Delicious Cranberry Pear Crumble
A beautiful and festive dessert, this tart and sweet cranberry pear crumble is out of this world delicious…especially served just a little warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Welcome to the thoughts of a crazy food blogger: I wasn’t sure if I’d post this recipe before Thanksgiving. I mean, I couldn’t figure out if it would be better for Thanksgiving or maybe more Christmas appropriate?
Or whether it would be easily dismissed anytime between now and January 1st because who can really create the mental space for another dessert this time of year? (I get it, but come on…dessert! We can be open minded!)
But the utter deliciousness of this cranberry pear crumble had me serving it to anyone and everyone who walked through my door (the UPS guy sadly turned down a taste). And with fresh cranberries having such a short season in the spotlight, I knew I needed to post it. Now. Whether it would be taken seriously or not.
So here you go. Cranberry pear crumble.
It is fantastic. The cranberries, those spunky little cranberries, lend their characteristic tartness while the pears add the necessary, wholesome (ha), delicious sweetness to balance everything out.
And I really don’t have to tout the reasons why a golden, buttery crumble just makes everything better, right? Right. We know each other well enough by now.
I love a good fruit crumble on any given day. But this cranberry pear crumble has easily skyrocketed to the top of my favorite crumbles list…and probably my favorite fruit desserts ever list, too.
I think this must be Mel’s Year of the Cranberry, because even with the two cranberry recipes I’ve already posted and the plethora of cranberry recipes in my archives, I still have one more coming at you (a terribly delicious cranberry appetizer appearing next week). How can I resist? Those fresh cranberries call to me every time I spy their short-lived spot in the produce section.
If you’re looking for a refreshing addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert lineup, this crumble would be perfection. And if you are really daring, I think you should try the cranberry pie filling in a pie! Swoon. And then report back. 🙂
Also, I haven’t tried it, but even with fresh cranberries abounding everywhere, I think this recipe would work well with frozen cranberries, too. Fruit crumbles are pretty adaptable like that.
And that means only one thing. Cranberry pear crumble year round. Yes, life is good.
One Year Ago: Homemade Green Bean Casserole with Extra Crunchy Topping
Two Years Ago: Delicious Parmesan Cream Corn
Three Years Ago: Amazing Crustless Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
Four Years Ago: Warm Russian Tea
Five Years Ago: Gluten-free Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
Cranberry Pear Crumble
Cranberry Pear Filling:
- 2 to 3 pounds ripe pears, peeled and diced (6-7 cups, about 5 medium pears)
- 3 cups (340 g) fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped in half or lightly pulsed in food processor or blender
- 1 cup (212 g) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons tapioca flour, or ground instant tapioca or cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup orange juice, can use fresh juice from orange, apple juice or cranberry juice
- 2 ½ cups (355 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- ⅓ cup (71 g) granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup (71 g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 14 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the pears, cranberries, sugar, tapioca flour or cornstarch, orange zest, and cinnamon. Stir well. Add the juice. Stir to combine.
- Spread the fruit mixture evenly in the pan.
- For the crumble topping, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Add the melted butter and stir until the mixture forms pea-size and slightly larger clumps.
- Crumble the topping evenly over the fruit.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden. Once removed from the oven, let the crumble rest for 15 minutes (the filling will thicken a bit as it sits). Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
Recipe Source: inspired by a recipe in Cuisine at Home Dec 2018 for pear and cranberry pot pies (used the crumble recipe from this strawberry rhubarb crumble)
44 Comments on “Delicious Cranberry Pear Crumble”
This has become one of my all time favorite desserts. Leftovers are also great for breakfast.
Why do u melt the butter for the topping and why add the baking powder?
The baking powder helps the crumble puff a bit.
Mel – what I really need to know is – IF I’m deciding between this and the caramel pear crisp, what would you make?!? They both sound amazing and seasonal. Your descriptions make them both sound divine!!! Help!
Oh boy, that’s hard to choose, but I think the caramel pear crisp edges out in front just a bit (but they’re both incredible!)
I’m on it and will report back – thank you for responding!
Made this last night and only my oldest child would eat more than a couple bites. Hubby and I loved it tho!! Do you think it would freeze well? I’d love to pull it out again over Christmas when I may have guests with more discerning tastes!
Yes, it should freeze pretty well!
Just made this with the pears I got from the Farmers Market. I have a big box of pears to go through and this was the first thing I decided to try and make with the pears, It was SO AMAZING! I love Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and tell everyone about her and how we are best friends- she just doesn’t know it yet. But this recipe just literally knocked my socks off. It is my new favorite dessert!
Yay! Thanks! I LOVE that you love this dessert because it is seriously one of my favorites!
I didn’t read the recipe close enough beforehand and so I only had whole, canned cranberries on hand. So I winged it. I cut the sugar in half and added about 1/4C of water along with 1T of cornstarch. I followed the recipe otherwise. It was still very delicious.
Oh, nice! Glad to hear that…thanks for taking the time to comment and let me know.
LOVED this dessert! It is tart, so if you are not a fan of tartness, I would just increase the pears by one cup and reduce the cranberries by one cup. To me–who is always a fan of things like lemon tarts or meringue pie–it’s perfect as is.
Super yummy, even without the orange zest. My frozen cranberries were fairly small so I left them whole.
Hi Mel, am looking forward to making this crumble, but wondered if you thought it would be okay to freeze once it is baked? I know apple crumble usually freezes okay but wondered about this recipe? Would like to bake it ahead to have over the holidays without the fuss of preparation on that day. Thanks! Love all your recipes and am a great fan up here in Eastern Canada!
I actually think that would work pretty well!
Great….I will do it that way! I will update after we see how it fares!! 🙂
It was absolutely delicious – you would never know it had been frozen. Perfect dessert to compliment our Christmas Eve dinner! Loved by all – served warm with vanilla ice cream! ❤️
This was so good! I am partial to anything fruity with crumbly topping and ice cream so I knew it would be delicious. Will be making this again soon!
Love it… The crust was raved over
I made this today for Thanksgiving! It was so good. The orange flavor is lovely.
I made the filling and topping ahead of time and kept them separate until I put the dessert in the oven after the turkey was done.
Thank you for a beautiful dessert recipe.
Thanks for the review, Gen! Glad you loved it!
I made this recipe over the weekend and loved it! Can it be prepped in advance to be baked right before serving? If so, how far in advance do you recommend?
I think you could prep the fruit filling and topping separately probably 24 hours in advance and then top the fruit crumble with the topping right before baking.
I made this yesterday for Sunday dinner and I just cannot express the amount of deliciousness that is cranberry pear crumble! The flavor is just amazing!
So, so happy you loved this, Melanie! Thanks for letting me know!
We live in Japan, and believe it or not, Pears are hard to come by, and typically expensive. Do you think apples would work instead of pears?
It’s definitely worth a try! The texture and flavor will change a bit, but I’ve made a cranberry apple pie before that was delicious, so I think it stands a good chance of being awesome!
When I saw this recipe, I immediately wondered whether it would be anything like your amaaazing strawberry-rhubarb crumble my family fell in love with last spring. Would it help us survive ‘til next rhubarb season? Would the tart/sweet combo be sort of the same? And—importantly!—would the crumble topping be as delicious? Well, I’m excited to see the recipes are almost identical—except that the cranberry recipe uses orange zest/)ulce instead of lemon and adds the zest to the fruit mixture instead of to the topping. Is this really better, or just different? I know orange and cranberries are a thing, but I’ve never tasted them together. And we loved the pop of citrus in the topping. So the million-dollar question is: Should I take a chance with orange, or stick with lemon? Also, please tell me about tapioca flour vs. cornstarch. Thanks!
Hey DeAnn – yes, the recipes are similar. I grabbed the topping recipe from the strawberry rhubarb crumble and used it for this one minus the lemon zest. I don’t think one is necessarily better – they are just both delicious in their own way. I used tapioca flour for this one because I was out of cornstarch (and my favorite cherry pie calls for tapioca as a thickener), but honestly, I don’t know that it makes a big difference using the tapioca flour vs cornstarch. I’d just use what you have on hand! I feel like the tapioca flour *may* make the filling just every so slightly less gummy but that hasn’t been scientifically proven. I really think you’ll love this one!
Yum! I’m currently planning my Pie Pig Out selections for the year. I suppose I could take one for the team and try it in a pie for you. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Keep me posted, Jackie!
What variety of pear is best for this recipe?
I used D’anjou but I think Bartlett would work well, too.
First, I love you Mel and thank you for all these incredible recipes. Second, do you think I could use canned pears with this recipe?? I’ve got a bunch from my mother in law that I need to use!
Hey Ashley! Thanks for the love! 🙂 I’m not entirely sure about using canned pears. I’m worried they’ll turn into mush by the end of the baking time, but if they are more on the firm side of things even after being canned, it might work? Let me know if you try it!
I made the fresh cranberry apple relish a couple of days ago, and it is sooooo good. Yeaterday I made your creamy white bean chili recipe which I’ve made dozens of times. Tomorrow I will try this cranberry pear crumble because I love cranberries and your recipes never fail me! For several years your blog has been my go to recipe source, so thank you for sharing and making my life easier!
Thank you so much, Teresa! Love reading your comments. I hope you love this crumble!! If you have time, let me know what you think if/after you make it. 🙂
I have made this as a pie– and it was so.good! I morphed 3 recipes together to come up with apple/pear/cranberry filling. What is it about crumbles, streusel, whatever you call it- it gets me every time!
You and me both! I just can’t resist a good crumble.
Fruit crumbles are my favorite desserts of all—especially with a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. And I love the pear-cranberry combination! I definitely want to try it sometime during the holiday season!
Hope you love this one if you try it, Rachel!