It’s a new year and we’re all eating a little healthier. You don’t have to give up a sweet treat with these better for you Gluten Free Cranberry-Walnut Baked Pears. Aromatic with warm spices, and packed with the crunch you crave, these are sure to become a new favorite.
Pears are such a beautiful seasonal treat this time of year. Whether you’re making Gluten and Dairy Free Spiced Poached Pears or these crunchy topped treats, it doesn’t take much to make them shine.
Skip the processed sugar. Gluten Free Cranberry-Walnut Baked Pears not only are completely dairy free and gluten free, they’re also free of any refined sugar or sugar substitutes. With just a handful of ingredients this sweet treat is as easy to shop for as it is to create.
- Pears – You will want pears that are ripe but still a little firm for this recipe. Pick a pea that is good for baking such as Anjou, Bartlett, or bosc.
- Oats – This is the base of the crumble topping. It gives both nutty flavor and also texture.
- D’vash Date Syrup – This is made with just a single ingredient, dates. It’s low on the glycemic scale and made with just a single ingredient, dates. This is a healthier alternative to other sugars or sweeteners and has the added benefit of magnesium, potassium, and fiber. It’s also shelf stable, Gluten Free, and perfect for a paleo diet.
- Dried Cranberries – Adds a little chew to the filling and also a bright, tart pop.
- Walnuts – Gives crunch and texture to every bite.
- Spices – Cinnamon and nutmeg bring warmth to these baked pears.
- Dairy Free Butter – Helps bind the filling together to create the crumble while also giving richness.
- Gluten Free Flour – I used cassava flour for this recipe but you can use your favorite Gluten Free flour.
How to Make Gluten Free Cranberry-Walnut Baked Pears
Not only is this a healthy sweet treat perfect for any night of the week, it’s also easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of prep. This is a fun dish to get the kids in the kitchen as they can easily mix up the crumble and help fill the pears.
Time needed: 45 minutes
Baked pears are filled with a nutty and crunch crumble.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Cut your pears in half. Remove the seeds and core to create a crevice to add your crumble.
Add the crumble ingredients to a bowl and mix to combine. It will be sandy.
Place the pears in a baking dish or cast iron skillet. Top them with the crumble mixture.
Allow the pears to bake for thirty minutes or until the crumble is golden brown and the pears are fork tender.
This recipe is completely gluten and dairy free. However, you can make the same recipe with dairy butter and regular all-purpose flour. The measurements will be the same.
Not a fan of walnuts? No problem! Substitute the walnuts with your favorite nuts such as pecans, almonds, or even hazelnuts. In addition, you can also replace the dried cranberries with fried cherries for a similar tart but fruity pop.
Can I Make Gluten Free Cranberry-Walnut Baked Pears Ahead of Time?
Just like apples, bananas, avocados, and other types of fruit, pears will oxidize and turn brown once cut. You can prepare these earlier in the day and then bake them before you’re ready to serve, but you will need to rub the cut side of the pears with lemon to help slow down the oxidation process.
You can make the crumble portion of this recipe up to three days in advance. Keep it stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Because the butter will be hardened, you will want to let it sit out while you preheat the oven.
These baked pears make for tasty leftovers perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up. Allow them to cool completely before covering the baking dish. They will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To reheat them, warm them in the oven on a lower setting or the microwave.
Top Tip for Gluten Free Cranberry-Walnut Baked Pears
Let your Dairy Free butter come to room temperature before mixing up the crumble portion of this baked pear recipe. It will allow the mixture to come together easily and also evenly distribute the ingredients.
Gluten Free Flours
There are so many more quality Gluten Free options widely available these days. I wanted to quickly share with you some of the types I like to use and have had success with.
My go to for baking is Bob’s Red Mill 1:1. It is a blend of several different gluten free ingredients and I find it just works consistently well for what I need. I could blend flour myself but I choose to spend my time other ways and the 1:1 is a really good product.
Oat Flour can give you a chewier, more moist product. It can lend a nice sweet flavor to baked foods and is a flour I tend to mix with others if I want a lighter or fluffy result. I am always very careful to buy organic gluten free oats because they can be sprayed with nasty stuff and be processed in a way that they are no longer gluten free.
Almond Flour has a nice nutty flavor but can tend to dry out what you are preparing. I like to balance it with an extra egg if I am adding it to meatloaf for example and add banana or egg if it is in a sweet treat. Your end product could be a bit denser if you are using straight almond flour as well. I do like using almond flour as bread crumbs or a crunchy topping on savory dishes.
Arrowroot is my normal choice for a thickener in sauce or gravy. It is great for things you want a good crunch on that would normally be dredged in flour. Arrowroot can also be used to temper other gluten free flours for sweets and baked goods.
Brown Rice Flour can also be used in combination with other gluten free flours for baked goods. I like to use it when making a roux and brown rice noodles are a favorite.
More Gluten Free Flours
Amaranth is another gluten free flour that works well when blended. It has a nice nutty flavor that makes it good for crusts, tortillas and breads.
Coconut Flour has a bit of a sweet coconut flavor. It tends to absorb liquid so you will need to adjust your recipe but it does give a nice light texture.
Corn Flour is a great thickener, makes delicious tortillas and one of my favorites, corn bread. Just make sure the corn flour you are buying was proceed in a gluten free environment and from a clean source.
Cassava Flour is the most similar to white or all purpose flour but can be expensive if you are using it often and is high in carbohydrates.
Tapioca is a great thickener as well for soups, pies and sauces and works well when combined with other flours.
Chickpea or garbanzo is used often in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine… Think hummus, falafel, flatbreads. It has lots of healthy benefits and a mild nutty flavor. You can also use the water from the beans, called aquafaba, as an egg replacer or instead of cream for whipped cream. Crazy, I know, but it works so stop dumping it down the drain.
Gluten Free Grains
The gluten free grains we grab for most often are…
Quinoa- easy to make and flavor and is high in fiber and protein. It is actually one of the plant proteins that is a complete protein.
Oats are also good for fiber and a bit of protein but make sure they are clean and gluten free.
Buckwheat actually has no wheat in it but does have fiber, protein and trace minerals. I love buckwheat noodles. I also add them to salads and soups for texture and a bit of “chew”.
Gluten Free Cranberry-Walnut Baked Pears
- 1 Mixing Bowl
- 1 baking dish or cast iron skillet
- 4 pears, halved and cored
- 1/3 cup D'vash date syrup
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- dash of nutmeg
- 4 tbsp Dairy Free butter, room temperature
- 2 tbsp Gluten Free flour, I used cassava
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut the pears in half. Scoop out the seeds and core, leaving a crevice to fill.
- Add the remaining ingredients to a bowl. Mix to combine.
- Place the pears into a baking dish. Fill them with the crumble topping.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the pears are tender and the crumble is golden brown.