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Just barely sweet, yet still indulgent, Baked Hasselback Pears are a sophisticated dessert nobody will believe are a cinch to put together! This lightened-up dish is made without gluten or refined sugars, with options to make it dairy-free, too. It’s the perfect holiday dessert centerpiece, or an elegant dessert any night of the week.
Gluten-Free Hasselback Pears
I love creating recipes that feel totally indulgent, even though they’re on the lighter side. These Hasselback Pears are a great example. Aside from the fact that they look so sophisticated, these pears are relatively light on added sugar and even add in some nutrient-dense ingredients like almond flour to balance the whole dessert out.
Plus, it’s so fun to hasselback anything! It may seem tricky, but all it takes is some simple knife cuts to create a really beautiful sliced effect. It also allows all of that amazing spiced streusel to bake up between the layers, creating a dessert that has the taste of a comforting pear pie, without the work of making one.
- Pears (Bartlett, D’Anjou or Bosc)
- Spices: Cinnamon + Ginger + Cardamom + Allspice +Cloves
- Pinch Sea Salt
- Coconut Sugar
- Almond Flour
- Tapioca Flour
- Sliced Almonds
Spices: I love the essence of chai going on with this spice blend, but you can make it a bit more simple if you’d like and just use cinnamon. Or add in whatever spices you like!
Sugar: If you don’t have coconut sugar, you can swap it out with either maple sugar or light brown sugar.
Butter: To make this dairy-free, swap out the butter with coconut oil, though you’ll lose out on the buttery flavor.
Almond Flour: We don’t have an easy substitute for almond flour in this recipe.
Almonds: These are optional, and can be swapped out with another nut. Just be sure to chop it finely!
Choosing the Right Ripe Pears
There are a few different pear options that can work for this recipe. My first choice would be Bartlett pears. If you can’t find any, you could also use D’Anjou or Bosc pears. Look for pears that are firm, but ripe. A barely ripe pear will yield slightly when squeezed with a medium amount of pressure applied.
How to Hasselback Pears
The toughest part of this recipe is to hasselback the pears without cutting through them! My biggest tip is to work slowly! There is no need to rush. If you are really nervous about cutting too close to the bottom, just cut halfway through.
Or, you can use an aid to help you. If you have two chopsticks or two metal straws, you can place one on each end of the pear, perpendicular to the way you are holding your knife. That way you can slice through the pear but you will hit the straw before you accidentally cut through them.
How Long to Bake Them
How long to bake them can be a little dependent on what type of pears you use, and how ripe they are. We recommend baking for 10 minutes for the first bake. Then you will fan them out, and then back in the oven with the streusel for the second bake. This will take anywhere from 10-15 minutes, or until the pears are easily pierced with a knife. If your pears are very firm, they might take longer to cook. And conversely, if they’re ripe, they might take less time. Check them after 10 minutes.
How to Serve Them
The pears can be served easily, on their own with some of the released juices in the bottom of the dish. Or, you could serve them with a homemade (dairy-free) caramel, some ice cream, or even for a lighter touch, some greek yogurt.
They should be served warm!
Can they be made ahead of time?
Yes! They can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator and gently reheat in a low oven until warmed through.
If you like this easy dessert recipe, check out these others:
- Chocolate Dessert Cups
- Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake
- Easy Slow Cooker “Baked” Apples
Baked Hassleback Pears
- 4 Bartlett D'Anjou or Bosc pears, just barely ripe, cleaned and dried
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- Pinch ground cloves
- Pinch sea salt
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 4 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil divided
- 1 cup 98 grams almond flour
- ¼ cup 30 grams tapioca flour
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- Pre-heat the oven to 400°F and coat a 9x13 or similar sized baking dish with a non-stick cooking spray (we use avocado oil).
- Whisk together cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice, cloves, sea salt and coconut sugar in a medium bowl.
- Slice pears in half. Using a melon baller (or a small cookie scooper, or knife) remove the core and seeds from each pear and discard.
- Carefully slice pears half to three-quarters of the way through. Be careful not to cut it all the way.
- Add pears to the baking dish cut side down. Brush the tops with 1 tablespoon of butter and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the set-aside spice-sugar mixture.
- Bake on the center rack for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the almond flour, tapioca, sliced almonds, and remaining melted butter to the bowl with the sugar-spice mixture and stir together.
- Once the pears are done, remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes to briefly cool.
- Carefully fan open the pears as best as you can. Work some of the streusel in between the slices and then sprinkle the rest on top.
- Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until pears are easily pierced with a fork.
- Serve warm as is, with caramel sauce, ice cream or greek yogurt!