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What Are the Different Types of Pear Dessert?

Amanda R. Bell
Amanda R. Bell

Pears, a naturally sweet stone fruit, lend themselves nicely to various types of desserts. Pear tarts, cakes, and cobblers are some of the most common varieties of desserts made with this fruit. A grilled pear served with ice cream is an easy pear dessert to enjoy in warmer months, and fruit pudding is often popular during cold weather.

A pear tart is made with a butter crust that is filled with firm, sweet pears; the Bosc variety is the most popular for this dish. The pears are mixed with lemon juice, corn starch, brown sugar, and spices and layered into the shell. The edges of the crust are folded over the filling, and the tart is then baked. The finished product is a lightly sweet, rustic dessert.

Bosc pears are often used in pear tarts.
Bosc pears are often used in pear tarts.

Upside down cakes, often with pineapple, can also be made with pears. A caramel sauce is spread on the bottom of a cake pan, and sliced pears are fanned out to create a base for the cake batter. Once the batter is poured over the fruit, the pear dessert is baked and inverted onto a serving dish once cool. The result is an rather impressive looking, sweet dessert.

Corn starch is a common ingredient used to make pear tarts.
Corn starch is a common ingredient used to make pear tarts.

A cobbler is often one of the easiest means of cooking with pears. A pear filling is layered over a basic pastry shell and topped with a crumbly, sweet topping and then baked until bubbly. Cobblers can be made with only pears or any mixture of fruit. This dessert is often served with ice cream and, depending on the ingredients used to create the topping, can be a relatively healthy pear dessert option without sacrificing flavor.

Pears may be used to make cakes, cobblers and tarts.
Pears may be used to make cakes, cobblers and tarts.

In the summer months, many people avoid turning on their stove or oven in an attempt to keep the house cool; with that in mind, grilling pears is a good way to enjoy a warm dessert without heating up the house. For this pear dessert, the fruit is cut in half and the pit is removed. After a light brushing of oil and any number of seasonings, the pear halves are then placed on a charcoal or gas grill until the outside of the fruit begins to caramelize. The grill intensifies the natural sweetness of the fruit and gives it a slightly smoky flavor, thereby creating an interesting yet simple dessert. When served with very cold ice cream, grilled pears can be an excellent addition to a barbecue.

A baked fruit pudding made with pears is a comforting type of a pear dessert. Made from pears, sugar, butter, and flour, a pear pudding can be simple or complex; a common addition to this pear dessert is chocolate or vanilla. In some cases, other stone fruits are added to create a mixed fruit pudding.

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Discussion Comments


My husband likes to take pear in his lunch, and always prefers them crisp and not too ripe. When the pears are getting a little too soft, that is when I look through my assortment of pear dessert recipes to use up the pears.

I love pears because they are slightly sweet without being too sweet and they hold up well when baked in a dessert. Just about any sweet recipe that you choose to make with pears always tastes good with some vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream on top.


I have a wonderful pear crumble that my family devours very quickly. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can use whatever kinds of fruit you like or have on hand. I have made it with pears, apples, and rhubarb, and a combination of all three.

The fruit filling is between and oatmeal base and crumble topping that is delicious when baked and served warm with ice cream. Combining the pears and apples in this dessert gives a wonderful flavor that is different than when you use just one kind of fruit.


We have a favorite family pear recipe that someone makes in our family for holiday meals. Although it is a salad recipe, it is sweet enough that it could also be used as a dessert. We really like it because it is light and refreshing.

The recipe consists of lime jello, pears and cream cheese with some pear juice and a little bit of cinnamon. It is a unqiue recipe that has been handed down from my grandmother. When you have had a big meal and still want something sweet that is not too heavy, this makes a great choice.

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    • Bosc pears are often used in pear tarts.
      By: Bronwyn Photo
      Bosc pears are often used in pear tarts.
    • Corn starch is a common ingredient used to make pear tarts.
      By: Sea Wave
      Corn starch is a common ingredient used to make pear tarts.
    • Pears may be used to make cakes, cobblers and tarts.
      By: Jack Kunnen
      Pears may be used to make cakes, cobblers and tarts.