Crazy for Crust

Pear Pie Crumble Bars

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Pear Pie Crumble Bars are a great substitute for pie. As much as I love pie, I almost love pie bars even more. They’re portable, easier to cut, and the crust: filling ratio is weighted in the crust’s favor.

Add some pears to that ratio and you’ve got one heck of a crumble bar.

Pear Pie Crumble Bars are the perfect pie bar recipe, made with a shortbread crust, and almond crumble topping, and filled with sweet pears! They're perfect topped with caramel sauce!

You know that saying, “I just flew in from <insert city> and boy are my arms tired!”? Well, I just flew in from Nashville and boy, is all of me tired. Between the two-hour time difference from the Music City to Sacramento, the late nights and early mornings, and the time change? I’m pretty much wrecked.

But I’m still here, writing some posts for you. Geesh, the things I do for y’all!! {Kidding.}

In all actuality I’m forcing myself to write this post half jet-lagged, half food-coma’d, and half-asleep because, well. On Monday both my Monday and Wednesday posts posted at the same time and nothing has happened around here since then.

{Did you notice that mistake? Pecan Pie and Slow Cooker Monkey Bread all in the same day!!}

As I work myself out of my Pillsbury Bake-Off food coma (details coming soon!), I’m drooling over these Pear Pie Crumble Bars. You guys, I had no idea how they would turn out when I made them and they ended up one of the best recipes I’d ever made.

These are get-them-out-of-the-house-right-now bars. They’re coffee-grounds-on-top-of-the-garbage bars. They’re bars you need.

Pear Pie Crumble Bars are the perfect pie bar recipe, made with a shortbread crust, and almond crumble topping, and filled with sweet pears! They're perfect topped with caramel sauce!

When I was a kid, we ate pears from the can almost weekly. They were my favorite fruit, I think. I also remember begging my mom to let me drink Kern’s Pear Nectar in lieu of vegetables with dinner. She often said yes.

{She’s a way nicer mom than I am, that’s for sure!}

I never ate pears in anything, like pie, until college. And I have to admit: when I had my first slice of pear pie one year I was not impressed. You know how I hate apples that aren’t soft in pie? Those pears in that pie…ugh. I can still remember how I almost couldn’t swallow them. I think, because of that pie, I didn’t eat pears for years.

Gah. Another thing I was totally missing out on. Because when it’s made right? Pear pie (or pear pie bars) is thebombdotcom.

Pear Pie Crumble Bars are the perfect pie bar recipe, made with a shortbread crust, and almond crumble topping, and filled with sweet pears! They're perfect topped with caramel sauce!

These pear pie crumble bars are made up of three components.

First, the crust. It’s the same basic crust I use for most of my pie bars, including apple butter pie bars and my pumpkin pie bars. It’s a shortbread crust, made with butter, flour, and granulated sugar. For this recipe, I added almonds. Almonds and pears go together like PB&J. The crust is crumbly when you make it, and you can use a stand or a hand mixer for the recipe. When you press all the crumbles together in a pan it creates a nice thick shortbread crust.

Second, the crumble topping. Again, it’s a similar recipe that I use for all my crumbles, like my blueberry slab pie or almond chocolate cherry pie bars. More butter, more sugar, and more almonds create a crunchy crumbly top you’ll love.

I made this recipe in a 9×9″ pan instead of a 9×13″ pan and I think that was the best idea I’ve had yet. The smaller pan increases the crust : crumble : filling ratio. I always want more of the first two, less of the third. 🙂

And, of course, the final layer in these Pear Pie Crumble Bars : the pears. Get good pears that you love. All pears differ in size, so pay attention to the pounds I list in the recipe. I used Harry & David pears because they’re some of the best ones I’ve ever had. Have you ever tried them? They grow most of their pears in Oregon in the Rogue River Valley. It’s gorgeous there and the weather is perfect for pears.

{If you’ve never tried Harry & David pears, you’re in luck. I’m giving some away down below the recipe!}

Harry & David Pears

In order to combat the issues of too-crunchy pears in the bars, I partially cooked the pears before adding them to the crust. I cooked them like I cook my apples for pie: I boiled them in a little water until they just started turning translucent. Then drain them well (a few times; as they cool more liquid will release), stir them up with some cinnamon and sugar, and sandwich them between crust and crumble. The pears finish cooking in the oven for the perfect texture – not too soft and not crunchy. They’re just right.

These Pear Pie Crumble Bars remind me a lot of apple pie, but the flavor is distinctly pear. You can serve them with ice cream or whipped cream. You can eat them by themselves. But if I were you, I’d douse them in caramel sauce. Because caramel sauce (homemade or store bought) is goooooood.

Pear Pie Crumble Bars are the perfect pie bar recipe, made with a shortbread crust, and almond crumble topping, and filled with sweet pears! They're perfect topped with caramel sauce!

Make these Pear Pie Crumble Bars for Thanksgiving. I promise you’ll love them!!

Pear Pie Crumble Bars are a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving meal.
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Servings: 16 bars

Pear Pie Crumble Bars

These bars are a perfect way to use your pears! A shortbread almond crust is filled with partially cooked cinnamon sugar pears and topped with an almond crumble. Serve these with caramel sauce for a decadent twist on a crumble pie bar!


For the Crust:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter — softened
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Filling:

  • 4 1/2 cups diced pears — about 3-4 large pears or about 2 pounds total
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter — softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Caramel sauce — Homemade or jarred, for topping (optional)


  1. Line a 9x9” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray (for easy removal and cutting of bars). Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare the crust by slowly mixing all the crust ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using hand mixer. The mixture will be crumbly and if you are using a hand mixer you may need to use your hands to break up any large chunks of butter. Press the crust in the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Prepare the filling by placing the diced pears in a medium saucepan. Fill the pan with water so that half the pears are covered. Cook over medium heat, bringing to a boil then simmering for about 5 minutes until the pears just start to turn semi-translucent. Drain well.
  4. Make the topping while the pears are cooking: you can use the same bowl you used for the crust. Use a stand or a hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar. Add the flour, almonds, and salt and mix slowly. The mixture will be somewhat crumbly.
  5. Right before the crust comes out of the oven, drain the pears again, then sprinkle the pears with the cinnamon and sugar called for in the filling.
  6. Remove the hot crust from the oven. Sprinkle the pears carefully on top (make sure they are well drained first - do not add any of the extra liquid!), then sprinkle with the topping. Bake for an additional 22-27 minutes until the crumble topping starts to brown. (Mine took 24 minutes.)
  7. Cool completely in pan before slicing into bars and serving. Serve with caramel sauce and/or ice cream or whipped cream.
  8. Store bars in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze them for up to one month.


Mini Crumb Apple Pies

Mini Crumb Apple Pies (1 of 5)w

Almond Chocolate Chip Cherry Pie Bars

Almond Chocolate Cherry Pie Bars (2 of 4)w

Apple Butter Pie Bars

apple butter pie bars

Sweets from friends:
Blackberry Crumb Pie by Something Swanky
Blueberry Pie Bars by Averie Cooks
Clean Peach Crumble by Amy’s Healthy Baking

I was not sponsored for this post, but Harry & David sent me pears as a thank you for doing a giveaway for them. No one says no to pears: especially H&D ones! 🙂 This post contains affiliate links.


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  1. I’ve never been a huge pear girl, but these bars will totally convert me! I love them! Honestly, I’d love anything with crumble and caramel. But the thick fruit layer looks delicious!
    And I can’t wait to hear about the bake-off!

  2. I like pie bars better for the exact same reasons! Easier to eat and sometimes even more delicious. These pear bars look gorgeous, Dorothy! I’ve never had this kind before, so I’m loving this. Pinned!

  3. I love pie bars! And pear is one of my favorite fruits ever. I always have canned pears in my pantry and usually eat them for breakfast! So maybe I should make these and eat them for breakfast instead 🙂 Loved all your pictures on IG from your trip! Hope you get feeling better and over jet lag quick!

  4. ya know what, I don’t bake with pears nearly enough.  These bars look fantastic.  I love the crumble all over the top.  Pinned!  🙂

  5. I completely agree – most of the time a good pie bar is way better than a real pie! I cannot get over these Pear Pie Crumble Bars! This is one recipe that I really, really cannot wait to try!

  6. I love their pears! I’ve only had them once but instantly fell in love. Great recipe using them.

  7. Oh I adore these bars!  They are seriously so fantastic!

  8. I hope you had a wonderful trip! Hopefully you will have some down time to catch up on sleep.
    I think I could eat the whole pan of these bars, Dorothy! I love the pears, caramel, and crumb topping. So perfectly delicious!

  9. The Pillsbury Bake Off sounded amazing, glad you had a great time! I think pears are such an under-used and unappreciated ingredient so I am so glad you love them as much as I do! These bars look divine; all peary and crumbly and just plain yummy! Pinned! x

  10. Love that you referred to these bars as coffee grounds on top of the garbage bars:) I think we’ve all had to resort to that trick from time to time! Your trip to the Pillsbury Bakeoff looked like a dream come true; thanks for sharing your fun with all of us… The pears from Harry & David are the best and I love that you baked them into these bars! I would eat these over pie any day!

  11. The pictures are killin’ me, no breakfast yet. What an awesome idea, we love pears here!

  12. Can these look any more tempting? LOVE it!

  13. I just bought pears yesterday…this recipe looks too good to pass up.  I did not know pears and almonds go together like PB&J.  Learn something new everyday 🙂   

  14. I’ve never had pear pie, but ohmygosh those pear pie bars look insane! That crust, that caramel, that topping?! Oh yea, and those pears?! Drooling….

  15. It was so great meeting you at the Pillsbury event! I know what you mean about being wrecked…I’m still trying to recover and my body is completely confused by all the time changes. These bars look amazing!

  16. Oh, YES, please!!! I’ll take about 6. They are healthy, right? I mean they are fruit!!! 🙂 And I want those pears… 🙂

  17. That crumble topping is killing me!! Totally breakfast food! 

  18. Another recipe that I need to make asap. This and those mini turtle pumpkin cheesecakes. And caramel on top is mandatory…always perfect with pear desserts!

  19. I am still trying to recover from working at the polls on Election Day  ( 5:45 am to 9:15 pm, including 2 hours of lifting heavy objects while packing up the voting machines), so I feel your pain!   These pear bars are just the treat I need, and look so yummy in your always-beautiful photos!

  20. So gorgeous!  I’m happy you didn’t give up on pears just yet 🙂

  21. Oh my. These bars look incredible. Especially with the caramel. YUM!

  22. I have a problem with buying pears to make delicious baked goods, and only ending up eating every single last one before I can because they’re so good.  This recipe is perfect!

  23. Pears are one of those fruits that I never think of when it comes to baking.  Or eating for that matter!  But I have been seeing a ton of amazing looking pear things this year, so I’m obviously going to need to change that!  These look amazing!

  24. I love the caramel sauce on top. 

  25. The crumble on these looks to die for yum! Can’t wait to hear more about the backoff!! Pinned!

  26. hmm… I don’t think I have ever tasted a pear pie so I am excited to try this recipe out. You know that I love the caramel sauce. I look forward to reading about your time at Pillsbury Bake-Off.

  27. It seems like you nailed the most important part: crust to filling to crumble ratio! 

  28. Hope you catch up on some rest and the jet lag goes away soon.  Pie bars are my favorite and I love that you used pears! I can’t get over that glorious crumble topping with the caramel sauce dripping down! Oh man, that alone would tempt me to inhale these in no time! Pinned!

  29. I really like that you made these in a smaller pan too, I like a nice fat bar not a skinny one! haha!

  30. I love anything crumble, so I HAVE to try these. These would probably be a great thing for Thanksgiving this year, something different that what I normally do. Lovely!

  31. Have I told you lately that I love you? I guess so, I feel like I couldn’t stop saying how great you are at the Bake-Off! This recipe just serves as more proof. 

  32. I love pie bars wayyyy more than pie. And the caramel on here look fab! And pears, such an underdog fruit and I love pears! So nice to see you bake with them!

  33. Love pears! I can definitely see myself making these crumble bars Dorothy, they look delicious!

  34. I about died when I saw these on IG! They look heavenly! That caramel dripping off the top…too much. Who am I kidding, there is never enough caramel. Just like there is never enough crust or crumble. Well done, Dorothy. Well done! 

  35. I love pie bars way more then pie. I don’t know why, but I am just more of a bar kinda of gal. And don’t worry there are many things that I haven’t re-tried because they just tasted gross when I was a kid. 🙂 You should have Jordan make you some dinner ;-), take a bath and relax this weekend so you can become human again from your busy post weekend and week. 🙂 

  36. This looks and sounds delicious! I haven’t come across many pear recipes for fall this year either, I’ll have to give this a try 🙂 

  37. First of all, I want to devour my screen in an attempt to eat these bars! 😉 And secondly, I also felt wiped out after this last trip! But, oh how I love our crazy busy awesome jobs! 😉 Pinned! 

  38. Ohh these look absolutely delicious! I love a good crisp or pie with fruit and these sound great to try. Thanks for the opportunity.

  39. I really need to make more with pears.. I haven’t made anything on my blog with them and I seriously love them to pieces. And those Harry & David ones are absolutely mind-blowing. LOVE these!

  40. These bars turned out great. I used pecans instead of almonds, which I measured whole. I also made them in two loaf tins so I multiplied the recipe by 1 1/3. It is good to note that they will last 2 days out of the fridge but 4 days in the fridge.

  41. In case anyone is wondering—using ripe Bartlett pears works perfectly without pre cooking. They were soft but not mushy or overripe. I increased the recipe by 1 1/2 and put it in a 13×9 pan. It took quite a lot longer to bake since the pears were not hot. But it turned out awesome and with perfectly soft cooked pears. Was a big hit with my extended family! 

  42. I think this is an awesome recipe! I like even more cookie crust so I double the recipe and swap out some of the flour for almond flour in addition to the sliced almonds. I also used nearly overripe pears and didn’t do the cooking step. It worked out wonderfully. Thank you very much for posting this recipe, I absolutely love it and it is extremely user friendly and adaptable to diet restrictions/preferences.

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