This time of year makes me a little pie crazy. I think I’ve made four pies in the last couple of weeks, and I have a feeling there are more to come. For those of you with me in the holiday pie frenzy, let me introduce you to a new favorite – Cranberry Pear Crumb Pie.
The tart flavor of the cranberries pairs perfectly with the subtle sweetness of the pears. They balance each other so well, giving you a bit of sweet and tart in every bite. Plus, there’s crumb topping. Who could resist all of that?
I’ve previously made a fall fruit and cranberry pie that uses cranberries that have been cooked down into what is essentially cranberry sauce. This pie, however, uses whole cranberries in the filling for a little different textural experience.
The amount of crumb topping for this pie is a bit less than I would normally use. I really wanted to be able to see that gorgeous filling but still have a crumb top. I found some middle ground that shows off the filling while still using enough of that irresistible brown sugar crumb for the sweet flavor it adds. If you prefer, you can forego the crumb topping in favor of topping the pie with pie dough cut-outs or a lattice top. Both would still show off the colorful filling.
Quinn and I are both big, big fans of this pie. The flavors are right up our dessert alley. Serve it unadorned or with a scoop of ice cream. Either way is pretty irresistible.
This is a great pie choice for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. I feel fairly certain that it will be making a regular appearance on our holiday table for years to come.
Fine more pie recipes in the Recipe Index.
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Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Tart cranberries and subtly sweet pears are a perfectly delicious combination in this fantastic Cranberry Pear Crumb Pie.
For the crust:
- 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 to 4 tablespoons cold water
For the crumb topping:
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
For the filling:
- 3 medium pears, peeled and sliced
- 2 cups cranberries*
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- sanding sugar, optional
To make the crust:
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal and the butter is the size of small peas.
- Add 1 tablespoon of water and continue mixing. Add more water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms.
- Shape the dough into a disc. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator. If necessary, let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes until slightly softened but still cold.
- Lightly flour a work surface. Roll out the dough into a circle about 1/8-inch thick.
- Transfer the dough to a 9-inch round pie pan. Trim and crimp the edges of the crust as desired. Place the pie pan in the refrigerator while you make the topping and filling.
To make the crumb topping:
- Combine the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Add the butter, and mix with a fork or your fingers until the mixture forms crumbs.
- Refrigerate while you make the filling.
To make the filling:
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Gently stir together the pears, cranberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and cinnamon.
- Transfer the filling mixture to the pie crust. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the top of the filling. If using the sanding sugar, sprinkle over the top of the pie.
- Place the pie plate on a lined, rimmed baking sheet to catch any spills.
- Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until the crust and crumb are browned and the filling is bubbly. Cool the pie on a wire rack before serving.
*You can use fresh or frozen cranberries. If you use frozen, I recommend rinsing them in cold water before using them. Allow them to air dry or use paper towels to dry them as much as possible.