I prefer to cook than bake. I look at a recipe and feel like I can improvise more when it comes to cooking on a stove than in an oven. The creative side of my brain works better when something calls for a pinch or a dash versus exact measurements, temperatures, and times. So when I came into a box of Harry and David pears, I knew I was going to make a pie. Starting with a family apple pie recipe in my head, this is my take on a pear pie – plus ginger and cranberry for some added zest.
Pear Cranberry Ginger Pie
Frozen pie crust (Must be taken out of the freezer and raised to room temperature before unrolling, though more adventurous bakers can make their own)
5 pounds of Bartlett pears (if you prefer more firm fruit in your pie, use Bosc or Anjou pears) cored and cut into thirds
¼ cup brown sugar (if you are watching your sugar intake, you can reduce or skip this)
10 ounces dried cranberries (I used 2 bags of Reduced Sugar Craisins®)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
For the crumble topping:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
½ tablespoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
- Heat oven to 400°F.
- Take the pie crust (it should be room temperature) and roll out into a 9-inch pie pan.
- Use a fork to poke indents liberally throughout the dough (so steam can escape during baking). Set aside.
- Place the sliced pears and sugar in a large oven-safe bowl.
- Put the pie pan (with dough) and bowl (with pears + sugar) into the oven and bake both at 400°F for 10 minutes. Take the pie crust out. Stir the pear mixture and keep in oven for an additional 5 minutes before taking out and letting cool.
- Drain the excess pear juice from the bowl and set aside.
- Start to prep the crumble topping by combining all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Use a fork to scrape and cut into the cold butter and stir the mixture until course crumbles start to form (do not heat the butter or you will end up with a solid lump of dough).
- Return to the pear mixture and try draining it one more time before stirring in the dried cranberries and ginger. Now ladle this onto the crust in the pie pan.
- Sprinkle your crumble topping over the filling.
- The juice from the pie will bubble over, so prevent a nightmare cleaning job by placing a cookie sheet underneath the pie pan on the oven rack.
- Bake at 400°F for 40 minutes. If your topping begins to turn a dark brown early, you can turn down the heat, but extend the time in the oven.
- Let cool and enjoy! Vanilla ice cream is the perfect compliment to this pie.
Here is a timelapse video of the baking process:
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