Pear & Cranberry Crisp Recipe – Super Yummy!

by Ella

In the realm of comforting desserts that embody the essence of fall and winter, few creations rival the sheer delight of a well-made Pear and Cranberry Crisp. This timeless dessert seamlessly blends the sweet, juicy flavors of ripe pears with the tartness of cranberries, all topped with a crisp and golden crumble. If you aspire to elevate your culinary prowess and charm your guests with a dessert that encapsulates the warmth of the season, you’re in for a treat. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the step-by-step process of creating a Pear and Cranberry Crisp that is not only visually stunning but also a symphony of flavors that dance on the palate.

Pears and Cranberries

Pears and cranberries, when combined, create a dynamic flavor profile that strikes a perfect balance between sweetness and tartness. The soft, buttery texture of pears complements the burst of tartness from cranberries, resulting in a filling that is both luscious and vibrant. Before delving into the crisp-making process, it’s essential to choose the right varieties of these fruits and understand their unique characteristics.


Selecting the Perfect Pears


The success of your Pear and Cranberry Crisp begins with selecting the right pears. Opt for varieties that hold their shape well during baking and offer a delicate sweetness. Bosc and Anjou pears are excellent choices, as they maintain their texture and don’t turn overly mushy when cooked. If you prefer a slightly sweeter note, consider incorporating a few ripe Bartlett pears.


The Versatility of Cranberries


Cranberries, with their vibrant red hue and zesty flavor, add a festive touch to the crisp. Fresh or frozen cranberries can be used, and while fresh cranberries are readily available during the fall, frozen cranberries are a convenient alternative year-round. Keep in mind that cranberries are naturally tart, so their bold flavor provides a delightful contrast to the sweetness of the pears.

Pear and Cranberry Crisp Recipe

Prep Time20 minutes
Active Time45 minutes
Yield: 3
Cost: $5


For the Filling:

  • 6 cups ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced (Bosc, Anjou, or a mix)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the Crisp Topping:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes


  • Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Position the rack in the center of the oven.
  • Prepare the Filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine the sliced pears, cranberries, granulated sugar, lemon juice, all-purpose flour, and ground cinnamon. Gently toss the mixture until the pears and cranberries are evenly coated. Set aside to allow the flavors to meld while you prepare the crisp topping.
  • Make the Crisp Topping: In a separate bowl, combine the rolled oats, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg. Add the cold, cubed butter to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, work the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. The mixture should hold together when squeezed.
  • Assemble the Crisp: Transfer the prepared pear and cranberry filling to a baking dish of your choice. Ensure the filling is evenly distributed. Sprinkle the crisp topping over the fruit mixture, covering it completely. The contrast between the vibrant fruit and the golden-brown crumble is a visual delight.
  • Bake to Perfection: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown, and the fruit is bubbling. Keep an eye on the crisp during the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning. If the top is browning too quickly, loosely cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  • Allow to Rest: Once baked, remove the Pear and Cranberry Crisp from the oven and let it rest for about 15 minutes. This resting period allows the filling to set, making it easier to serve.

Serve and Enjoy:

Spoon generous servings of the warm Pear and Cranberry Crisp onto individual plates or bowls.

Optionally, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream, or a side of Greek yogurt for an added layer of indulgence.

Baking Strategies for Perfection

The baking phase is where the magic happens. Achieving the perfect Pear and Cranberry Crisp requires a keen eye, patience, and an understanding of the desired textures and flavors.

Temperature and Timing

Preheat for Success: Ensure your oven is preheated to the specified temperature. Preheating is crucial for consistent and even baking, resulting in a crisp with a golden-brown top and perfectly cooked fruit filling.

Golden-Brown Glory: Keep a close eye on the crisp as it bakes, and aim for a golden-brown hue on the crumble topping. This visual cue indicates that the butter in the crumble has melted and caramelized, imparting a rich flavor and satisfying crunch.

Checking Fruit Doneness: Pierce the fruit filling with a fork or toothpick to check for doneness. The pears should be tender but not mushy, and the cranberries should burst open, releasing their vibrant juices.

Resting Period: Allow the crisp to rest for a short period after removing it from the oven. This resting time allows the filling to set, making it easier to scoop and serve without losing its structure.

Enhancements and Variations

While the classic Pear and Cranberry Crisp is a delightful creation on its own, there’s always room for creativity and personalization. Consider these enhancements and variations to tailor the crisp to your preferences or to surprise and delight your guests.

Flavor Infusions

Citrus Zest: Elevate the filling by incorporating citrus zest. Orange or lemon zest adds a bright and aromatic element that complements the sweet and tart flavors of the fruit.

Vanilla Extract: Enhance the overall depth of flavor by adding a splash of pure vanilla extract to the fruit mixture. The warm, floral notes of vanilla provide a subtle richness that beautifully complements the pears and cranberries.

Almond Extract: For a nutty undertone, consider adding a hint of almond extract. This addition pairs exceptionally well with the buttery crumble and adds a layer of complexity to the dessert.

Topping Variations

Oat and Nut Mix: Experiment with different combinations of oats and nuts for the crumble topping. Rolled oats, sliced almonds, or chopped pecans can provide varied textures and nutty nuances.

Ginger and Spice: Infuse the crumble with ground ginger or allspice for a warm and spicy kick. This variation adds a unique twist to the traditional flavor profile of the crisp.

Coconut Flakes: For a tropical twist, incorporate unsweetened coconut flakes into the crumble mixture. The toasty, nutty flavor of coconut adds an unexpected element to the dessert.

Serving Suggestions

Ice Cream: Elevate your Pear and Cranberry Crisp by serving it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The contrasting temperatures create a delightful sensory experience, and the melting ice cream adds a luxurious creaminess.

Whipped Cream or Yogurt: A dollop of freshly whipped cream or a spoonful of Greek yogurt provides a lighter alternative to ice cream. The tanginess of yogurt complements the sweetness of the crisp, while whipped cream adds an airy and indulgent touch.

Caramel Drizzle: Drizzle warm caramel sauce over the crisp just before serving for an added layer of sweetness and decadence. The buttery richness of caramel enhances the overall flavor profile.

Cheese Pairing: Explore the savory side by pairing the Pear and Cranberry Crisp with a mild, creamy cheese such as Brie or Camembert. The combination of sweet and savory creates a sophisticated and memorable dessert experience.


Crafting a Pear and Cranberry Crisp that captivates the senses involves a delicate dance of flavors, textures, and techniques. From selecting the perfect pears and cranberries to creating a crumble that is golden and crisp, each step contributes to the symphony of tastes that make this dessert a seasonal favorite.

As you embark on your journey to master the art of Pear and Cranberry Crisp, don’t be afraid to infuse your own creativity into the process. Whether you experiment with flavor variations, explore different toppings, or choose unique serving suggestions, let this guide serve as a starting point for your culinary exploration.

In the end, a well-crafted Pear and Cranberry Crisp is not just a dessert; it’s a celebration of the season’s bounty and a testament to the joy that can be found in the simple pleasure of a perfectly baked fruit crisp. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and let the aromatic symphony of pears, cranberries, and crumble fill your kitchen with the promise of a delightful culinary experience.



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