This warm wintry Pear Cobbler Recipe has a gingerbread biscuit topping that will make your home smell like the holidays! (Jump directly to the recipe.)
It was staring at me from the front of the cover of a recent issue of Bon Appetit. A spiced pear upside down cake. It looked lovely and so seasonally appropriate but I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to eat an entire cake all by myself. What I can eat all by myself (with a little help with my partner) is a cobbler though! You know how much I love my cobblers. It’s mostly fruit, with biscuits on top. And so I decided to take that gingerbread and pear cake and rework it into a Pear Cobbler Recipe with Gingerbread Biscuits. I have no regrets.
Winter is finally here in San Francisco. The past couple of years have been warm winters here in San Francisco with our crazy drought and I’ve obviously grown very soft. Just a few weeks ago we were in Chicago and though the temperature was a balmy mid-50s, I was bundled up with my warm down jacket. Back here in SF, the temperature has dropped to about the same temperature but somehow it feels colder. Perhaps it’s the expectation of Midwest winter vs California winter or maybe it’s because I live here and it’s not a temporary mindset of “oh, it’s only for a few days.” Either way I’m cranking up the heat in the apartment and pulled down my heavy winter sweaters from storage to wear around the house.
It’s a bit ridiculous really. I’ve turned into that guy who I used to laugh at in college. The one that would wear mittens around the dorms once the temperature dropped below 60ºF. Right now I even have a scarf wrapped around my neck, which I try to pass off as a cute jaunty accessory (men have so few socially acceptable clothing accessories). But really it’s because I’m slowly turning into an old Chinese grandmother. I’m even sipping hot water. Plain hot water. How’s that for sad?
But this cobbler. Oh this cobbler. It’s what’s keeping me sane (and warm) in the middle of San Francisco winter. Which, yes I know, is nothing compared to those folks who have the 2 feet of snow and the below zero temperatures. It’s all relative I guess. But even as I shiver under the multitude of sweaters and scarves, one bite of the cobbler and I’m happy winter is here. It means I get to bake things like this pear cobbler with gingerbread biscuits. No complaints about that!
Pear Cobbler Recipe with Gingerbread Biscuits
By Irvin Lin
Warm silky baked pears and spicy crystallized ginger filling with molasses infused gingerbread biscuits on top make your entire kitchen and home smell like the holidays. Pears need a few days to ripen at room temperature, so keep that in mind and plan accordingly. Don’t use underripe pears or they’ll never soften when baked and over ripe pears will fall apart when cooked. The pears are ready for use when they give a little at the top near the stem when you gently press down with a finger.
Inspired by a recipe from Bon Appetit magazine
3 pounds (1360 g) ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch thick slices
1/4 cup (45 g) chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup (85 g) dried cherries
3/4 cup (165 g) dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest and juice of 1 orange
3 cups (420 g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup (170 g or 1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup dark molasses
2 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons white granulated sugar or turbinado sugar
1. Preheat an oven to 375ºF. Butter a 3 quart baking pan.
2. Place all the fruit filling ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss to coat pears. Pour into the baking pan and place in oven. Bake for 30 minutes uncovered.
3. While the fruit filling is baking, make the biscuits by placing the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a large bowl. Stir vigorously with a balloon whisk until ingredients are evenly distributed and uniform in color. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch chunks and sprinkle over the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, to smash the butter into pea sized pieces.
4. Mix the sour cream and molasses together then drizzle it over the dry ingredients. Toss the ingredients together until a dough forms.
5. Once the fruit filling has baked for 30 minutes, pull the pan out of the oven and spoon the biscuit dough over the hot filling in biscuit size clumps, leaving room between the dough to expand and “cobble” together. Brush the top of the dough with the milk then sprinkle the white sugar or turbinado sugar on top.
6. Return to the oven and bake an additional 30 to 40 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown and the filling is bubbling and thick. Let cool in the pan for a minimum of 15 minutes before serving.
Serves 6 to 8 people.
If you like this pear cobbler recipe with gingerbread biscuits, check out some other pear recipes on my blog:
Pear Cake with Honey, Walnuts and Blue Cheese
Apple Pear Cobbler
Red Wine Poached Pear, Ginger and Golden Raisin Rustic Tart
And check out some great Pear recipes from around the web:
Taste and Tell’s Pear and Raspberry Tart
Sprinkle Bakes’ Saffron Poached Pears with Chocolate
Sprouted Kitchen’s Honey Roasted Pears
The Culinary Life’s Ricotta Stuffed Asian Pears
Joy the Baker’s Pear Crumble Coffee Cake
Heather (Delicious Not Gorgeous) says
oh, the hot water thing is definitely a sign of your transformation into a chinese grandma! kidding- i do it too, especially when there’s no lemon or tea around. anyways, the textures in this cobbler sound amazing- the soft pears and the tender but crunchy (sugar on top is one of the best things ever) biscuits.
This looks delicious! I love cobblers, especially with some spices added!
Erin R. says
Ha ha! Hot water! I’ll have to ask my husband if his mom does that. This cobbler looks inconceivably good. Pears get so little attention compared to apples, which is a shame. I’m saving this recipe for Christmas. Good one!
Marina Nims says
This recipe makes a delicious, satisfying, soul-warming dessert. I adore this pear cobbler!
Note: I made this recipe on a beautiful spring day in May, an unlikely time for a gingery holiday-esque bake. But it was May of 2020, and we all know what that means: I was cooking from my pandemic stay-in-place kitchen. I made it because someone had thoughtfully sent us a gift box of pears that we wanted to use up: neither of us likes to eat pears out of hand (we have had pear trees on almost every property we have ever lived on, so we are kind of over them). I had to make a few substitutions for ingredients I did not have, but I DID have all the spices called for. Irvin is truly a master of flavor. The combination and ratio of spices is simply fantastic. A cheery moment during the worst of times. <3