Pear-Cranberry Crisp


A delightfully comforting dessert with two seasonal fruit favorites.

Pear-Cranberry Crisp
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell.
Active Time:
15 mins
Cool Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins

It’s hard to name a winter dessert that’s easier or cozier than a fresh-from-the-oven, cinnamon-laden fruit crisp. Blanketed with a buttery pecan topping, this Pear Cranberry Crisp is the ultimate family-friendly holiday dessert.

Cranberries alone can be a bit tart; here they’re combined with neutral, flavor-absorbing pears to yield the perfect balance of sweetness, texture, and tartness. Anjou pears are available in red and green varieties. To test for ripeness, gently press near the stem with your thumb; if the pear’s flesh gives slightly, it’s ready.

If you’re thinking that a crisp might be too humble to serve as a holiday dessert, think again—sometimes the most impressive desserts are the ones that whisk you back to your childhood with their sense of nostalgia. To take this crisp up a notch, divide the filling and topping among individual baking dishes (reduce the baking time slightly) so that each guest gets their own personal crisp.

You can also serve this dessert with a selection of ice creams, such as butter-pecan, vanilla bean, or even eggnog, allowing your guests to mix, match, and top to their hearts’ delight.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained

  • 3 large firm-ripe Anjou pears, peeled and thinly sliced (about 2 lb.)

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch

  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • Vanilla or cinnamon ice cream (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Stir together flour, brown sugar, melted butter, salt, and chopped pecans in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Chill until brown sugar mixture is firm enough to crumble into small pieces, about 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, combine cranberries, Anjou pears, granulated sugar, maple syrup, cornstarch, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large bowl; toss gently to thoroughly combine. Lightly grease a 2-quart oval baking dish with cooking spray; spoon cranberry mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle top with brown sugar mixture.

  3. Bake in preheated oven until filling is bubbly and topping has browned, 45 to 50 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil after 35 minutes to prevent excessive browning, if needed. Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.

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