The City Magazine Since 1975

Cran-Peary Crumb Pie

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For Cran-Peary Crumb Pie:

(Makes a 9-inch pie)

  • 2 large Anjou or Barlett pears, peeled and cubed into ½ inch chunks (about 3 cups)
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 1/6 cup packed light brown sugar, divided
  • 2 ½ Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch basic butter pie crust
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 Tbs. butter, chilled and cubed into small pieces


For Basic Butter Pie Crust:

(Makes a 9-inch crust)

  • 5 Tbs. ice-cold water
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Tbs. sugar
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter

For Cran-Peary Crumb Pie:

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Combine the pears, cranberries, 2/3 cup brown sugar, and cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Toss with a wooden spoon or spatula until cornstarch is no longer visible as a powder.

Spoon the mixture into crust. Place in fridge while you make the topping.

Combine oats, 1/2 cup brown sugar, spices, and salt in a mixing bowl. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into this mixture until texture is coarse.

Remove pie from fridge and sprinkle topping over the pear and cranberry mixture.

Bake at 350˚F for one hour or until topping is brown and filling bubbles out the top. You should smell the topping baking, but if it begins to smell burnt in any way, remove from oven immediately. Cool away from any heat source for at least two hours before serving.


For Basic Butter Pie Crust:

Place water in freezer to cool. 

Add flour, sugar, and salt to a large bowl. Give the dry ingredients a quick stir to evenly combine.

Remove butter from fridge and coat with the dry mixture. Using a large knife or dough scraper, cut the butter lengthwise into two pieces, then quarter the two pieces, coating each new cube with the flour mixture as you go. Work quickly to ensure ingredients stay cold. If you feel your butter is loosening up, put it back in the fridge for a few minutes, then continue.

Toss butter into flour mixture.

If using a pastry cutter, press the blades through the mixture repeatedly until the largest piece of butter is the size of a small pea. Do not over-mix. 

If using a food processor, add butter and flour mixture to processor and pulse only a few times until largest piece of butter is pea-sized. Do not over-process or leave in the “on” position. Transfer butter and flour mixture to bowl.

Ensure that ingredients are still properly chilled, then, slowly add some water to the mixture and knead using your hands. Continue adding small amounts of water until there are no more chunks of flour remaining (you may not need to use all five tablespoons of water). Make sure the dough can be kneaded into a ball. If not, use a bit more water until it barely holds together. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge. Let set for at least 30 minutes before rolling.

To roll, place the dough on a fresh piece of plastic wrap. Place a second piece of plastic wrap on top. Flipping the dough occasionally and replacing the wrap when it becomes wrinkled, roll into a circle approximately 12 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick. Try to do this in five or six rolls.

To transfer the dough to the pie plate, remove the top piece of wrap, then place the plate upside down on the dough. Slide one hand underneath the dough, hold the bottom of the plate with the other, and flip dough into plate. Gently press dough down into the bottom and sides of the plate.