This lovely cranberry pear crisp is a perfect cooler-weather dessert. Lovely sweet pears combine so well with tart, fresh or frozen cranberries! It’s all topped with a sweet, crispy oat topping.

cranberry pear crisp in white ramekins

Why you’ll love this pear crisp!

  • Baked pears are delicious! And when sweet pears are paired with tart cranberries, it is even more delicious.
  • This pear crisp is a quick and easy dessert, that is warm and comforting for cooler evenings.
  • A perfect impromptu dessert, this crisp needs just two pears and a handful of cranberries (or see Variations below for more fruit options). It’s a great way to use up bits of fruit or pears that are ripe right now and need using!
  • No need to make a big dish of crisp that may go to waste. Just make two (or as many as you need for now) and enjoy!

Ingredients and Substitutions

Pears – Any pear will work for this crisp. I’ve used Bartlett pears here. Pears that are ripe but still a bit firm will work best, as they will keep their shape when baked.

Cranberries – you can use fresh or frozen cranberries for this recipe. If you don’t have or have access to fresh or frozen cranberries, see the Variations below for other options.

Variations

Just Pears – yes, you can make this pear crisp with just pears! You may wish to reduce the sugar in the filling a bit, as pears are fairly sweet and without the tartness of the cranberries, they don’t need as much.

If you’d like to add to the pear, these are some great options …

Dried Cranberries – yes, you can use dried cranberries, though as above, I would reduce the sugar added to the filling, as dried cranberries are sweeter than fresh.

Fresh Blackberries or Blueberries – a great alternative to fresh cranberries is either fresh (or frozen) blackberries or fresh (or frozen) blueberries. Both pair beautifully with pears.

Step-by-Step Photos

photo collage of step to make cranberry pear crisp
  • Add the pears and cranberries to a bowl. Drizzle with a little vanilla and toss to coat.
  • Add the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and a pinch of salt and stir to combine. Divide between ramekins.
  • Make the topping by combining the topping ingredients in a bowl and rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients until clumpy.
  • Divide the topping between ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet (to catch any bubble-overs) and bake.
cranberry pear crisp in white ramekins

Recipe Tips

  • Everyone’s preference for sweetness is different. As written, with fresh or frozen cranberries, this dessert is pleasantly sweet. If you tend to prefer less sweetness, reduce the brown sugar in the filling a bit. As noted above, if you are skipping or swapping out the fresh cranberries, you’ll definitely want to reduce the sugar in the filling. I’ve added some guidance in the Recipe Card below.
  • Despite calling this “for Two”, my ramekins are quite large, as far as ramekins go. If your ramekins are smaller, you’ll probably get 3 or 4 smaller desserts. You could also opt for one smaller baking dish. Any dish that will hold the fruit in at least a couple of layers will work fine. (A small, oval au gratin-type dish works especially well).

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cranberry pear crisp in white ramekins

Get the Recipe: Cranberry Pear Crisp

Lovely fresh pear, paired with tart cranberries, makes for a great flavour combination in this warm and comforting fruit dessert.
5 stars from 2 ratings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 Bartlett pears, or other pears that a ripe and firm
  • 16 cranberries, fresh or frozen *or see Note 1 below for other options
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, or vanilla bean paste
  • 3 Tablespoons light brown sugar, lightly packed *See Note 1 below for adjusting this for sweetness and other substitutions
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch cinnamon

Crisp Topping:

  • 3 Tablespoons light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons large flake, old-fashioned rolled oats
  • Pinch salt, if using unsalted butter
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, cold and cut into 3 or 4 pieces

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Place 2 large or 3 small ramekins (or one small baking dish) onto a baking sheet. Set aside.
  • Prepare the pears: Peel and cut the pears into quarters. Use a knife to slice away the woody spine, core and blossom end, Discard. Cut the pear quarters into chunks. Place into a medium bowl. Add the cranberries, then drizzle with vanilla. Toss to combine. Add the brown sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon to the bowl. Toss to combine well, then divide between the ramekins.
  • Make the topping: In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar, flour, rolled oats, salt and cinnamon. Add the cold butter pieces and use your fingertips to break up and rub the butter into the flour/sugar mixture, until it is evenly about pea-sized pieces. Divide the topping between the ramekins, pressing down slightly to compact.
  • Bake ramekins on top of baking sheet (in case some juices bubble over while baking), for 30-35 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and the topping is golden.
  • Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before eating. Serve with a dusting of icing/confectioners' sugar, a drizzle of cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Notes

1. If you generally prefer a less sweet dessert, reduce the brown sugar in the filling to 2 Tablespoons. If you are omitting the fresh or frozen cranberries, using another (sweeter) fruit or making a pear-only crisp, you may want to use just 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar in the filling. You can substitute the fresh or frozen cranberries with dried cranberries, or try another fresh fruit, such as blackberries or blueberries.
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Dessert
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 334kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 99mg, Potassium: 194mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 35g, Vitamin A: 386IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 39mg, Iron: 1mg
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