Deliciously healthy pear crumble with oats, chocolate and a hazelnut crispy topping. Warm comforting dessert with the best quality dark chocolate melted into juicy pears.

Apples are added just to soak up a little of the juices but this is a crumble that’s not soggy but nicely balanced. So revel in each spoonful of different textures: a crispy topping with gooey chocolate and fruit saying bonjour underneath.

bowl of pear crumble with chocolate

Easy Pear Crumble with Oats

This Pear Crumble is so quick and easy to make. It also ticks the autumn-winter pear comfort food dessert boxes thanks to the melted dark chocolate inside. As a Scottish lass, I add oats to all my crumbles (in fact, all my crumbles have to contain oats!). It adds a healthy touch making it a crispy topping with extra chocolate and hazelnuts.

In a nutshell, it’s just taken to another level.

The family love this not just for dessert but any leftovers are pounced on for breakfast, weekend brunch and, typically French, for teatime too. I love how the French call it a crrrrumbeulle. Crumbles in France are becoming increasingly popular on teatime and winter dessert menus. Serve with a pot of tea for the ultimate cosy treat.

crates of pears at the french market

What Kind of Pears are Best for a Crumble?

All throughout Autumn and Winter, we’ve had a constant supply of ripe-firm pears at our local market, which are just right for this crumble.  For this recipe I use Comice pears but you can use Williams, Conference – any of the winter varieties are good.

For more on pears, see the French market produce pear guide.

No More Soggy Crumbles

pears, chocolate, butter, oats, flour, sugar for pear crumble

As I was developing the recipe, I found that adding some apple helped soak up the juices. Pears, if extra ripe, tend to be rather wet and juicy for a crumble, which could make it a bit too juicy if used on their own.  However, the mixture of the two together and cooking them lightly at the beginning will prove to be just right.

If you find that your fruit give off too much excess liquid, please don’t add flour to the fruit! Instead, I suggest you drain off the extra juices (only if a lot, a little is good) and later reduce it by heating in a pan then serving as an extra topping later.

Although I add unsweetened cacao powder to the hazelnut crumble, the real secret is hidden underneath: good quality dark bittersweet chocolate (at least 64% cacao), in cooking disks or grated, just merges in to the fruit. It’s a perfect marriage in a baking dish.

fingers rubbing chocolate, oats, flour, butter and sugar to make a crumble topping

How do You Keep Crumble Topping Crisp?

As long as you follow the crumble proportions exactly (using a digital kitchen scale – see my article why it’s best to use one), the oat, chocolate and hazelnut topping will be crisp and crumbly. It’s a great balance with the more juicy fruit mixture underneath.

To make this recipe a little less in gluten than my classic apple crumble, I’ve replaced some of the flour with oats and the hazelnuts just add that incredible flavour.  It’s like having a homemade Nutella crumble but much healthier.

Find your topping not crumbly or it goes hard? Then that’s because you haven’t measured the ingredients correctly.  The butter and mixture of flours and cocoa powder should all be in proportion.

sprinkling on chocolate crumble on to cooked diced pears and apples topped with chocolate buttons

spinkling on the chocolate oat and hazelnut crumble over juicy cooked pears and apples with more chocolate

How Long Does Uncooked Crumble Last in the Fridge?

If you plan to make this in advance, I suggest keeping the crumble topping mix apart.

Keep in the fridge for up to 2 days maximum and when ready to bake, sprinkle on the oat crumble topping. This will ensure a lovely crispy crumble.

bowl of melted chocolate crumble with juicy pear

juicy pears with melted chocolate and a crispy crumble of oats, chocolate and hazelnuts

Can I Freeze Pear Crumble?

If you have any leftovers, this pear crumble can be frozen once cooled in a sealed container for up to 2 months.  Any longer and the flavours will be lost. I do prefer eating this next day rather than freezing, however. It’s excellent served for breakfast or brunch too!

On the other hand, the oat crumble topping freezes very well.  Store in a sealed freezer bag, again for up to 2 months.  I often prepare double the amount of crumble and freeze the extra half for later. When ready to use the crumble, defrost first before baking.  Using frozen crumble mix directly into the oven will result in extra moisture, creating a soggy result.

This whole crumble can also be frozen unbaked, although I do prefer either two methods above in preference.

baking dish with chocolate crumble

More Crumble Love

If you love crumbles, have you tried these yet? See more pear recipes below.

apple tartlet topped with chocolate crumble

apple tartlet topped with chocolate oat crumble

What’s more, add this chocolate and oat crumble as a topping for this French apple tart.

bowl of pear and chocolate crumble

Pear Crumble with Oats, Chocolate and Hazelnuts

Have you made this recipe? Please leave a comment and rated review below. I appreciate your support!

bowl of pear crumble with chocolate
5 from 1 vote

Pear Crumble with Oats, Chocolate and Hazelnuts

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course : Breakfast, Dessert, teatime, Brunch
Cuisine : French, British
Keyword : baking with oats, eggless baking, pear crumble, oat crumble topping, chocolate crumble, chocolate hazelnut recipes, pear recipes, low gluten
Servings : 8 people
Calories : 318kcal


An easy pear crumble with oats is the ultimate comfort-food. Spoon into its crispy topping with hazelnuts and get the gooey, dark chocolate juicy bliss of pears and apples underneath.


Chocolate Hazelnut Crumble

  • 75 g (3oz/¾ cup) Ground Hazelnuts
  • 50 g (2oz/½ cup) Plain (all purpose) flour
  • 75 g (3oz/1 cup) medium oats (porridge oats)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 100 g (4oz/½ cup) butter unsalted
  • 1 good pinch salt (fleur de sel)
  • 40 g (1.5oz/¼ cup) soft light brown sugar (cane sugar)

Fruity Filling

  • 10 g (0.5oz) unsalted butter slightly softened
  • 4 firm to ripe large pears (Williams or Comice) peeled, cored, chopped
  • 2 apples (Granny Smith or Golden Delicious) peeled, cored, chopped
  • 10 g (2 tsp) vanilla sugar or cane sugar with 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 50 g (2oz/¼ cup) dark bittersweet chocolate (min 64%) good quality, in button form or grated


  • Combine all the crumble ingredients in a large bowl, lightly rubbing through your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Set aside.
    (At this point the crumble topping can be frozen for up to 2 months in a sealed container.)
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6.
  • Peel, core and chop up the pears and apples roughly into chunks. Melt the butter in a large non-stick frying pan, toss in the fruit chunks and sprinkle over the vanilla sugar. Leave to cook over a medium heat, turning the fruit now and again, for about 5 minutes (no more than 8). The fruit should not be mushy, just lightly cooked.
    Drain off any excess fruit juice if there is any (set aside and reduce over medium heat to serve apart with the crumble later so that there's no waste).
  • Transfer the fruit to a gratin or pudding dish (no need to butter it) and scatter over the dark chocolate. Sprinkle on a generous amount of crumble until the fruit and chocolate are completely covered.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top is toasted or lightly browned. Leave to cool slightly before serving.


Serve warm or at room temperature.
Replace the dark chocolate with milk chocolate according to taste.
Although fresh pears are best for this recipe, tinned pears are also great!
We normally serve this crumble on its own (as the French do) but if you prefer, add some vanilla ice cream, crème fraîche, pouring cream or chai crème anglaise. Excellent served with homemade chestnut ice cream or an adult boozy ice cream such as this non-churn Drambuie ice cream.

This recipe was first published 16 March 2019 but is now completely updated with new images.

From the market

From the kitchen

22 responses to “Pear Crumble with Oats, Chocolate and Hazelnut”

  1. 5 stars
    I may be a little biased as your daughter but I made this because I missed you… And it’s the perfect comfort food – so easy and warms the cockles

    • Awe, that warms the cockles just with your lovely words, Julie. It’s not long now. Lots of your favourite comfort foods and newbies planned over Christmas when you’re home xx

  2. 5 stars
    This sounds like such a delicious recipe. I can’t wait to give it a try. Dark chocolate, pears, and apples with a crumble topping…yum!

  3. This looks scrumptious. I’m eating a lot of pears just now – they are good even up here in north east Scotland, tho imported from that distant area on the edge of the world, about to become even further away – Europe. Sorry to be political, but I remember food in the 1960s before we had imports from Europe. Not sure that a return to cabbage and turnips is what Brexiteers voted for. So for the moment I’m enjoying my pears!

    • I hear you, Linda. If anything, it will encourage more local produce – and I’m sure it’s not all cabbage and turnips. Bon courage, my friend. You’ve inspired me to add a quick list of pear recipes here, just for you!

      • Ooh thank you, Jill. More pear delights! I’ll try the Bourdaloue Pear Tart this weekend I think. My husband is a big fan of tinned fruit (the impact of a Dundee childhood), so he should love this. We don’t have any rum – presume I can just use whisky? which we have far too much of so I need to make a dent in the stocks.

        • Whisky – why not? Sounds good. We also have a stock, since our French friends that used to drink it before dinner now have switched to wine! Whisky it is – for Scotland!

  4. 5 stars
    Oh my, it’s taken me days to get here, but what a stunner! LOVE the hidden dark chocolate discs as well as the dark cocoa in the crumble! Not to mention my favorite: hazelnuts! Looks like a winner, Jill! I’m sure your family cleaned the lot! Lucky them!

    • Thanks, Christina. They pretty much polish this off, yes – so we’ve had it rather often!

  5. 5 stars
    What a lovely idea, Chocolate Crumble sounds wonderful, thank you for including a link to my Blackberry and Apple Crumble

  6. I haven’t the first idea where I’m going to get hazelnuts, but I am going to have to try because this sounds so good! Super creative recipe, Jill!!!

    • Thanks, Betty. I didn’t state it in the recipe but of course you can use whole hazelnuts and crush them (close them in a freezer bag and whack them with a rolling pin – it’s great to let out any frustrations!).

  7. oh yum this sounds delicious. i do love chocolate and hazelnut together. who doesn’t?:-) cheers sherry

    • We love them both too – add some pears with extra dark gooey chocolate and I guess it’s healthier! Cheers, Sherry.

  8. 5 stars
    Good idea to mix pears with apples in the crumble. I love William pears and Cox apples but never thought to add chocolate. I am imagining the taste and will definitely put this recipe on my to do list.

    • Thanks, Thomasina. Hope you make this soon, as the taste is so good! Still perfect comforting winter food…

  9. 5 stars
    Another recipe that’s right in my comfort zone. I keep many Asian pears will have to try them with this recipe. I like crumbles, cobblers & pies. Happy St Patrick’s Day.

    • This will be incredible with Asian pears – love it, Bea. As a Scot, I celebrate St Andrew’s Day but a very Happy St Patrick’s Day to you and all my wonderful Irish friends!

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