Cranberry-Pear Pie is a delicious fall dessert with full cranberry flavor, tart and tangy with a hint of spice from cardamom. I know that I’m not the first person to stick pears with cranberries. But, there is a reason for that. Pears are the perfect fruit to gently, subtly moderate the bright, tart cranberry taste. Pears don’t try to be the hero. They are happy sidekicks. I carefully formulated the ratio to ensure that this is a cranberry-forward pie. Think of the best ever cranberry sauce expertly crafted into a thick slice of buttery pie.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Pie crust or dough should be in the refrigerator.
Wash the cranberries. I make this a recipe step because I’m very particular about the quality of the cranberries. This pie is cranberry forward, so use the best. Discard any that are squishy or soft.
Whisk together orange juice and cornstarch into a slurry.
Pour the cranberries, sugar and OJ slurry into a large saucepan. Cook at medium heat, stirring frequently, until the cranberries begin to pop.
When you start to hear or see cranberries popping, gently press down with your spoon to urge out their juice and pop more of the berries. When most of the cranberries are opened, turn off the heat.
Mix in the cardamom and pears. Stir thoroughly and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
Prepare your pie plate with the bottom crust. Do not grease the pan. Pie dough won’t stick because it’s largely fat already.
Pour the cooled cranberry filling into the pie crust. This recipe will make one deep-dish pie or you can divide into to two pie plates.
Add a top crust and leave some of it open, or slice holes, to allow venting. This is where a lot of bakers have fun decorating. Use a little water to help the pie dough adhere to itself. You can leave a large amount of the pie open or a very small amount. It’s up to the style and look you want.
If you are using store bought prepared crusts, you will need to bring the second crust to almost room temperature to remove it from the foil pan and place it over the pie. Pinch around the edges of the pie to seal.
Now, take your beaten egg and a pastry brush and gently egg wash the entire top crust. Then sprinkle the wet egg wash with a bit of sugar.
Ideally, protect the outer edge of the pie. If you do not, it may overcook before the filling and center dough is ready. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 25–30 minutes, then remove the edge protector and allow the pie to finish baking another eight to 10 minutes.
For more tips on making pie, see our article How to Tell If Your Pie is Done Without Slicing Into It.
Serve warm or chilled. This pie freezes nicely also for make-ahead. I like to serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.