, 60g carbohydrate (28g sugars, 3g fiber), 5g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Zharif
    Mar 9, 2017

    Filling is nice tasting but the crumble is too sweet for me.

  • jeanemed
    Sep 20, 2016

    Very good.The recipe was not specific about how far to press the dough up the sides--next time I will press it at least 3/4 the way up. Ididn't have enough pears (only 4 cups) it still turned out fine. The crumble topping and the filling were so good. Thanks for the recipe.Also, I liked the way it sliced easily, even when hot. It came out in nice slices and didn't run over the plate.

  • Gaborp00
    Jun 21, 2016

    I made this today and it turned out perfect. it was absolutely delicious. The crust was moist and easy to work with. I imagine it would be great with peaches.

  • triedthat
    Nov 26, 2013

    The taste of the filling and crust was good, however, the crust did not have enough liquid in it and I followed the directions exactly as written. Also, using an 8" by 8" baking pan is way too small. The crust was about 3/4 inch thick and was hard on the bottom of the pan, and falling apart on the sides. My son said it was like eating uncooked flour.

  • lynnweaver
    Nov 23, 2013

    This is delicious, it is great as a breakfast coffee cake or as a dessert with ice cream.

  • redpandagames
    Jan 27, 2013

    This recipe was just okay for me.The biggest problems was having the egg yolks in the crust. It tasted eggy, and that's never good to me.As for the filling... It's really unnecessary. If you toss the pears with some cornstarch, sugar, and cinnamon, that should really be enough. there's no reason to add extra water to an already wet fruit. It will just end up putting extra goop in your cobbler, if I could call it that.

  • katrina55
    Sep 18, 2012

    Oh my gosh this is soooo good. My family loved it.

  • 10sChick
    Apr 19, 2012

    This is a seriously EPIC dessert. It's like pie with an alternative to the same old crust. I've only tried it room temp with a dollop of whipped cream. AMAZING. Can't wait to taste it cold. And it doesn't scream "Pears!". Once it's cooked with that thick cinnamon filling, it's almost like apple pie in the middle. When the family gets home tonight, they will be all over this.

  • jmkasprak
    Mar 7, 2012

    Don't you love it when your baking results turn out just like the picture? This dessert reminded me of a really dense apple crumb pie with a wonderfully thick crust. It could easily be served like a breakfast pastry as well.

  • izzieme
    Oct 8, 2011

    This is the second time I've made this. The first time I was distracted and forgot to put the egg yolks and lemon juice in the dough and wondered why it wasn't browning. But after all was said and done it tasted great. My neighbors loved it with a bit of cream, and I loved it cold! I've just made it again (remembering to put all the ingredients in.) minus a bit of sugar and it looks gorgeous. Just like the picture! This is definitely a keeper for Autumn when pears are in season. Makes the house smell wonderful too!