Cranberry Pear Pie

Do you ever feel like you’re going to lose it? If the dog puts her head sweetly on my leg one more time and looks at me with those puppy dog eyes. If the cat utters another single meow as she begs me to toss her duck tape football toy. If one more car drives by my house TOO LOUDLY. If one more part of my body, my leg, ear, arm, anything, itches. If one more insignificant item drops to the ground, and I am forced to bend down and pick it up. I swear to God I will explode.

I may or may not be on my period.

I may or may not be perpetuating that stereotype that women go crazy on their periods.

Dudes, this does not give you the green light to throw a girl’s period/pms in her face when she’s being “weird.” This is called a double standard. It’s cool.

It’s days like this that I should not have jars of Nutella in my house. Or half of a pie. But I’m so glad I have half of a pie in my house for two reasons. One, it’s a damn good pie, and I love a damn good pie. Two, it was a result of a damn good weekend.

My trips this fall seem to be coming at just the right times, just when I need distraction the most, when I’m getting too caught up in my own weird head. This past weekend I drove up to Milwaukee with the dog to do the Lakefront Discovery 15K with my friend Heather. More on the race in a later post.

Car rides with Mir.

Before my arrival in Milwaukee, Heather alerted me of a pie crust she had made that was waiting for me in her freezer. We had plans to fill it with nutella (that pesky condiment again), apples, and cherries, but somewhere between the free post-race beers, the dude in pink and purple spandex, the guy painted blue, and lunch at a lovely local restaurant called Cafe Benelux we changed our minds…cranberry pear would be a much better filling.

We didn’t start the pie until around 9 p.m., and if you know a thing or two about pie making, you know a pie takes about an hour to cook, and then has to cool. Completely. Like it’ll tempt you on the counter for another hour as the filling continues to thicken. So we didn’t actually eat any until breakfast the next morning. But let me just say that when we did….mmmmm.

This pie should probably end up on your Thanksgiving table. Who wants traditional apple or pumpkin anyway? Or it could just end up on your Wednesday night table. But you should really make it ASAP while the pears are in season. And, lucky you, fresh cranberries should be appearing in groceries soon in preparation for the holidays. If they aren’t freshly around though, just check your freezer section.

This pie is sweet and fresh from the pears and perfectly tart from the cranberries with just a touch of spice from the cinnamon. It’s this perfect combination. If, however, you do not like a tart pie, you can add more sugar. I just happen to like my pies kind of slutty.

You have all sorts of crust options! It’s really exciting. You have my personal favorite, a vodka lard/butter pie crust, a non-vodka butter and crisco crust, or an all butter vodka crust. Feel free to use all butter in that non-vodka crust if that’s your thing. Just sub the crisco with the same amount of ice cold cubed butter. Heather and I made this pie with a crumble topping. It’s way yummy. You can totes make this a double crust pie if you heart desires though.

So let’s make a pie, bitches, and get out of our heads!

Cranberry Pear Pie

A single pie crust (that’s about 2/3 of the dough from any of the double crust recipes above)

For filling:
4 pears, ripe but not soft and squishy
1 heaping cup cranberries
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3-4 tablespoons flour
3-5 tablespoons sugar
A few squeezes of lemon juice from about half a lemon

For topping:
8 tablespoons/1 stick butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/3 cup oats

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Peel, core, and quarter the pears. Slice them thinly. You can even half the slices if you’d like. Place them in a large bowl along with all of other filling ingredients, and gently toss to coat the pears and cranberries with everything else. Set aside.

Prepare the topping. Cut up the butter into small pieces. Put them into a bowl along with the brown sugar, flour, and oats. Incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingers, squishing the butter around and breaking it up until the mixture resembles cornmeal.

Get out your pie dough. Roll it into a disk about two inches bigger than your pie pan. Gently press the crust into the pie pan. Fold up the extra crust that’s hanging over the edge of the pan to make a nice rim of crust along the outside edge of the pan. You can pinch it between your thumb and finger to crimp it or press a fork into it.

Pour the filling into the crust, and spread it evenly. Top evenly with the crumble topping mixture.

Bake for 15 minutes at 400°, then turn the oven down to 375° and bake for 35-45 minutes more, until the filling starts to bubble. If the crust and top start to look brown but the pie still needs more oven time, cover it with foil. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

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3 thoughts on “Cranberry Pear Pie

    • Dead on. From the cat on my face in the morning all the way down to being a helpless passenger in my psychotic war-machine of a body. I think this qualifies as a first-world problem.

  1. Funny, I thought the pie was my therapy this weekend, but really it was being in the company of friends like you that kept me from losing it. So… thanks… to you, and the pie.

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