Table of Contents
  1. Crisp isn't usual for the holidays, but this one hits the mark.
  2. Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
  3. Here’s how to make this recipe.
  4. These pro tips will make this recipe a success.
  5. Frequently asked questions about this recipe.
  6. You'll love these other sweet holiday recipes.
  7. Watch how to make this recipe.
  8. Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
  9. Cranberry Apple Pear Crisp Recipe

While a crisp may seem like a summer and fall recipe, there’s no reason it can’t exist for the holidays too! This cranberry apple pear crisp uses the best flavors of the season and combines them into a delicious dessert. Whether it’s for a party or simply a weeknight, you’re going to love this recipe!

Crisp isn’t usual for the holidays, but this one hits the mark.

I like to counteract the idea that certain foods can only be made during certain seasons. Think about a fruit crisp. A crisp is a perfect dessert. Fruit mixed with sugar, thickener, and some spices and baked with a streusel on top. Somehow this has been coined an autumn dessert and used mostly with apples. This recipe breaks the rules and proves that crisps can be made anytime by switching up the filling. The fruit filling is a mixture of cranberries, apples, and pears. Cranberries have a lot of natural pectins and will thicken easily. The sharp tartness of the cranberries is balanced with the sweet-tart apples and pears. The streusel adds the crisp granola-like topping and finishes the dessert.

The holidays are stress-free with easy desserts, and this is the perfect one to start with.

White baking dish filled with baked cranberry crisp with spoon holding up a serving of the crisp showing pears and cranberries.

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.

  • Pears become soft when baked and give a new layer of flavor and texture to the fruit mixture.
  • Apples add a bit of extra crispness to the recipe. Choose a baking apple that holds its texture but softens slightly, like Honeycrisp.
  • Cranberries will burst during baking and color the filling red. The cranberries will add a tart flavor to balance the sweetness.
  • Crystalized candied ginger offers the bright flavor of fresh ginger but with a sweet candy twist that tames the strong flavor. Ginger is a comforting flavor during the winter months and adds a holiday note.
  • Cornstarch will help the entire crisp to stay together once baked. This amount of cornstarch will not make the crisp too solid, as there will still be some viscosity, but it adds just the right amount of hold.
White marble surface containing all ingredients needed to make a cranberry crisp including cranberries, pear, apple, sugar, butter, orange, spices, and more.

Here’s how to make this recipe.

  1. Prepare the fruit. Slice both the apples and pears into thin slices and add them to a large bowl. Also, add in the whole cranberries without slicing them.
  1. Mix together the fruit filling. Chop up the candied ginger into small pieces and add to the fruit in the mixing bowl. Also, add in the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, orange zest, and orange juice. Mix all of the ingredients together until the fruit is coated with the sugar and juices. Then set aside.
  1. Prepare the streusel topping. In a separate bowl, combine the old-fashioned rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and ground ginger. Mix together all of the dry ingredients to ensure everything is evenly combined. Then add in the cubed butter and toss it lightly with the dry ingredients. Take one piece of butter and smash it between your thumb and forefinger and continue this process until the butter is in small, irregular pieces.
  1. Assemble and bake the crisp. In a greased 9×9 baking dish, pour the fruit filling. Spread it out into an even layer. Then add the streusel topping all over the top. Bake the crisp at 350°F for 55 to 75 minutes until the mixture is bubbling throughout. Once fully baked, remove from the oven and let cool before serving.

To elevate this crisp, make individual servings by dividing the filling and streusel into individual ramekin dishes. This will likely take approximately 12 ramekins, depending on the size.

These pro tips will make this recipe a success.

  • Make sure to wash the cranberries and inspect for any bad spots. If there are less than-desirable cranberries, remove them.
  • To zest the orange, simply put the orange in one static hand and use the other hand to move the Microplane across the surface. This will collect all of the orange zest in the confines of the Microplane, which can then be tapped out easily (and mess-free) into the bowl with all of the other ingredients.
  • The fruit filling should be mixed until the sugar begins to draw out some of the juices from the fruit. The fruit should look like it’s moist and syrupy.
  • When making the streusel, before smashing the butter, toss it in the dry ingredients first. This will ensure that each piece of butter is coated in some of the dry ingredients and will prevent two pieces from sticking together. This will make the smashing process easier.
  • When adding the filling to the baking dish, make sure to add any of the residual juices sitting at the bottom of the bowl. These juices will contain some of the cornstarch, which will help thicken the entire crisp once baked.
White marble surface with white baking dish filled with baked cranberry crisp with cup of coffee and white plate filled with a scoop of the crisp.

Frequently asked questions about this recipe.

Can this recipe be made just with cranberries rather than multiple types of fruit?

Cranberries are tart fruit that needs sugar to balance the flavor. This recipe is designed to use the natural sugar in both apples and pears, along with cranberries. Cranberries could be used exclusively, but the sugar will need to be adjusted.

Does the peel of the apples and pears need to be left on?

No, the fruit can be peeled per personal preference.

Are there certain types of pear and apple that work best in this recipe?

Pears need to be ripe but not overripe, so any variety will work well. Apples should hold texture during baking, like Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Braeburn, and Jonagold.

Can fresh ginger be used in place of either the crystallized candied ginger or the ground ginger?

No, fresh ginger is too astringent a flavor for this recipe. In place of the crystallized, just add 1 tsp ground ginger.

How long does this crisp last once baked?

The crisp will last at room temperature for three to four days. The streusel will become soggy in humid weather, so it should be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Watch how to make this recipe.

Have I convinced you to make this recipe?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they too can make, enjoy, and love!

White plate sitting on white marble surface filled with scoop of cranberry crisp with rest of crisp in white baking dish to the side.

Cranberry Apple Pear Crisp

5 from 7 votes
While a crisp may seem like a summer and fall recipe, there’s no reason it can’t exist for the holidays too! This cranberry apple pear crisp uses the best flavors of the season and combines them into a delicious dessert. Whether it’s for a party or simply a weeknight, you’re going to love this recipe!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 apples cored and sliced (peel optional)
  • 4 pears cored and sliced (peel optional)
  • 2 cups cranberries washed and dried
  • ¼ cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice

For the streusel

  • ¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×9 baking dish and set it aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix the sliced apples, pears, cranberries, and crystallized ginger. Add the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, orange zest, and orange juice. Stir to combine. Natural juices from the fruit will begin to collect. Pour the fruit and any juices into the prepared baking dish.
    4 apples, 4 pears, 2 cups cranberries, ¼ cup chopped crystallized ginger, ½ cup white granulated sugar, 2 tbsp cornstarch, 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp orange zest, ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • In a medium bowl, mix the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and ground ginger. Add the pieces of butter and toss to coat each piece of butter in the dry mixture. Use thumb and forefinger to work the butter into the mixture until the pieces of butter are no bigger than the size of a pea and the consistency is like wet sand.
    ¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats, ¾ cup all-purpose flour, ½ cup light brown sugar, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, 12 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Sprinkle the streusel mixture over the prepared filling. Bake in the preheated oven until the center of the filling is bubbling and the streusel is browned, 55-75 minutes. Once it is baked, remove the crisp from the oven and cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Make sure to wash the cranberries and inspect for any bad spots. If there are less than-desirable cranberries, remove them.
  • To zest the orange, simply put the orange in one static hand and use the other hand to move the Microplane across the surface. This will collect all of the orange zest in the confines of the Microplane, which can then be tapped out easily (and mess-free) into the bowl with all of the other ingredients.
  • The fruit filling should be mixed until the sugar begins to draw out some of the juices from the fruit. The fruit should look like it’s moist and syrupy.
  • When making the streusel, before smashing the butter, toss it in the dry ingredients first. This will ensure that each piece of butter is coated in some of the dry ingredients and will prevent two pieces from sticking together. This will make the smashing process easier.
  • When adding the filling to the baking dish, make sure to add any of the residual juices sitting at the bottom of the bowl. These juices will contain some of the cornstarch, which will help thicken the entire crisp once baked.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 315kcal
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Baking

You May Also Like

Never miss a post by signing up for my newsletter.

Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

Learn more about me

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating:




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Dear Kaleb, I discovered your videos and website a few weeks ago and just adore your recipes! AND all the videos about plants and home decor, too. Today, Christmas Day, I made your cranberry apple pear crisp for our dessert and it turned out glorious. I look forward each day to whatever you choose to post online. Your enthusiastic presence on camera sharing all that you love in life is delightful and generous. And Joel’s behind the camera work is excellent. Merry Christmas and my best to you, Joel and your extended families.

  2. 5 stars
    Merry Christmas Kaleb!
    Watched your YouTube video on this Crisp, and I was inspired! Made it for my family Christmas Day for dessert. While it was baking, a few kept saying, wow it really smells Christmasy in the house!
    And it was a winner! Delicious, crispy crisp, loved the ginger in it!! Thank you!!!🤗🎄❤️

  3. 5 stars
    I’m late writing! This was a nice addition to Christmas morning family potluck brunch. Love cranberry but subbed with rhubarb because that’s what I had. The ginger was subtle but wonderful and made this special.