I made this pie on a whim back in September because the weather was lousy and I needed an excuse to make a fun pie. Pears were just coming into season and I had a bunch of cranberries in the freezer from last year and figured it was well time to use them up. And boy am I glad I tried this recipe! I found it in Pie, this book I keep talking about, and it’s worth buying this book just to own this one recipe. My husband hates cranberries and loves this pie. I love cranberries and love this pie too. Now is cranberry season, so stock up, make this pie, and then store the rest of the cranberries in your freezer so you can make it again in January and February and June and August and….
cranberry pear pie
1 single crust pie pastry
3 cups fresh cranberries
3/4 cup plus 1 tbs granulated sugar (divided)
2 large ripe pears, unpeeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
finely grated zest of one orange
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
nut crumb topping
1 cup walnut or pecan halves
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
Prepare the pastry and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour. Roll into a 13-inch circle, place in a 9.5″ pie dish, center, and tuck the pastry into the pan without stretching it. Place in freezer for about 15 minutes.
Combine the cranberries and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times, until the cranberries are well chopped.
Transfer to a large bowl and mix in the pears, lemon juice, and orange zest. Mix well and set aside for 20 minutes to juice. Preheat oven to 400.
In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar with the cornstarch, cinnamon, and cardamom.
Add to the fruit and mix well. Turn the filling into the chilled pie shell. Smooth the top.
Place the pie on the center oven rack and bake for 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the crumb topping. Put the nuts, sugars, flour, and salt in a food processor and pulse several times to mix.
Scatter the butter over the top and pulse until the mixture resembles medium-fine crumbs.
Transfer to a large bowl, then rub the crumbs between your fingers to make large, buttery crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Remove the pie from the oven and reduce the temperature to 375. Carefully dump the topping in the center of the pie, spreading the crumbs evenly over the surface with your hands. Tamp them down lightly.
Return the pie to the oven, placing it so that the part that faced the back of the oven now faces front. Just in case, slide a large aluminum foil-lined baking sheet onto the rack below to catch any spills. Continue to bake until the juices bubble thickly around the edge, 30-35 minutes. If necessary, cover with loosely tented aluminum foil during the last 10-15 minutes to keep the crumbs from browning too much.
Transfer the pie to a wire rack and allow to cool for 1 hour before serving.
Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.