Sunday Brunch: Pear Cranberry Crisp Recipe

Sunday Brunch

How to make the best meal of the week even better.

Sunday Brunch: Pear Cranberry Crisp Recipe

[Photo: Robin Bellinger]

I have to admit that this pear cranberry crisp was supposed to be one of our Thanksgiving desserts, but after baking two pies I recovered from my ambitious-first-time-hostess syndrome and decided the crisp could wait a few days. A fragrant, indulgent weekend lunch it was, then, and will be again if I have any say in the matter.

I used a mix of Bosc, Comice, and Bartlett pears. Use a fresh fruit dessert to enliven a brunch of leftovers, bake it in ramekins to serve as part of a fancier meal, or dish it up with nothing but thick, unsweetened crème fraîche or lightly sweetened whipped cream—all but the most health-conscious breakfasters will fall upon it happily.

  • Yield:8


  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 8 ripe pears (about 2 1/4 pounds), cored and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • Slightly rounded 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • Crème fraîche or whipped cream to serve


  1. 1.

    Preheat the oven to 375°. Toss the cranberries, pears, vanilla, and 1/4 cup granulated sugar together in a bowl with 1/4 cup water.

  2. 2.

    In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Drizzle in the butter and stir with a fork until the mixture is crumbly and all the flour is incorporated. Do not allow the mixture to come together into a ball.

  3. 3.

    Spread the fruit in a 9x13 baking dish (or in eight 8-ounce ramekins). Use your fingers to sprinkle the crumb topping over the fruit, breaking up any large crumbs (crumbs larger than 1 inch will not cook through). Bake until the filling is bubbling and the topping is browned, about 40 minutes. The juices should bubble thickly; otherwise the fruit will be soggy. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature with crème fraîche or whipped cream.