Cranberry Pear Crumble Pie

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Juicy pears, tart ruby red cranberries, and a buttery brown sugar topping come together in this downright addicting cranberry pear crumble pie. You won’t be able to stop stealing tastes of this pear pie filling– it’s SO GOOD.

Cranberry pear crumble pie on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Welcome to day 5 in my annual Pie Week! Let’s review:

And to close out the week, we have a sweet and juicy little number by the name of Cranberry Pear Crumble Pie. I saved the best pie for last! Between those creamy pears, the bursts of tart cranberry, the flaky pie crust, and the buttery brown sugar crumbles– there isn’t a soul on Thanksgiving Day who won’t beg you for this pie recipe. Guaranteed.

Cranberry pear crumble pie on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I’m working with Harry and David again this year! I said it before and I’ll say it again: Harry, David, and I (lol!) are a natural pairing. Pear-ing. 😉

Growing up, my dad came home from work with holiday gift baskets galore. My sisters and I dove headfirst for the Moose Munch, often negotiating with our parents for just one more handful before bedtime. That stuff is gold and you can’t deny it.

Harry and David is also known for their hand-picked and high-quality southern Oregon pears. If you’ve ever had a H&D pear, you know they’re the sweetest, juiciest, most buttery tasting pears around. The pears are in their prime right now! Harry and David sent me a box of their Royal Riviera pears and asked that I create two recipes this holiday season.

The perfect pears for the perfect pie. Let’s welcome Harry & David to Pie Week!

Box of Harry and David Pears

Box of Harry and David Pears

Pears for pear pie filling

How to Make Cranberry Pear Crumble Pie

Let’s break today’s pear pie down in 3 parts.

  1. Buttery pie crust: Use my can’t fail all butter pie crust or my buttery flaky pie crust. Both make an excellent base for this sky-high pear pie.
  2. Juicy cranberry pear pie filling: Have I mentioned it’s juicy? All the normal pie squad is here including sugar to sweeten, flour to thicken, cinnamon and ginger for extra yum, and a little squeeze of lemon to keep the flavors bright. Fresh or frozen cranberries work wonders for a ruby red pop of flavor and our FAVORITE pears bring it all home.
  3. Brown sugar crumble topping: If precise pie crust decorating isn’t your thing, free-form crumble topping most certainly is. A simple blend of melted butter, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon, this crumble is scattered all over the cranberry pear pie filling and supplies the perfect crumbly crunch to the soft fruit below.

You know what I love most about crumble toppings? They’re EASY.

Cranberry pear pie filling on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Pears for Pear Pie Filling

Soft pears are sooooo good for snacking, but it’s best to use slightly firmer pears for baking. Peel the pears, then cut them into (about) 1/2-inch chunks NOT slices. Remember how we cut peaches for peach pie? Just like that. Let me explain.

Now here’s the real trick: Slices are awesome when it comes to apples, but chunks are KEY for softer fruits like pears or peaches. Pear slices will quickly turn into mush, but pear chunks hold their shape beautifully. They take on a creamy texture, but still have a little bite.

For pear pie filling, you want slightly firm pears peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks.

How to make cranberry pear pie on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Brown sugar crumble topping for cranberry pear pie

Besides the Harry & David pears, the texture, and crumble topping– my favorite part about this pie are the HOT PINK juices bubbling on the edges. Is there truly a more beautiful sight?

MAN this pie is good.

Cranberry pear crumble pie on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Pie Crust Troubleshooting

  • Prevent a crumbly pie dough that rips and tears when you roll it out. Make sure you use enough ice water when preparing your pie dough. Too little water creates an unworkable dough.
  • Prevent a tough pie crust. Tough crusts are the result of not enough fat in the crust, as well as overworking the dough. Use the all butter pie crust recipe or my shortening and butter pie crust recipe to ensure a flaky, tender pie crust. Additionally, don’t work the dough too much.
  • Prevent a burnt crust with a pie crust shield. A shield keeps the crust edge covered, which protects it from browning too quickly or worse, burning. Use an adjustable silicone pie crust shield that you can fit to the size of your delicate pie crust. Metal can break the crust. Alternatively, you can cover the pie with a piece of aluminum foil. Cut a large circle in the center of the square so the center of the pie is exposed.

Cranberry Pear Crumble Pie

Ingredients:

  • Buttery Flaky Pie Crust or All Butter Pie Crust (my recipes both make 2 crusts; freeze the 2nd half for later use)
  • 6 cups 1/2-inch chunks of peeled pears (about 5 medium pears)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (do not thaw)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (31g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice*

Crumble Topping

  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (94g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (5 Tbsp; 75g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

Directions:

  1. The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe or butter pie crust through step 5.
  2. After the pie crust has chilled, adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  3. Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (you can freeze the 2nd for later use, see note). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie dish.* Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. Flute or crimp the edges of the crust. Chill in the refrigerator or freezer as you prepare the filling and crumble topping.
  4. The filling: Combine the pear chunks, cranberries, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, and lemon juice together in a large bowl.
  5. The crumble topping: Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together. Pour the melted butter on top and, using a fork, gently mix until crumbles form.
  6. Spoon the filling into the crust, leaving any juices behind. Sprinkle crumble topping all over the filling.
  7. Bake the pie for 55-65 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. After the first 20 minutes of bake time, place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges from browning too quickly. You can also tent a piece of aluminum foil over the whole pie if the top is browning too quickly. Remove finished pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. The pie filling will set as it cools.
  8. Slice and serve pie at room temperature. Cover and store leftover pie in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Freezing: The baked pie freezes well for up to 3 months, tightly wrapped in a couple layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving. You can also freeze the unbaked pie with crumble topping. Freeze for a couple hours to set the filling, then tightly wrap the entire pie in 2-3 layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to bake, remove from the freezer, unwrap, and bake for about 20 minutes longer.

Make 1-5 days ahead: You can get started by combining all the filling ingredients one day ahead of time. Keep covered tightly in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the pie. You can also make the pie dough 1-5 days in advance since it needs to chill. If you want to bake the pie 1 full day in advance, bake it as directed, allow it to completely cool, then cover tightly and keep in the refrigerator overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Recipe Notes:

  1. You can freeze the 2nd pie dough for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
  2. A squeeze of fresh lemon brightens up the overall flavor of the filling. You won't regret adding it!
  3. I strongly recommend a glass pie dish so you can see when the crust on the sides is browning, which signals that the pie is finished.

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SHOP THE RECIPE

Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

Glass Mixing Bowls | Pastry Cutter | Rolling Pin | Pastry Brush | Glass Pie Dish

Cranberry pear crumble pie on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This recipe is sponsored by Harry and David

43 Comments

All Comments

  1. This looks SO good! Our company sends us Harry & David boxes for the holidays each year and I’m always looking for ways to make new pear treats. This is definitely happening this year!

  2. This looks amazing! Please don’t be offended by this, but can I use a store bought pie crust for this? If so, could you make a recommendation?
    Thank you for sharing your delicious recipes!

    1. Yes yes yes of course! Pillsbury, Marie Callender’s, or if you have Trader Joes around you– their frozen pie crust shells are fantastic.

      1. This comment just made my day! Pregnant with my 3rd in my first trimester, and this sounds SO good for Thanksgiving, but not sure I have the energy to make a crust on top of other things I need to make!!

  3. This looks SO good! What type of pears would be best for this? I hardly ever cook with them but this looks too good not to try!

    1. Hey Lindsey! The pears I used in this pictured pie were Royal Riviera pears, though I also love baking pies with Anjou (red or green), Bartletts (red or green), or Bosc pears.

  4. What variety of pears have you used? A photograph of a full pear would help. Harry and David pears are not affordable for everyone.

    1. The pears I used in this pictured pie were Royal Riviera pears, though I also love baking pies with Anjou (red or green), Bartletts (red or green), or Bosc pears.
      See my caramel pear pie for more detail if you’re interested. Thanks for asking!

  5. The combination sounds stellar Sally. Thank you for creating something new and unique to tickle our palates this Thanksgiving 🙂 I’m wondering if you have any extended thoughts on the type of pears – are bartletts the most crisp (esp in baking)? Would it be better to use very green/crisp pears if we wanted the chunks to remain somewhat intact? Is this filling more on the sweet or tart side (we like our apple pie filling quite tart)? Do you have a video that shows the fluting techniques on the crust? I’m quite intimidated by pie crust and always end up using Trader Joe’s rolled crust – it is phenomenal! I’d love to learn crust fluting techniques 🙂 Thanks in advance for your help with my questions!

    1. Hi Faye! I find Bosc to be the most crisp; Bartletts are pretty juicy. Both are wonderful in pies, as well as the Royal Riviera pears I used. I recommend using pears on the firmer side so they don’t turn into mush as the pie bakes. See my Pears for Pie Filling section in this blog post. This filling is more on the sweet side, though that depends on how sweet your pears are. I actually have a video showing how I flute pie edges (and lattice a pie crust top too– in case you ever need it.) The videos is in my all butter pie crust post: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/all-butter-pie-crust/

  6. This looks really great…would it be completely sacrilegious if I asked how to turn this into just pear cranberry crisp\crumble? just leave out the pie crust or any other adjustment necessary?

  7. Sally, this pie is PERFECTION! I baked it last night and I’ve fallen in love with this recipe! I took some pieces to work and saw everyone’s eyes roll into the backs of their heads when they tasted it. This was my first time baking with pears, but not my last. The pears were more subtle than apple, and the cranberries were exactly what they needed to brighten up the filling. Plus, the cranberries are pretty! Even though I bake all the time, pie crust is not my favorite to work with so I may skip the crust next time and just made a crisp crumble topping is the best anyway, so it can be the star in a crisp! I rarely repeat a recipe (I’m always on to the next one ) but this is a keeper. It’ll definitely be coming out of my kitchen again soon! Thanks for being my go-to for the best recipes

  8. Hey Sally! Going to make this for Thanksgiving this year! You’ve given me the confidence to bake a pie from scratch, crust and all! Do we need to blind bake the pie crust before adding the filling?

  9. I made this pie for a dinner party the other week- trying to practice a little for Thanksgiving pie mode! I substituted frozen raspberries for cranberries and used a frozen pie crust. This was a delightful fruit pie and I’m glad to have it in my back pocket.

  10. Hi! I’m looking to convert this to a traditional pie with a second pie crust vs. a crumble. Would the filling still be sweet enough? Should I add something like a salted caramel or additional sugar to make sure it has the right balance? Thanks!

    1. Hi Shriya! Yes, the filling is still plenty sweet. No need to add anything to the pie itself except for that top pie crust. Enjoy the recipe!

  11. Hello from across the pond 🙂 I’m from the English countryside where crumble is a very big deal indeed! This was hands down the best crumble I have ever had. I’d never baked with pears before but I am officially converted. Thanks so much!

  12. I would love to make this for Thanksgiving, but I’ve already committed to bringing an apple pie, so could I just substitute the pears with apples? If so, do you have any recommendations for what kind of apples and how many? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Christi! Apples are a great substitute if you want an apple cranberry crumble pie. You’ll need about 6 apples. I recommend Granny Smith and/or Fuji and Honeycrisp. Using a variety is best.

Reviews

  1. I made this pie for a dinner party the other week- trying to practice a little for Thanksgiving pie mode! I substituted frozen raspberries for cranberries and used a frozen pie crust. This was a delightful fruit pie and I’m glad to have it in my back pocket.

Questions

  1. This looks amazing! Please don’t be offended by this, but can I use a store bought pie crust for this? If so, could you make a recommendation?
    Thank you for sharing your delicious recipes!

  2. This looks SO good! What type of pears would be best for this? I hardly ever cook with them but this looks too good not to try!

  3. The combination sounds stellar Sally. Thank you for creating something new and unique to tickle our palates this Thanksgiving 🙂 I’m wondering if you have any extended thoughts on the type of pears – are bartletts the most crisp (esp in baking)? Would it be better to use very green/crisp pears if we wanted the chunks to remain somewhat intact? Is this filling more on the sweet or tart side (we like our apple pie filling quite tart)? Do you have a video that shows the fluting techniques on the crust? I’m quite intimidated by pie crust and always end up using Trader Joe’s rolled crust – it is phenomenal! I’d love to learn crust fluting techniques 🙂 Thanks in advance for your help with my questions!

  4. This looks really great…would it be completely sacrilegious if I asked how to turn this into just pear cranberry crisp\crumble? just leave out the pie crust or any other adjustment necessary?

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