Apple-Pear-Cranberry Pie with Pecan Crumble

The flavors of the holidays . . . in a pie!

I'm not a huge dessert fan -- we've already covered that -- but then again I don't really think of pie as only for dessert. At least not fruit pies. They are something different altogether.  

Chris has been eating the remains of this lovely pie for breakfast all week and I had it for lunch yesterday. Neither was for dessert. But, it's almost gone, which is terribly sad. 

There's nothing more upsetting than the last slice of pie. It's just sitting there, waiting to be eaten. And, when it's gone, so is the pie. Unless you make another one right away, which you'll want to do after you taste this deliciousness. Trust me.

Why apple-pear-cranberry? I had a ton of apples and pears in my latest CSA box so a pie just seemed right. I wanted to add some cranberries and crunch but couldn't find a recipe online or in my books that seemed right.  So, I just combined about four different pie ideas together and came up with this one. 

The pie came out fantastic. It wasn't too sweet and the cranberries and Calvados (apple brandy) gave it a festive touch. The smoky, nutty pecans were terrific in the crumble. This is a great pie to bring to holiday get baking!


1- 9" pie crust
6 large tart apples
4 large Anjou pears
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup white sugar
3-4 TBS butter
1 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup Calvados
1/4 teaspoon each: nutmeg, cinnamon, salt
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup of chopped pecans, toasted and cooled
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4-6 TBS butter, softened

To Do:
  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Core, peel and slice apples and pears and toss in a large bowl with the lemon juice and white sugar until coated.  
  • In a large pot, melt butter, then over medium-low heat, cook apple/pear mixture until they soften a bit, about 10 mins. 
  • Turn up the heat, add the cranberries, Calvados, and vanilla and cook until alcohol burns off and the liquid reduces, about 5 mins.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, ginger (if using) and flour. If mixture still seems wet, add more flour a pinch at a time.
  • Pour into the pie shell and sprinkle the brown sugar over the top. Note: I had a pie crust in the freezer, so I didn't make one, but if I had made one, I would have used this recipe. It doesn't fail.
  • Make the topping: 
    • To brown the pecans, just place in pot on stove and toast over medium-high heat, stirring often so nuts don't get too dark. You'll know they are done because the color will change and you'll smell them. 
    • Stir the cooled nuts and ingredients together and using your hands or a wooden spoon, mix until butter is incorporated and topping resembles tiny peas.
  • Top pie with crumble and place in preheated oven.  Bake until crust is golden and topping is browned, about 35-45 mins.

Serve with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or homemade whipped cream if you want. It's perfect on its own, too.