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.
Welcome to day 5 in my annual Pie Week! Let’s review:
- Banoffee Pie with a mountain of whipped cream
- Maple Pecan Pie made without corn syrup
- Savory Vegetable & Cheese Tart (November Baking Challenge)
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.
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!
How to Make Cranberry Pear Crumble Pie
Let’s break today’s pear pie down in 3 parts.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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
- 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*
- 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
- The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe or butter pie crust through step 5.
- After the pie crust has chilled, adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- 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.
- The filling: Combine the pear chunks, cranberries, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, and lemon juice together in a large bowl.
- 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.
- Spoon the filling into the crust, leaving any juices behind. Sprinkle crumble topping all over the filling.
- 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.
- 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.
- You can freeze the 2nd pie dough for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
- A squeeze of fresh lemon brightens up the overall flavor of the filling. You won't regret adding it!
- 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.
This recipe is sponsored by Harry and David.