pear cranberry and gingersnap crumble

In my defense, I resisted this crumble for possibly even a single hour before going to the kitchen to assemble the ingredients. A whole hour, an hour in which we could have had a buttery, spiced gingersnap and brown sugar crumbled lid atop a glurp-ing puddle of soft, sweet pears and slumped, tart cranberries, bubbling through cracks in the rubbled surface. An hour in which I instead thought there were better things to do, like pretending to clean the kitchen while staring into space and imagining how good the crumble could be. They give out medals for this kind of valor, right?

the line-up
shedding pear skins

My husband and I, well, we’re exactly as exciting as you might imagine because we talk about pears a lot. I’ll take the blame, I’m sure I usually start the conversation, which goes roughly like, “Pears? Really? You just don’t like pears?” And he’ll say “They’re just so one note. They’re sweet and boring,” usually while slicing another of his beloved Granny Smith apples into perfect quarters. (He’s such a tidy eater people, I comparatively eat with the grace of a Hoover). And the thing is, I agree with him 100 percent, but I see these things as characteristics, not flaws. However, in baking, I agree that pears could use a little help. They like acid and they like berries; brighter fall spices like ginger play off them well and you’ll be surprised what a pinch of white pepper can do to wake them up.

de-bellied pears

ready to go

This crumble is adapted from a pie in a cookbook that came out a few years ago from a bakery in Park Slope called Sweet Melissa. The pie was single-crusted with a regular butter dough, but I skipped the base because I knew it would just play third fiddle to all the excitement on top of it. I like my pie doughs to garner as much attention as possible, thank you very much. As a crumble, this is another page in the fall bliss book, right up there with black bean pumpkin soup, cider doughnuts, harvest festivals and telling your kid that you’ll buy the biggest pumpkin he can lift only to find that he’s really quite a show-off and you’re going to be eating toasted pumpkin seeds until February. I digress! I made a few other changes — namely that I dialed back the sugar significantly, and am very happy that I did — but I kept the real genius of Melissa’s pie intact, which is they way she balanced the mellowness of the pear with all sorts of bright things like lemon, cranberries and a backdrop of spice. That gentle heat is dreamy, just perfect for the cooler days to come.

pear cranberry and gingersnap crumble + yogurt

One year ago: Spiced Applesauce Cake
Two years ago: Cauliflower with Almonds, Raisins and Capers, Silky Decadent Old-School Chocolate Mousse
Three years ago: Deep, Dark Salted Caramel Sauce, Pink Lady Cake and Cabbage and Mushroom Galette
Four years ago: Gluten-Free Chocolate Financiers, Pumpkin Butter + Pepita Granola
Five years ago: Spinach Quiche and Pumpkin Muffins

Pear, Cranberry and Gingersnap Crumble
Adapted from Sweet Melissa Patisserie

1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons (37 grams) packed dark or light brown sugar
1 cup gingersnap crumbs (4 ounces or 113 grams or about 16 storebought cookies)
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon table salt
Pinch of white pepper, especially if your gingersnaps aren’t particularly snappish
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 pounds (about 4 to 5) large ripe pears (I used Anjou, suggested in the original recipe) peeled, halved, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces or 170 grams) fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (14 grams) cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Stir together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, gingersnap crumbs, ginger and salt. Stir in the melted butter until large crumbs form.

In a 1 1/2 to 2 quart baking dish, mix the pears, cranberries, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together then toss it with the fruit mixture in the pan. Sure, you could do this in a bowl but then you’d also have to wash that bowl and hooray for fewer dishes.

Sprinkle the gingersnap crumble over the fruit. Set the crumble on a foil-lined baking sheet (in a 2 quart dish, mine didn’t come close to bubbling over but I see no reason to risk it) and bake it for about 45 minutes, until the crumble is a shade darker and you see juices bubbling through the crumbs. See how long you can wait before digging in.

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405 comments on pear cranberry and gingersnap crumble

  1. Killian

    This looks amazing. I need to make this for the weekend.

    Strictly for curiosity’s sake…why Anjou pears as opposed to Bartlett or other varieties?

    1. deb

      Killian — I think she suggested Anjou because they stay nicely intact but soft while baking. But! No reason not to use anything you have around. Updated to note this.

  2. lataa

    This looks super yummy and just imagining the spicy-ness of the ginger snap and the sweet is making my mouth water!! Ive missed the frequency of your posts but recipes like this make up for it! PS-Jacob is sooo cute!

    1. deb

      unsightly — I don’t! Not even close. I have a china cabinet in the living room with our dishes, rarely used dishes in the linen closet and a small stack that vexes me daily in the corner that I haven’t found homes for yet but have accumulated over the course of cookbook shooting. A great thinning of dishes will start soon!

  3. Your cored pears look so picturesque! Pears are such a finicky thing to eat raw (I really don’t like them unless they’re perfectly ripe), but you really can’t go wrong when you bake them and top with with gingersnap crumbs. YUM. Printing, saving, and making this recipe soon!

  4. Allyson

    I seem to have problems getting pears to ripen properly when I buy them at the grocery. They always go from rock hard to rotten in the blink of an eye! Would using pears that are harder than I would want to eat raw work because they are being baked?

  5. Size of your kitchen is one problem, but what I can never understand is how it always looks so clean in your pictures. Do you have a spot you just move things to in order to shoot them? Baking in our house always ends up leaving the counters too dirty to take any glamour shots without showing the mess. Or perhaps the size has forced you to be meticulous about cleaning as you go? However it happens, the pictures always make me want to eat whatever I see I them.

  6. This recipe is so tempting, but I tend to disagree on you here Deb: I don’t think pears necessarily need berries or acid ingredients. They work pretty well with chocolate or spice, and often they need just caramel and butter to shine. In France they make a delicious pear tart with a frangipane cream around. Bottom line is – everything tastes good with butter, I guess. Having said that, I’m all in for pairing anything with berries, and yes, you deserve a medal for waiting.

    1. deb

      Caffetteira — Touche! I have made such a tart and agree that they are excellent. (But again, the almonds do serve to accentuate the pear flavors.)

      Jessica — Absolutely. I do get a little nervous using my cast irons (in this case, the berries more than the pears) with acidic ingredients as it can wear down the seasoning. But, just wipe it with oil when you’re done, heat it briefly and all should be good as new. I did use a cast-iron roaster here, but it was enameled.

      Chuck — I do try to keep the counter as immaculate as possible. If I don’t start with a clear counter, it makes me feel extra claustrophobic in the kitchen. I take out only what I need, the mess accumulates while I cook (you probably see more things laying around as the pictures go on in posts — by the end there were peelers and spoons and cups and a scale and butter wrapper and crumbs…) and then when something is in the oven, I either dump everything in the sink or when I’m being more responsible, actually wash the dishes, wipe down the counter, etc. Otherwise, I’ll have no place to let the dish cool!

  7. Val

    Everytime I come here to find the recipe for your peanut butter chocolate cake because I want to make it, I find something else and I end up making that instead. I have yet to make the cake and it has been a few months. This is too delicious and I have to make it this weekend with the sad looking apple-pears that have been taking space in my refrigerator. Thank you.

  8. Jessica

    this is so close to a crumble recipe I love at the holidays, except I use apples, pears, and cranberries, but I definitely am going to try it with the gingersnap crumble this year! What a great way to switch it up.

  9. Um, you should probably know that I’ve been following your blog for so long that I just saw a picture of this dish on another website (pinterest) and actually recognized your countertop. Yours is the first food blog I ever started following and still, by far, my favorite. I like your simple style and I love that your recipes seem to strike a perfect balance between rich and light, sweet and savory, complex and simple. In fact, there are recipes I’ve made that I never would have tried otherwise just because they looked so tasty the way you made them (baked spinach, I’m looking at you). Thanks for your recipes and writing and please keep them coming!

  10. jenny

    gingersnaps? pears? cranberries? I was going to say, “I know what I’m making for thanksgiving dessert,” but I don’t know if I can wait that long.

  11. Seriously, when did cranberry season fall upon us? I mean, I bought a pomegranate last week, for crying out loud. I’m so confused. Phoenix is just barely giving up it’s triple digits, yet offerings like pumpkin and pear and cranberries are haunting my blogroll and farmer’s markets (there was kale for sale this morning!!).

  12. Traci

    Hi Deb! I’m not a big pear fan, but LOVE the idea of a gingersnap crumb-topping! What replacement would you recommend for the pears? Do you think apples would be totally weird with the cranberries?

    Thanks! LOVE your blog! It’s my go-to site for recipe inspiration!

  13. I am a big crumble fan, yours looks delicious. It’s such a good idea mixing pears and cranberries. In fact, I like pears a lot and I am very excited about the new recipes that appear recently with pears, it’s like a pear revival. Your crumble is definitely part of it.

    1. deb

      Naomi — Yes, a melon baller then a paring knife to remove the stem. I’m a little nutty in the way I core things, but I’ve been doing it for years and could do it in my sleep. Actually, I remember buying a melon baller and my then-boyfriend, now-husband suggesting I’d gone mad to think I’d use it and just last week had to replace it because it was bent, rusted and totally worn out. I win! At being weird!

      Cris — I was on like a 5-year hunt for them. I still didn’t find 100% what I was looking for — I was hoping for a wider mouth, but these are wide enough to get your hand in — but they’ll do. Found them on You’ll have to buy 6, but at the price, it’s still a great deal. Don’t remember exactly which brand, more than one sell them, but look for the very, very biggest they sell with the widest mouth opening. If pressed, I can dig up the receipt and provide a link/brand/size. I’m delighted with them; the whole cabinet looks lighter and cleaner. Only con is that the clamps are VERY tight (well, good for air and bugs, harder for closing them) and I often have to hook the handle back in. But it only takes a second.

  14. Naomi

    How do you manage to churn out so many delightful recipes? I don’t know what I’d do without you or the Wednesday Chef keeping me in ample supply. I think this one will have to jump to the top of the pile, though! I can’t stand eating fruit once it doesn’t crunch, so this is perfect for those juicy pears I’ve been avoiding.
    And a dish clearout? You’re brave. I don’t think I could part with any of my cookware! My kitchen is tiny, my cupboards are ridiculous (can you believe landlords who install nothing wider than a 40cm cupboard!?!), so if I run out of space, they’re stored in the oven. No linen closets or china cabinets for me, sadly.
    Did you use a melon baller to core your pears?

  15. michlhw

    ! pears are so NOT one note! they have a distinctive floral fragrance to them, and soft muted sweetness. I am close to tears that your husband would downplay them such! ::C

    and those new hybrid apple pears– wow. its like perfume with a delightful crunch!

    Shaheen– i’m with you on the spekaloos! i love them lotus biscuits, in they go!

  16. Jennie

    This recipe sounds like a fantastic combination of goodness. I love a good crumble.
    P.S. Your little guy is adorable. I love the curls!!

  17. No! You and Alex are WRONG about pears. Pears are subtle and floral, creamy and juicy at the same time. They are transformative in baking, melding with their surroundings to form something entirely new. Apples, while wonderful in their own way, are so in your face with their tartness and crunch. Pears are the underappreciated fruit.

    This sounds good, though.

  18. This is why I follow your blog. Why haven’t I thought of this! I LOVE gingersnap cookies – you are so inspirational. Must make today.

    do you find ripe pears better than slightly unripe? does it make a difference between varieties?

  19. Amy

    Haha! I’m pretty sure I laughed out loud while reading your first paragraph–but goodness, you sure do make it sound dreamy! I’m going to be having visions of this until I get my hands on all the ingredients and make it.

  20. lynn

    This is the way I always make my Fall crumbles/crisps. The flavor boost is incredible. Gingersnaps are so versatile (hint: add to roast pork gravy in the place of flour, but I digress). I also add a bit inside the fruit mixture in place of flour or cornstarch along with some finely chopped crystallized ginger if I happen to have it on hand. Love your posts…keep ’em comin’. :)

  21. Have you and Alex ever eaten a Starkrimson pear? Dark crimson skin, pale, fragrant flesh, a soft bite, and the most complex undertones of spice hidden beneath the gentle sweetness. They are truly pears of wonder. Perhaps even wondrous enough to bring someone who is pear ambivalent over to the world of of the pear fanatic.

  22. Nicole

    Hi, Deb – do those jars happen to hold an entire 4-5 lb bag of flour or sugar? I have a lot of things in glass jars, but my flour and sugar are still in plastic, because I haven’t been able to find glass ones large enough (and having most of your flour in a jar, but an annoying amount left over in a bag is like the worst of both worlds).

    1. deb

      Nicole — YES. But, it’s tight. That was my hang up all those years, that I couldn’t find jars big enough. When you pour flour in, it gets quite fluffy. You won’t need to pack it down to fit a whole bag in but you’ll want to shimmy it back and forth on the counter a couple times to fit it all. It won’t be tightly packed. However, the problem is that you usually refill before you’re out of flour, right? You’ll need to be down to just a couple cups before you can fit a whole 5-pound bag in. The sugar, however, which is always more tightly packed because it is heavier, is no problem. Hope that helps!

      Elizabeth — Just had my first one three weeks ago. Immediately bought four more. Love them. But they didn’t convert Alex.

      Mara — Ripe pears are much better. My semi-ripe Anjous got soft, but not as much as I’d have liked, in the oven.

  23. It’s taken me a while to rehabilitate the pear- I had to do an elimination diet 6 years ago where all I could eat was pears and white carbs for a month. It’s taken me a while to love pears back. I think this is a pretty grand way to continue the journey. Gorgeous as always.

  24. I love the idea that every fruit has its place in baking, some just function better as a note in the song, rather than a solo. The pears, cranberries, and ginger flavors seem like a perfect harmony!

  25. Deanna B

    I love the flavor of pears, but I hate the texture of soft pears unless they’re cooked. I have to eat my pears while they’re still crunchy or all I can think of are mealy apples. However, as these are cooked pears, I can’t wait to make this and eat it ala mode.

  26. How many gingersnaps did you eat while making this dish and waiting for it to bake? I would have been through the whole box! And, btw, I love Jacob’s pumpkin! It’s so cute that they set up a pumpkin patch in the city.

  27. Katie M.

    This not only looks delicious but I love the phase “with the grace of a Hoover”. :-) Thank you for your amazing recipes and witty commentary. I don’t even have a kitchen right now but I still read the site daily.

  28. Diane

    Deb, could I make these in individual rammekins and if so, how should I adjust the cooking time?

    Also, to Nicole – try looking for huge Ball jars. I found a huge one that I store coffee beans in (for decoration, not for consumption). I’m pretty sure they’re all food safe.

  29. JanetP

    So I heard Crisco mentioned last night on Jimmy Fallon and of course immediately thought of your baby Jacob + tub o’ Crisco portraits (as one does). Perhaps I just have it stuck in my head, but Jacob and the gigantic pumpkin is highly reminiscent! Maybe you could start an ongoing series of him next to enormous items that he eventually grows larger than : )

  30. I LOVE pears, but haven’t had a good one in a good year and a half! If you ever find them in the store, Taylor Gold pears are to die for. They’re sweet and juicy and so creamy! I’m also looking forward to picking up some pears from Harry and David’s over Thankgiving for the family. I’ll buy them for my parents, but indulge in a few before I go home ;-)

    Also, quick question, I’ve had problems with fresh cranberries being a little too sour/bitter when baked. DO you think dried cranberries could work or would it be too chewy? I like the tartness but when they’re fresh, they just seem to have too much of a bite! Thanks for sharing!

  31. White pepper wakes up boring pears, eh? I’ll have to give it a go! Cranberries and gingersnaps are pretty lively, themselves, so I doubt it’s possible for even your pear-hater of a husband to call pears boring after tasting this crumble. YUMBLE.

  32. KM

    Hi Deb – do you think you could use dried cranberries, instead of fresh, for this? I have a bunch of dried cranberries in the pantry that I am dying to use.

    1. deb

      KM — Possibly. They’re much sweeter, however, so I’d probably dial back the sugar.

      Diane — Just look out for the same tests for doneness — the crumble a shade darker, juices bubbling. Could be 30, a little more or less, but I haven’t tried it in small cups.

  33. Your photos are fantastic. One of the best I have seen on the Internet. Thank you for the delicous dishes you present to us. I have tried some of them and will explore your culinary world even more in the future. By the way I love both pears and cranberries, so this recipe is particulary attractive to me.

  34. Paula B.

    A medal for patience for sure. And, your second photo, would love that poster-sized for my kitchen, please – what a lovely composition of items and colors! I, too, adore pears and cranberries and gingersnaps….as always thanks so much.

  35. I adore crumbles but have never come across a recipe so utterly “fall-ish” than this one. What a fantastic combination of flavors! Would make a great Thanksgiving desert, and a nice departure from the usual pumpkin & pecan pies.

  36. Lynn in Tucson

    Sigh. I will likely have to wait longer than an hour, as I can’t possibly think of how to make one while I am still here at work.

  37. No you did not put pears and gingersnaps ( my absolute two favorite things) in the same delicious baked good! You better stop it woman! I may be forced to make batch after batch of this crumble until I’m the size of a couch.

  38. – beautiful photos!
    – is that a cast-iron skillet for sweet treats!? loveee…
    – ingredients are to-die-for!!
    – i love your sense of humor
    – the white pepper is INGENIUS! i am so impressed!

    keep it up, deb! you rock!

  39. This looks delicious, although I do have to disagree with Alex on the pears! They aren’t loud or flashy, but they have their own sweet, mellow flavor that merits some credit. With a little butter and sugar, they’re even better! Still, I can’t complain about the flavor combo going on here – love your addition of cranberries to brighten things up, and the gingersnap crumble is the perfect way to top it all off!

  40. Susan

    I found the best “boughten” Ginger Snaps at a little grocery outlet/closeout store nearby (CA). The brand is Sweetzels and it’s distributed out of PA, so you may be more able to find them than I am on a regular basis. I’d never heard of this brand before. They have the best gingery sharp bite to them. Gads, I just love them. I bought 2 boxes, one to eat, one to bake with..but I’ve eaten them both and now they’re gone from this store. Damn. (if you happen to remember this brand next time your need Snaps, you should give’em a try. So good!)

  41. Whoo hoo! I’m pretty sure I have all of the ingredients on hand. I was wondering what I would do with my leftover cranberries (from a pie), and I think I’ll be making this crumble. I’ll have to scale it down probably, but either way, I’m excited!

  42. Kate

    Geography has everything to do with your opinion about pears. You need to eat a
    Colorado pear. Grown in Palisade, CO, they are so much more flavorful and complex in flavor than east coast (or anywhere else) pears. It’s a whole different fruit, as are Colorado peaches, incidentally, though you may have to come to Colorado to get some. Yum!

  43. I love the blog – I just found it today. Do you know if the pie is still ok (both the pie itself and the crumble) if you sub in splenda for the sugar? I have to cook for a diabetic family :(

  44. JK

    The inviting ginger snappiness of this recipe was far too good to resist! Made it tonight and now it sits on the stove, taunting me as I’ve made it to cap off tomorrow night’s meal with the in-laws. Maybe they wouldn’t mind if I just had a liiiiiittle taste……… :)

  45. Belt

    Well Deb, in a blind haze I just managed to bookmark a dozen+ of your recipes to add to my list of “Must Makes” to my internet browser – of which SK’s hands down dominates. To someone who once associated cranberries solely with Craisins (eek), I think you’re revolutionizing my view of cranberries with this one (and the ’07 cran caramel almond tart)!

  46. I make Crumble with apple compote+cardamom+vanilla when I have too many apples left (and going bad). BUT: the crumble should have a generous amount of butter in it, making it less breakable when served and less dry. Too bad for the calories! :p

  47. Petro from South Africa

    We’ve been invited to a BBQ on Sunday and I had to convince the hostess to cancel her desert plans so I can try out this gorgeous looking (and sounding) crumble.

    A suggestion – can you add a ‘like’ button, there are so many comments that I (and a lot of others) would love to ‘like’!

  48. Deb, for your international readers who don’t have gingersnaps; have you ever tried making them? I am that keen to try them (as biscuits alone as well as for cheesecake base / crumble topping / everything else you use them for on here) that I am making them tonight from this recipe:

    However, if that is no good I will also try this one:

    Any suggestions on making your own?

    1. deb

      Joanne — I haven’t given them a spin yet but these are the accompanying ones from the bakery, recommended for this pie. I will make them soon; I confess that I’m excited about them because they don’t contain candied ginger or fresh ginger, two harmless ingredients that make sense in gingersnaps but that I don’t care for in them. If you make these, she recommends using 12 for the crumble topping.

  49. Liz

    Deb, this recipe looks delicious. Your website always makes me want to leave work, run home and start baking!! I’m not the biggest cranberry fan – do you think this recipe would work well with blueberries (or another berry?)?

  50. Pear, cranberry, AND ginger snap?? Definitely making this. The crumble topping looks interesting and will be a nice break from the standard oatmeal crisp one I always do. Thanks for the recipe!!

  51. Carole

    I am so happy right now, and not only because this crumble looks amazing and I’m always excited when a new Smitten Kitchen recipe hits my inbox. I was beginning to think I was the only one on the planet who gets rapturous about pears. All my friends and family treat me as if I’m a tad soft-headed when my eyed glaze over and I wax ecstatic on the subject. Thanks Deb and all you pear-loving folks in this kitchen, for letting me know that I’m not the only smitten one. : )

  52. candace

    I can’t concentrate on my work for thinking about this. So many of my favorite autumn flavors in one place! Sounds like this dessert is an excuse for an impromptu dinner party.

  53. michelle

    hello-! i love your website and have referenced many recipes in the past – i tried out the pear/cranberry gingersnap crumble recipe yesterday –the crumble came out perfect from the oven but it was overwhelmingly sweet (maybe b/c the ginger snaps are already sweet, the proportions of the sugar might need to be adjusted). I just wanted to give you feedback on this- thanks!

    1. deb

      Sorry to hear it was still too sweet. I had reduced the sugar quite a bit, FWIW. The original sugar levels were: In the topping, 1/3 cup granulated sugar (I used 1/4 cup) and 1/3 cup brown sugar (I used 3 tablespoons). In the pie itself, 3/4 cup sugar (I used 1/2). You might want to use a full half or 1/3 of the original levels next time.

  54. This sounds lovely and I might actually have to break down and make it for my sweet hubby. You see we have the same discussion in our home but my husband is the one who likes them. For me its more of a texture issue… I just can’t stand the gritty texture. Now if I could find a pear that had a smooth flesh with a bit of crispness and ABSOLUTELY no GRIT.. :)

    And the gingersnap recipe… its really good. Its identical to my grandmother’s recipe and trust me she NEVER had access to things like candied ginger or even fresh ginger as she lived in a very rural community in Nebraska (they still don’t have those things!) Do you think a good molasses cookie (especially if it was make with bacon fat) would work nicely on this? Its not as sweet and would have smokey undertones.

  55. Mandy

    This is perfect. I have everything I need to make it here. Today. In like an hour. I can’t wait. Last month I started a Smitten Kitchen Fan Club with some friends here in DC. We get together once and month and each bring a recipe we’ve made from your site. It’s been so much fun! I think I know what I’m bringing for November…

    1. Nicole Salloum

      This recipe was a winner at my Friendsgiving dinner last night. I made a few changes that might be useful for others.

      I used 2 pears, 2 Fuji apples, and 1 McIntosh apple (no method behind this, just what I had on hand and was ripe). I’ll probably keep the mix of apples and pears the next time I make this.

      I used just over 1 cup of cranberries because I was worried I wouldn’t love them in the crumble. Next time I’ll use the full 1.5 cups because they were delicious!

      I used 1/3rd cup of sugar and 1 tbsp cornstarch with the fruit, and I skipped the granulated sugar altogether in the crumble, just adding the brown sugar. The Whole Foods gingersnaps were sweet enough, and no one missed the omitted sugar.

      And now there is one more serving left for breakfast crumble!

  56. What a great combination idea!
    Don’t skip the base! Add 1/3 of the crumble mix to the bottom of the pan, pile on the fruit, then add the rest of the crumple… heaven between crumble!

    It is true about pears being bland. I never cared for pears until I started eating them fresh from the garden. Then I realized that apples have nothing on them. Pears are so tender that they have hard time in transport. A good pear, fresh from the tree, is just the right mix of crunch, firm flesh that breaks and melts sweet in the mouth. A good Bosc is like liquid rose!

  57. J

    Absolutely beautiful pics, I’m so jealous.

    I’m a bit of a crumble fiend, often doubling the topping of the recipe. I think your choice of gingersnap cookies is ingenious! I also can’t recommend adding a little booze to the filling enough. The alcohol will cook out, of course, but the added depth of flavor it imparts to fruit just puts me on cloud nine.

    You can never fo wrong with bourbon.

  58. Collin

    How difficult is it to change an ingredient and still have it come out right? For example, I don’t like pears, and I’d use starfruits instead. What would I have to know to make a substitution like this?

    1. deb

      Hi Collin — I have never cooked a starfruit before so I cannot say how you’d need to adjust it. In general, if it shares a baking time and sweetness level with pears, you’ll be fine. If not, you’ll want to make it more/less sweet and watch the cooking time accordingly.

  59. chickie

    This is similar to a blueberry and ginger snap crumble recipe that I was SO looking forward to trying last week. When I got to the market and saw the lofty price of the blueberries (and I needed 3 pints!) I decided to make an apple crisp instead. Yay, now I get to try the gingersnap crumble in a much more affordable way. Thanks!

  60. Skye

    Just got home from the bi-weekly dinner-at-the-in-laws where this was the star of the show. My in-laws can’t stop talking about how I’m “such an excellent chef” and “how my recipes are always so creative”–I keep telling them it’s only because of your blog, but they’re not exactly internet savvy…

    Anyway, this crumble is *amazing*. Gooey gingersnap crumbles! Pears that taste like pears instead of mush! Cranberries that aren’t bitter! I had 2 servings, and I don’t like cranberries!

  61. Jennifer

    Made this tonight Deb. Was absolutely delicious. Huge hit with my husband who claims to not like pears. It may be making an appearance on our Thanksgiving dessert table in place of a boring pie.

  62. Jennifer SelvIn

    I love your writing as much as your recipes, but this time, I saw the name, skipped to the ingredients, and obsessed for hours until I got off from work to shop for pears and cranberries. While the crumble was baking, I went back and read the post! It’s just out of the oven, and we can’t wait!

  63. Jackie

    I generally cook when I have an abundance of something. My mom received a box of small, very ripe winter pears and dumped 8 or so on me. As usual, I came over here to smitten kitchen to see what kinda pear recipes you had, and lo and behold, the latest entry had pears! It was fate! Because I live in Canada and our Thanksgiving was a few weeks ago, I was unable to obtain fresh cranberries (darn grocery stores only carry them during Thanksgiving and Christmas). So I’ve got this dish baking in the oven right now sans cranberries – I hope it’s still good. I also hope it’s still good despite my blonde moment where I sprinkled the crumble on top and put it in the oven, then realized I had forgotten all about the butter! Luckily I caught my mistake quickly and poured the butter on top, mixed everything together into one big mush and threw it in the oven. Here’s hoping!

  64. I love gingersnap crumbles – I’ve been making a peach one for years and periodically I think about making it with pears and cranberries and here you are telling me I should have been doing it for years. I’ll be on the lookout for pears at the market.

  65. Susan

    I made this today after finding fresh cranberries at the mkt. I didn’t think I’d find them this early in the season here in CA. The crumble was so nice and crunchy. I was worried about how much flour was called for thinking it might make it gummy, but now I realize that it gives all that butter something to bind with the ginger snaps to crisp perfectly. It did seem to drown out the flavor of the ginger snaps somewhat, but you did say the snaps added a gentle flavor, and gentle it was. I think I’d like more presence from the ginger. The amount of sugar was spot on. It didn’t overwhelm the pears natural sweetness (and neither did the lemon zest or vanilla shout above them) and just balanced the cranberries so they didn’t make me pucker! My pears were the perfect ripeness, they kept their shape and didn’t melt away into a pool of juice. Easy and tasty for an Autumn weeknight treat…and I wouldn’t be opposed to serving over french toast either!

  66. What a fabulous fall/winter recipe. I am heading to Charlotte to visit family next weekend and would love to try and make this. Looks like something everyone would enjoy. I wonder how it would taste if you use strawberries instead of cranberries?

    1. deb

      Desiree — That’s plain yogurt in the last photo. I let the toddler pass it off as lunch that day. I usually whip cream by hand (the exercise balances out the calories of the cream, right?), about 1 cup whipping or heavy cream with 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar, and sometimes 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. The other reason I do it by hand is that it’s very easy to to overwhip it with a machine; nearly impossible by hand as your arm will fall off first.

  67. Tracey

    Deb, This looks delicious. This may be a stupid question but…. if I were to put this together a day ahead and bake it right before serving would the ingredients get too wet and gloppy? BTW, it would totally pass for lunch in my house!

  68. Jacqueline

    Deb, I’m drooling. Would I be able to make this ahead of time or would the pears brown? I’m hosting a brunch on Sunday and I’m trying to follow your make-ahead brunch plan… wake up crusty eyed and throw a bunch of pre-assembled items in the oven.

    But now that I’ve seen this recipe, I can’t imagine my brunch being without it. Any thoughts?

    1. deb

      Do ahead — I think you could assemble the bottom, maybe extra lemon to combat browning (I find that pears brown real fast) and cover it with plastic. Make the crumble and keep it in a container. Put them together before you bake them.

  69. Last year I made a pumpkin mousse with gingersnaps. I couldn’t get over how much I loved the flavor those little cookies added! I cannot wait to make this. We love pears (my husband included) and cranberries, and this seriously just looks amazing…. I don’t know when I can squeeze it in…I made gingerbread scones yesterday, and my mom requested a chocolate fudge birthday cake, but I am sure I can fit this in somewhere… my clothes aren’t going to fit if I keep reading your blog!

  70. Wow, it looks beautiful. I love the spicy, sharpness of the gingersnap to contrast the sweetness and tartness from the pear and cranberry. I’m always looking for new recipes that incorporate fall/winter classics like ginger and cranberry.

  71. This came out of the oven about 20 minutes ago and I have already had the first scoop (or three!) along with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. It was just as good as my mother’s famous apple crisp recipe and I will definitely be adding it to my fall favorites. Thanks so much for a wonderful recipe!

  72. ann gibert

    Made this last night to have for breakfast this morning. I was short one pear, so I added an apple. I also didn’t peel anything. I added about a half cup of chopped pecans to the crumble topping, because I always have pecans. My son dislikes white pepper, so I added some powdered ginger instead. Very good. Friends who are here for the weekend said it was good, and would work with an apple-cranberry combo, too.

  73. I’ve been a slacker in the kitchen recently, but when I saw the title and pic for this post that was all I needed to get back in action. It sounded like a phenomenal dessert to add to the Thanksgiving repertoire, and I told myself that I needed to audition it at home first. It came out of the oven an hour ago… wow! One of my favorite fall desserts is a cranberry apple crisp, but I am now sold on the taste of this combo with pears & gingersnaps!

    @Jess – love how you recognized the countertops!

  74. THIS WAS A SUPER MEGA HIT! Husband declared it “BEST CRUMBLE EVER.” He really dug the gingersnap aspect. I will be making it frequently. Love how forgiving crumbles are. Next time I might go nutsy and add some oatmeal and some pecans into the topping mix. As it was, I threw an apple into the fruit mix. Didn’t hurt nuthin! Had it warmed up again for breakfast with a nice dollop of greek yogurt. MMMMM! ALL HAIL DEB!

  75. Pears and cranberries is new to me – I love pears and whte cheddar so much I never go beyond that, except to try to figure out how to retrieve the pear from insidde the bottle of eau-de vie. That usually is best figured out with some sort of chocolate.

  76. Jemima Puddleduck

    I made this today and am enjoying a piece now. Absolutely delicious! I ended up baking mine for 55, as opposed to 45 minutes, but that’s probably due to differences in ovens. I will make this again… and again and again and again.

  77. Aaron

    This turned out amazing, you were right to not include the crust it would have taken last to the wonderful sweet and tart filling and ginger topping. For anyone wondering about pear choice I used Bartlett and it still turned out fantastic, I don’t know how you were able to core your pears so elegantly though. The dish will last for awhile (if its not eaten right away that is), I’ve had it for two days now and the pears haven’t browned at all and the crumble has not gone mushy, I think the corn starch is to thank on both those accounts and the lemon juice for the freshness. Tastes good cold as well, although I haven’t reheated or nuked it yet, but it probably wont affect the taste.

  78. Candice Hofmann

    I made this last night with organic bartlett pears (could not find anjou) and Mi-Del all natural ginger cookies (they are quite snappy and spicy) and it was excellent. Next time I will cut back on the sugar just a tad in the filling (just a tiny bit sweet for my taste) – but otherwise it was delicious. My husband and daughter nearly finished it last night! There was just enough for me to enjoy cold out of the frig this morning with my coffee, so good!!!

  79. Eve Frankel

    Just finished and this dessert does not over promise, its everything you think it would be and perfect for this first blast of winter. Definitely one for the Fall repertoire!

  80. Deb,
    Fab recipe. Would love it if you would get in touch w/ me. I sent you an email, but know you respond to comments quickly. Let’s cook something up.
    Editor, Taste of Home

  81. janey emm

    I am a die-hard maker-aheader, and can report absolutely no browning when I prepared the crisp 8 hours ahead of baking time. I just covered the baking dish tightly in saran wrap and stuck it in the fridge until I needed it, with no ill effects. The lemon in the recipe probably helped, as did the red juice from the cranberries, but honestly, we were way too busy declaring it the best crisp ever to care much about colour.

  82. We just celebrated our New Zealand Thanksgiving (we never manage to fit in with Canadian or American Thanksgiving) and I couldn’t find fresh of frozen cranberries anywhere and really didn’t want to use dried cranberries. I made it with blueberries instead and it was divine! Will continue my hunt for cranberries so I can actually make this version.

  83. Michelle F

    Loved it! So yummy and pretty easy, great for my little family get together this weekend. definitely making this again. Thanks for sharing.

  84. heather

    i made as close of a version to this as i could, and it was wonderful! i realized upon arriving home after work and starting supper for the company that was coming over that i had forgotten completely about desert! but i had gotten my email that morning and spied the 3 pears my daughter had begged for in the fruit bowl, so i set about making this crisp. the only thing i could find was graham crackers, so i know i made a perversion of your recipe deb, but the pears and cranberries were so perfect together. i put it in my square iron skillet and everyone loved it, thanks for another fabulous recipe! next time ill will try to make it right :)

  85. Richard

    I made this yesterday and it was fantastic. I plan to try with other fruit combinations as well – apple/blueberry sounds promising.

  86. CJ

    I love your photos and this recipe sounds so wonderful. I’ve never been a big pear fan, love the scent, love the flavor, but I’ve never liked the texture. However, I think the right recipe really brings out the best qualities in pears (and I prefer them cooked, which is opposite of how I feel about most fruits & veggies) – and this recipe might just be THE right one!

  87. I like your suggestion for using berries to accentuate the pears. While chocolate and caramel are delicious, berries are the healthier alternative. This seems like an interesting fall dessert! Thank you for sharing.

  88. Shannon

    Hi Deb, I’m making this tonight….looks so good! I am also a New Yorker and LOVE your “My New York” page-wondering if you’d update more on where you’re eating in the city. I know the twitter feed is by a robot but maybe on facebook or on that My New York page? You know, in your spare time :)

  89. Sarah

    I made this is a couple nights ago, and it was delicious. I didn’t have enough pears, so I threw in two apples. The cranberries were my favorite part– a tart, but sweet, surprise.

  90. My son waffled about his birthday dinner, and refused to commit to a desert request, so I made this. He was very disappointed until he tasted it. (He just turned 16.)

  91. This looks absolutely delicious. For a while this sort of fruit crumble recipe was the only thing I could have dessert-wise due to certain dietary restrictions. Takes me back to an earlier time…

  92. Margaret

    I made this last night and it was delicious. I added pecans to my crumble topping, which turned out to be more chunky and less delicate/pretty looking. I didn’t really care because it still tasted great!

  93. Jacquelyn

    This looks amazing! I’ve had a little carton of fresh Michigan cranberries sitting in my fridge just waiting for something spectacular!

    I’m thinking of trying to use homemade gingersnaps for the crumble, and might have to use up some of my apples instead of the pears (while I love pears, but I still have a half bushel of apples left from the most recent picking day!)

  94. Katie

    Yum! I made this for a pot luck last night, and it got great reviews. I used white whole wheat flour in the crumble topping and it was excellent; I can’t compare it to all purpose, but it didn’t strike me as obtrusive at all. Like a few other commenters, I’ll dial back the sugar in the filling next time a bit, but otherwise this was pretty much perfect.

  95. Joanna

    Oh my god, that picture, I am dying — my parents once made the mistake of telling my sister and I the same thing (we were probably 2 and 5 at the time)… and now there are pictures of us that look a whole lot like your photo of Jacob hanging prominently in their house. Except we had to pick pumpkins that we could both (a) lift and (b) hold long enough for the photo to be snapped – none of this put-it-down-then-take-a-picture-afterwards business!

    Also, I am generally like your husband when it comes to pears, but this just might convince me to give them another shot…

  96. Julia

    Yowza! This is an easy and delicious autumnal dessert. I recommend using the triple ginger cookies from Trader Joe’s which have little bits of crystallized Ginger in them. I absolutely loved this recipe. Thanks, Deb

  97. This looks absolutely fantastic, and I’ve recently come into possession of 40lbs of local apples, so I may just make them work in this. Actually, now that I think about it, I have a box of maple button cookies in the pantry. Ooh, the adaptation wheels are turning…

  98. Thanks so much for that link Deb-I made the gingersnaps from the Joy of Baking website before I saw your reply and they weren’t great on their own, much too soft and sweet so I am looking forward to trying the other recipe! However, they did make great crumble topping :)

    I made this dried cranberries (no fresh ones here in Australia) and it was just delicious.

    I also discovered that you don’t really need the gingersnaps *at all* as I also made a Gluten-free version of the crumble topping for a friend, simply mixing the same spices as are in the cookie into the GF flour. Tasted just as good and a lot less work if you don’t want to make cookies from scratch!

  99. delightful. i am in total pear loving mode lately; they have all looked so great at the market and just scream fall to me. i had three pears tonight (boscs) and since i had just made a cobbler last week (and polished the whole thing off in 3 days with my husband) i used your recipe for roasted pears with vanilla – i had thought about making it for years now (since you posted it at least), and finally got my ish together – amazing!!!!!! i am going to serve it this thanksgiving, but with the savory course alongside the turkey & cranberry relish. i think it will play nicely off the rest of the menu. xo

  100. Megan

    Made this for work over last weekend – came out wonderfully! Loved the crumble top with the gingersnaps – I like a crumble top but this is probably the best I’ve done, was wonderful warm and good cold. And it was a perfect balance between tart and sweet – glad it wasn’t a lot of sugar, more would have been too much. I used asian pears and random apples (because I have what I have) and it came out great. Plus I got to eat the uncrumbled gingersnaps…:) Thanks for a lovely recipe!

  101. Oh my, does that look good. I’ve apparently been on the same wavelength–just posted on a cranberry-apple crumble–no gingersnaps though. I can also so identify with your post about your book manuscript taking literally every minute. It is almost impossible to do anything else when a deadline looms. Good luck on the book!

  102. Jillian

    I actually just made this and am so in love with it! I think I will reduce the sugar next time and add some crystalized ginger to the fruit…but oh my god this is spectacular!

  103. Deanna

    Mine needed a lot longer than 45min cooking time, apparently. I cooked it this long originally and it tasted ok, not great. I wasn’t enthused about eating it the next day so it sat for a few days, ended up with a wet, mushy crust! I felt so sad to think of those pears going to waste, I decided to give rebaking it a shot. It worked! I baked it until I could see the juice in the part where the crust was missing turning really goopy. Now it’s great!

  104. deb

    Joanne — Wait, I left a comment for Joy the Baker about her gingersnaps? I have zero recollection of making them. Or maybe I read your comment wrong…

    Shannon — I’ll update it when I start getting out more again. I’m mostly buried under a manuscript at home these days and the hyped-up restaurants we’ve checked out lately (coughmapechesaxonparolecough) were bummers.

    Lesli — I baked it in a Staub cast-iron gratin (9×12, 2 quart) I just treated myself to after coveting it for a couple years. Dig around, some prices are much better than others.

  105. 14 of 15 people at Choir Dinner last night LOVED the crumble. I looked like a champ again, thanks to you! And 4 of 15 had heard of you, so you’re gaining good ground into non-blogger, non-computer-user land (or is that just another way of saying the real world???)

  106. wildwood girl

    If you use Bartlett pears there is absolutely no need to peel them! As for ripeness–buy them while they are still hard, then wait 2-3 days. Check for readiness by smelling them–if they are fragrant and still firm, they are ready to cook with or eat out of hand. DON’T wait for them to get soft!

  107. MattM

    I loved the crumble, thinking about taking it back to pie form with a gingersnap bottom crust, but I feel like a fruit pie should have a top crust. Can’t figure out a way to make a gingersnap top crust, and think a crumble top is going to push this over the edge into a bad experience with too much bready/crusty stuff to fruit ratio.

  108. I made this last Saturday, during the October Nor’easter. It was just fabulous and I’ll be making it again for Thanksgiving! I didn’t have enough pears on hand so I used a couple of apples as well-worked like a charm! Thank you for sharing. :)

  109. brigitte

    … made this tonight with apples and pears and it was truly *amazing* — the gingersnap topping beat any crumble that I’ve ever had/made before… absolute heaven. Added a bit of cinnamon and cardamom to the fruit and the spices worked great with all of the ginger. Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe!

  110. Susan

    Deb – Made your recipe exactly…we loved it! I did make a bottom piecrust because my husband is all about the crust. It was truly wonderful!

  111. Love the Jars!

    The jars appear to be these, which are available at Overstock in this (3 liter) and other sizes: Bormioli Rocco Italian Fido 3 Liter Canning Jars (Pack of 6) for $63.99.

  112. Alexa

    in the oven now..i’m very excited to take this over for family night at my grandparents (here’s to hoping I make my grandma proud, she’s is very good at baking – however based on every recipe I’ve ever made from you, there is no doubt that she will be)

  113. Kerry

    This made for a fabulous Sunday evening dessert, we loved it! I was wary about the cranberries, because I am a wimp about tart foods, but the way the cranberries burst in your mouth ended up being my favourite part. I’m hoping my husband didn’t notice, so I can pick all the cranberries out of the leftovers for myself!

  114. Mass

    This was the most delicious thing ever! I wasn’t sure about the gingersnap but the crumble was truly amazing & we definitely didn’t need a crust with all that yummy crumble! Perfect use of our cranberries and pears from our CSA! I’m definitely going to make it again for Thanksgiving! Such a cozy and perfect holiday dessert!

  115. Jonathan

    I made a 1.5x recipe and divided it in two. I baked one half of that in a 1.5 quart dish last week and froze the other half (topping separate from filling). Last night I defrosted the two parts just enough to get them into the baking dish properly, and got to enjoy another crumble with no effort.

    Delicious; thank you!

  116. Seattle Cook

    I made a delicious gluten-free version with the trader joe’s GF Gingesnaps and then used half potato startch and half sweet rice flour in place of the wheat flour.

  117. Riki

    I just made this. Like, just took it out of the oven this very second . . . and it is everything I dreamed! (I haven’t even tasted it yet and I’m already in love. The smell is literally out of this world). It’s all I can do not to eat the entire thing with a spoon right now. Delicious.

  118. Madeline

    Just made a gluten-free version, as well, and it turned out great! Will definitely make this again over the holidays! Thanks!

  119. Deb, I must know the secret to those cored pears. Is it a melon-baller? Or some crazy specific gadget from William Sonoma? I’ve been making a few things with pears recently and the peeling and coring is my least favorite step. Thanks!

  120. Sherry

    Deb, looks and sounds so yummy! Could I make the night before, refrigerate, take to work the next day and just reheat in the microwave for our luncheon? Would it taste just as good or would the crumble be soggy? And how long would I reheat for? Thanks!

  121. Elizabeth

    I’ve never made anything from your blog before (or from any other blog for that matter), though I often check in and read and wish I were more of a cook/baker. But I read this recipe and thought, “I can do this one!!!” So all the stars aligned in my kitchen last weekend and I pulled out a perfect crumble for some friends…and I’ve been thinking about how great it was ever since. I want to make another one. I’m inspired…thanks!

  122. I made this for a casual reception for 25 and it was amazing. Served it with vanilla ice cream and it was perfect. I even kept it in the oven for over an hour, keeping it warm and it was still absolutely amazing! Oh, also, I used dried cranberries that I rehydrated instead of fresh, because I know some people don’t appreciate the tangy-ness of fresh cranberries. Perfect fall treat…thanks!

  123. clb72

    Made it with apples last night. The ginger snaps form into these awesome buttery nuggets. As good as it was, it’s even better this morning with soy milk on top.

  124. Candace

    I made this for a church get together and it was a big hit. The pears were still a little crunchy for my taste. Next time I might lower the temperature a bit and cook it lower or give the pears a head start by sauteing them a bit before tossing with the other ingredients. Everyone gobbled it up!

  125. jeneva

    so i made this tonight – delicious! But soooo liquidy. Was i too darned impatient for it to thinken properly? I ate it warm (ok… hot from the oven) and thought maybe that was my issue.

  126. Meg

    This looks like an amazing dessert for our Thanksgiving potluck! What’s they best way to travel with this dish…dinner will be hosted a few hours away? Pre-bake or bake on site?

    1. deb

      You can do it either way. You might lose some crispness to the lid if you cover it while it is still warm and travel but you could also rewarm it there. That said, from a hosting perspective, I don’t know many (er, any) people with multiple ovens so I bet if you come with dessert already baked, it will be appreciated. Oven space (what with the stuffing and bird and gratins) is always really tight on Thanksgiving, right?

  127. Hannah

    Hi Deb!
    Do you think I could put this filling in the gingersnap crust you use for the dark chocolate tart? I assume so.. but would I want to adjust anything? Thank you!

  128. Sarah Sic

    I substitute peaches (frozen ones that needed to be used up) and my husband enjoyed the crisp with a generous helping of vanilla ice cream. Thank you for another great recipe!

  129. KatWise

    Failure mode advise needed: I made this last weekend as practice for Thanksgiving and it was very soupy. Even after cooling completely, the pears and berries were swimming in liquid. It was more like some sort of sauce than a crumble. In fact, we served it over ice cream. (Which I found way too sweet. I think I may cut the sugar next time.) My question is: Do you think the excess liquid is a result of my pears being too ripe? (Two of my five were quite soft.) Too much pear? (I used 5 rather than 4.) Or could it be because I’m using a deep (as opposed to wide) pan and the crumble is VERY thick on top of the fruit? It’s so thick that the fruit does not bubble through the topping in the way I usually expect with crumbles, and I wonder if that’s preventing some evaporation?

    1. deb

      Hi KatWise — It could have been any of those things, or the pear variety. Crumbles aren’t usually very thick — i.e. like pies, where you aspire to get a clean slice — but it shouldn’t be swimming or soupy.

  130. Z

    Returned home from a month long business trip and was DYING to cook in my kitchen and I made the mushroom bourguignon and this and they both turned out absolutely lovely! I had some friends over and they raved about this crumble – I will definitely be making this again! I practically didn’t recognize my apartment when I got home, but after cooking and sitting down to a lovely meal it felt like home again :0)

  131. heather

    This was delicious. Truly divine. My three-year-old-chef-in-the-making helped me out and everything was lovely. Thank you for this recipe!

  132. JF

    I just made this and ran into some issues. Like Katwise (comment 256) I used a deeper 2qt dish. I checked it with 10 minutes left and (unlike Katwise) my pears were still a little hard, my crust was warm but not crunchy and there was no bubbling through. I came back on here to check if I did anything wrong and saw Katwise’s comment and your response. So I carefully transferred the contents to a larger, shallower dish and its back in the oven. Hopefully it will still taste great! Just thought you might want to know and maybe put a note that a shallower dish is better.

  133. Jackie

    I’ve made this twice for two different potlucks and it’s a hit! I had some of the leftovers today. I think it would be super awesome with vanilla ice cream but haven’t tried that yet.

  134. Carrie

    I made this last night and it was yummy! Food processed the gingersnaps and didn’t put it on a baking sheet but it turned out fine after baking for 45 minutes. Thank you!

  135. Deb,

    I made this the other day and it was absolutely divine! I didn’t have gingersnaps so I just made the same kind of topping I would use for apple crisp and it still turned out great! The cranberries give such a great kick : )

    Thanks for yet another amazing recipe!


  136. Rustic style cooking is my favorite. Simple to create. Always using ingrdients that are in season. But most of all, the flavors of each dish are amazing.
    love the recepie!

  137. Danica

    A tasty dish — we took it to share for Thanksgiving. The lemon and ginger added a nice touch. We thought it was a bit too sweet, so will either be adding more cranberries or cutting back the sugar a bit next time around. But definitely something I plan to make again.

  138. I made this for Thanksgiving along with some pimento cheese (!!!) Both went over well but this one stole the show! I made it GF with the help of Trader Joe’s ginger snaps and GF Pantry all purpose flour. It looked like too much sugar but cranberries needed it in the long run! I also added sliced almonds to the crumble to compliment the pears. Thanks Deb! Will make again but with less crumble next time, i know that sounds like a sin, but the pears and cranberries are the real superstars in this dish.

  139. Jenn

    Hi Deb, I made three desserts for Thanksgiving. The pumpkin puddings were wonderful! I also tried this pear cranberry crisp but it was sooo liquid-y. What could I have done wrong?

  140. Meg

    This was Fantastic. I was worried about my pears since a few were still pretty hard; those that were soft were oh, so frustrating to peel and slice (slimy!). But it was well worth it. Made it ahead of dinner and it was SO good out of the oven – hard to eat only a taste. I made it as dessert following the Devil’s Chicken Thighs and Braised Leeks for a fantastic chilly autumn dinner and the whole thing was extremely well received. Many thanks!

  141. deb

    Now that a few people have mentioned having too much liquid in their crisps, I’m getting concerned. People who had trouble with this, what kind of pears did you use? Was it something other than the suggests Anjous? Were they less firm, more ripe? Final question: Did you bake it in a deeper pan? (I just say 1 1/2 to 2 quart but it’s possible that my shallower gratin-style dish made it easier for the liquid to evaporate, since it had more surface area.)

  142. Joe

    I made this twice this weekend! First for Thanksgiving itself, in a 3-quart casserole. (The smaller ones were in use with various vegetables etc.) It wasn’t very tall, but still moist and delicious. A wonderful recipe.

    The second time, today, for some family members who couldn’t be here Thursday. This time in a round 2-quart glass baking dish. Wonderful again–and not too liquidy at all.

    Thanks for this! It was a big hit both times.

  143. Marissa

    I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit. It was more popular then the pumpkin pie!
    I used the Anjou pears, as suggested. Some were pretty ride and a couple were slightly under ripe. I baked the crisp in a huge baking dish. I had no issues with the crisp coming out with too much liquid. It was just right.

  144. monica

    I made this as a surprise dessert for my mom on Thanksgiving and she loved it! It came out perfectly. I made the gingersnaps from scratch and served the extras. Everyone loved that cookies and the crumble. Thank you for the amazing recipes.

  145. Christine

    I had a variety of “old” fruits in the fridge to use up (plums, pears, apples), and so I cut those up and added a few small newer (not as ripe) pears. I have to tell you, this dessert was INCREDIBLE. My husband and son couldn’t stop talking about it. With vanilla ice cream on top–heaven!

  146. Oh…meant to add to my comment above: I used Bosc pears, because that’s what was in the market. They were very ripe (not always easy with Bosc), quite slippery to peel. Made for a great flavor and not too much liquid. This dessert will be a regular for us from now on.

  147. Erin

    I just made this for umm…morning snack. :). I planned to make this for thanksgiving, but my pears were nowhere close to being ripe. So, this morning I opened the brown paper bag that the pears were ripening in, and (yay) they were ripe!! So, I’m not feeling well today, and so decided to make it. I just finished a bit, and well, it was DELICIOUS! And Deb, I don’t think we waited 5 min. before serving it up…ours is a tad bit liquidy, I used the pears suggested, they were not overripe, they were a bit firm in fact. All in all, VERY, Very good.

  148. I made this 3 times in the past two weeks and I am still not tired of it. the flavor/texture combination is AMAZING! the first time I used a mixture of different kinds of pears, the 2nd time I used all anjou, and the last time I used apples. no issues with texture or liquidiness. this dessert, it is so so so good. it’s terrific warm from the oven with the topping perfectly crispy and the cranberries tangy and melty, or reheated for breakfast with yogurt on top, or eaten room-temperature by the sneaky spoonful whenever the mood strikes. I can’t praise this recipe enough. It takes maybe 20 minutes to throw together and the results are unbelievably delicious and gratifying. thank you Deb!!!!!

  149. I made this today, using bosc pears and had no trouble with excess liquid. I made a few changes – swapped out ginger for cardamom, and corn starch for tapioca starch. I also added some toasted chopped walnuts to the topping. Then I made a second batch with apples instead of pears. Fantastic recipe! Great way to use up all the pears and fresh cranberries I got in my CSA box.

  150. Jennifer L.

    I am in a dinner club that gets together once a month – we have a theme, and we each have to make a new recipe related to that theme. This month was “The 12 Days of Christmas,” and I chose “A Partridge in a Pear Tree.” I made this crumble, and it was a smash hit! How could it not have been?! I loved it so much I made a second batch, just for my husband and me, the very next day. Heaven! The bonus? Your house smells incredible while it is baking! Thank you for sharing this.

  151. Sarah F

    I made this yesterday for my husband’s birthday dessert. We were both glad I did…it was amazing! I used a gluten free flour blend as well as Trader Joe’s GF ginger snaps and it came out wonderfully. I used a 9×9 pyrex dish, it did come out a little liquidy looking and I was worried, but it did firm up a little on it’s own in just a few minutes…but the liquid was syrup-y and delicious anyway! I also made the fruit part of the crisp in the morning and refrigerated all day and it did fine. I just waited to put on the topping until baking. Baked for about 50 minutes and topped with Ben & Jerry’s Creme Brulee ice cream. Will definitely use this again…thank you!!

  152. Julia

    Oh my gosh, heaven divine! This dessert is, hands down, one of the best I’ve ever made or had! My family loved it so much the first time that it was gone within 24 hours. Naturally I had to make another batch right away in order to fill the void knowing this exists created. I love the freshness the lemon zest and juice add, the pears absorb them so well. It’s even better the next day to have for a delicious coffee or tea time. I had some vanilla bean ice cream in the freezer that was excellent with all the flavors. I’m going to print out multiple copies of the recipe and go through life with this delicious knowledge. Thank you so much!

  153. Dawn

    If I make this again, I will use less sugar. It kind of gave me a toothache. I really liked the combination of pears, cranberries, and gingersnaps though! It was my first time cooking with fresh cranberries, and I really liked the way that they burst.

  154. Emma

    I saw this recipe and ran to the store to get groceries, but, alas, there were no cranberries! I swapped them out for blackberries and followed the rest of the recipe exactly and it was delicious! Thank you for a fabulous dessert!

  155. Lianna

    I was searching your blog for pear recipes to use up a bunch of pears my neighbor gave me from her tree. I have tart cherries frozen from our tree from earlier in the year and I think I’ll try making the tart with them instead of cranberries.

    Too bad I don’t have time to bake until the weekend. I’m really excited to try this.

  156. Anupa

    I don’t bake super often but I love crumbles and this looked easy enough to throw together on top of making my first solo effort at making (Canadian) Thanksgiving dinner for my family.

    Used brown sugar for the filling instead of white, a bit less than called for. I think the ginger makes this quite a heady dessert and the brown sugar base took it into extra-decadent territory. I served it with malai kulfi Indian ice cream because it was all that we had in the freezer — the cardamom in the ice cream was the perfect topper. Spice overload – just the way I love it.

  157. Hi,
    I am going through all your crisps and crumbles:) Which one would you say is your favorite? By this I mean your favorite topping and the way it worked out? Just curious.

    1. deb

      Hi Anna — It depends on what you’re going for. I have a pear crisp with a brown butter topping, which is awesome because it uses toasted butter. This one is fantastic because of the gingersnaps; it’s very cookie-ish and full of fall. And I have a breakfast apple granola crisp which is great warm but I usually eat it cold with a scoop of yogurt. It’s heartier and less sweet. I also have tiny multigrain crisps, an attempt at something even more wholesome for the toddler, but it still tastes like dessert.

  158. Cathy

    Don’t even hestitate to make this! It is soooo good! Definately will be making for Thanksgiving (and many other times). Thanks Deb!

  159. Jeannie

    Perfect timing I have a very prolific pear tree… this crumble is a keeper… I made the gingercrips (in Joy cookbook) since I didn’t want to go to the store… the ginger crisps got tedious …1/8″ dropped with 1″ spacing arrgh so after baking several sheets the light went on and I used the batter mixed with grape-nuts cereal for more crunch for the crumble rather than to mix a new flour/butter/sugar topping and I was very pleased with the delicious outcome I also used lime instead of lemon cause thats what I had. Thank you Deb.

  160. Ella

    I just made this for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit! Thank you so much! The crumble topping is delicious and the pear/cranberry combo is wonderful.

  161. A true keeper! I made this for Thanksgiving as my daughter’s unique birthday cake. Her words “very sophisticated levels of taste”. The lemon and lemon zest (forme) where the underlying wonderful afterglow of taste. Doubled the recipe… delightful!!

  162. Jenny

    I made this for thanksgiving dessert alongside some vanilla ice cream. I also added some hazelnuts to the topping which I highly recommend. I ended up using Concorde pears.

  163. Looks like a great dessert to make. My experience with pears is they are ripe for around 20 min. before going bad. Guess I will try Bartlett and cook them up before ripe enough to eat. Look forward to making it.

  164. Carrie

    Love this recipe! Intended to bake this Thanksgiving morning but oven suddenly bit the dust (ugh….). So cooked a double batch in a crock pot. I think the fruit worked really well (nice and thick) but the crumble topping was mushy. Any suggestions for cooking this in crock pot in the future? I was thinking of cooking the fruit for a while and then adding crumble and leaving the lid off…would appreciate any words of wisdom. Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!

  165. Hayley Sevilla

    I made this last night and it was amazing. On the same note, next time I make it, I’ll reduce the sugar a bit more since the pears added their own sweetness. Overall, everyone loved it.

  166. Juliet

    I love this recipe because it has all the best things in it – and a gingersnap topping?! I like to sprinkle some minced crystallized ginger on top before serving – yummmm :)

  167. Alvina Khan

    What a fabulously beautiful looks delicious. I was looking for an excuse to buy gingersnaps! Think I might lighten this up by skipping the bottom crust and turning it into a crisp.

  168. Anna

    What a clever recipe. I love the fact that you embrace the pear. It’s a special fruit, and so much easier to grow in the home garden than the apple! Can’t wait to try it for this week’s Sunday dinner!

  169. Mia

    I made your crumble to go with a pear-caramel ice cream I made and it was perfect! If you’re ever interested in this amazing pearing (excuse the pun, it’s from the cookbook “The Perfect Scoop”. Thank you for this recipe!

  170. Alicia R.

    Deb – I just recently found your super blog! Your mouth-watering descriptions and pictures are THE BEST!! We’re having a July “cool snap” in Ohio (it’s 64 degrees here as I type this!) and I had all the ingredients to make this yummy-sounding crumble, so I couldn’t wait till fall. I made a pear crisp once before and was disappointed, but couldn’t resist giving this a one a shot. I’m glad I did – it was SOO good!! Thank you!!

    I always prefer d’Anjou pears – they seem to keep better once ripe. I was a little short on pears, and ended up adding a couple of apples I had on hand, as others suggested. I appreciate that you include weights in your recipes, Deb – turns out that I needed more of both the gingersnaps and pears than I would have used if I just went by my measuring cup! I think the sweetness level was just right. I made mine in an 8” square, 2-quart Corningware dish. It was deep and barely all fit in. I found that it needed about 10 more minutes in the oven and came out juicy, but not overly so. Next time, I’ll use a shallower pan so the topping is spread out over more of the fruit.

    @#94 Susan – I had picked up a box of Sweetzels Ginger Snaps a couple of months ago at the Christmas Tree Shops store. Never heard of them before, but loved ’em!

    @#109 Liz – My husband also thought blueberries would be good instead of cranberries, especially since we have lots of them right now. I would use less sugar, though, because they aren’t as tart.

    @#159 Laurel & #297 Cathy – It makes about 8 servings.

    1. deb

      Karin — I haven’t tried freezing this before baking. Usually, I might mix the base ingredients together and make the crumble separately, and store them separately before baking them together so the top doesn’t become soggy or dissolve into the base too much.

  171. I made this for Christmas Eve and prepared it a couple of weeks ago and froze it, for those of you wondering about freezing. I froze everything in the baking dish I cooked it. Put it in the oven frozen at 35, topped loosely with tin foil for about an hour. Then uncoverd it and cranked the heat up to about 375 to get the crumble crispy and the insides bubbly and it came out perfectly! I had made a little mini one with the leftovers and baked as per the recipe and this was as good as that add didn’t lose and of the flavor, texture, etc….It was a major Christmas Eve time saver and everyone loved it!!!

  172. Sally

    This is the recipe that keeps on giving. I used it a couple of Thanksgivings ago and just made it today again for Christmas. On both occasions it was a total hit. The only things I changed this time around were to use a little less butter than was called for (the crumble mix reached the perfect consistency before I had poured the whole stick in) and to double the ground ginger in the crumble mix. Next time I might even use more ginger, since the ginger taste was still sort of subtle, I thought. But even without the ginger hitting you over the head, there are still so many awesome tastes and textures going on in this dish. I’ve never come across a better recipe for fruit crumble. Thanks, Deb!

  173. Abby K

    Wow- I realize this is an old thread, long time reader, first time poster, and I love the “surprise me” button.
    We had a freezer cleaning party this weekend, and I modified this in ways I bet you would love. My freezer contained some bourbon poached pears (from a neighbor’s tree – the point in this party is to get ready for next year’s bounty). There were also blackberries from our backyard, and gingersnaps left over from Christmas.
    I added candied ginger to the topping (a few minces above the crumble.
    This topping is going appear again and again!
    It worked absolutely great!

  174. Joanna

    This recipe combines so many elements I love – pears, gingersnaps, cranberries – it can’t help but win in my book. I’d love to make it! But, there’s a challenge: I live in Portugal, where cranberries apparently don’t exist. Oh, once in a while you can find the canned sauce at one of those weird processed-food import shops, but fresh ones? Never.

    When I’ve sought cranberries in an attempt to do a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for my loved ones here, the local gourmet-food shopkeepers have insisted that cranberries are actually the same as blueberries, just at a different stage of maturity! In response I’ve tried to describe the cranberry bog versus the blueberry bush, etc. Those conversations don’t end well.

    So, my question for you, Deb, is this: Can I use something else in place of the fresh cranberries? Another berry? Dried cranberries or cherries or raisins? What else might serve the same purpose as the fresh cranberries, giving a punch of flavor to the pears? (And would any other ingredients need to be adjusted to make the change?) Thanks!

    1. deb

      Joanna — Do you have any other kinds of sour berries in Portugal? Maybe even currants? I’d use those. Mostly, it’s about adding sourness and acidity, brightening up the pears (which, frankly, are usually pretty flavorless in the US).

  175. Amy

    Deb – will this work with apples instead of pears? I know I’m in the minority – but not a huge pear fan – but love everything else about this recipe.

  176. Sarah

    I am obsessed with the crumble on your Sour Cherry Pie (the chopped almonds in it are GENIUS!) so I put that on this filling…YUM! Next time (there will definitely be a next time) I want to try some sort of combo of the almonds AND ginger snaps. Thx!!

  177. This is based on a recipe from my cookbook “The Sweet Melissa Baking Book” as Deb has mentioned :) I love the pie version of this, it’s on my thanksgiving menu for my shop every year! Thanks for reposting this Deb!!

  178. Maro

    I was blown away by this one! I am not usually a cranberry fan, but the stars aligned this week wherein you posted this on FB and my farmer’s market posted Oregon cranberries were coming, and hello! An amazing new seasonal dessert that I will put on repeat.

    I used Trader Joe’s triple gingersnaps, used the white pepper, and added just a touch more ground ginger than called for — I would even still bump up the ginger just a bit, but this recipe is phenomenal. I was actually seeking out the cranberries in the finished dish, much to my surprise.

    I took it to a party, so I only got one small serving before it disappeared. I will definitely need to make it again this season.

    Relatively quick and very easy recipe.

  179. Meredith

    This has been my go-to Thanksgiving pie for years, ever since she first published the recipe in Food and Wine magazine. It never fails to surprise and please all at my table. Great idea to turn it into a crisp!

  180. Sarah

    Hi Deb,
    Long, long time reader and fan, cooked many of your recipes – including this one! – over the years. Question for you, please. My cousin’s daughter, who is coming to Thanksgiving, is vegan. I thought of this as an alternative dessert for her… but obviously the butter is the problem. Have you ever used (possibly in another recipe) a vegan-friendly substitute for butter that you would recommend here? I can’t imagine using vegetable oil… but then I love butter. Any suggestions on something else to use? Thanks!!

  181. This was the perfect Thanksgiving dessert for my mother who dislikes heavy rich desserts and prefers lighter fruit dishes. It’s seasonal but not stodgy, and so tasty that we didn’t miss the apple pie or the pumpkin pie!

  182. Amy P

    The combo of flavours was really nice, although next time I’ll add powdered ginger to the pear mixture as well. And I’ll do 2 tsp cornstarch instead of 2 Tbsp cornstarch; it ended up really thick especially as it cooled. This was a good recipe find – I had a bag of pears that my 3yo son had ‘helped’ carry into the house and ended up pretty bruised, plus some cranberries that had been dehydrating in the freezer for a couple years.

    1. Kelsey

      I’ve made it with Earth Balance. I love it, and so did the other 20 people who tried some (or so they said). With all the other flavors going on you don’t notice the difference.

  183. Rita

    I made this last night as a recipe test. I used Bartlett pears, but everything else was the same. It was absolutely delicious and the full version will make it to my Thanksgiving dessert table. The flavor combination of ginger and cranberry along with those lovely sweet pears is just perfect. Thanks for yet another fabulous recipe. You’re making me look good Deb!

  184. Lori G

    I loved this recipe! I had a bowlful of Bartlett pears on hand, and they worked out beautifully. I am definitely making this for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!

  185. Nicole

    If I wanted to bake this filling into a pie, do you think there is anything about the recipe here that you would recommend changing? At first glance, it seems not.

  186. Cindi

    This was really delicious. Had to think ahead because pears are never ripe at the time of purchase. Four days on the counter and they were perfect. The taste and crunch from the streusel were perfection.

  187. devonschechinger

    Can I substitute the granulated white sugar / brown sugar with maple syrup and coconut sugar? And, yes, I’m one of those monsters that tries to make dessert healthy :)

  188. Michelle

    I made this yesterday for our small Thanksgiving celebration and oh my gosh it was perfect. I tweaked it a bit (apples instead of pears, made partially ahead of time), but it was an amazing end to a rich meal. Zingy, bright, and fruit-forward–everything thanksgiving desserts often lack. Oh and there was definitely vanilla icecream involved.

    I don’t usually make crumbles but I think this dish changed my tune! I may even have some leftovers for breakfast (minus the ice cream)!

  189. Kathe

    I made this with Bosc pears. I didn’t have any gingersnaps, so I quadrupled the amounts of spices, and used 1/2 tsp of white pepper. I kept the original amount of flour, which might have been why the crust was dense. It was amazing, but I had to add about 8-10 minutes to the cooking time. Good the next day too (I kept it in the fridge).

  190. We made this for Christmas Eve. Within an hour of it coming out of the oven, it was giving off huge amounts of liquid. I collected over a cup before we left for dinner. By the time we got home that night, the entire dish it filled up with liquid and the Ginger snap crust was totally soggy. We weren’t really able to eat it. :( Any advice?

  191. Robin

    This worked perfectly for me! My only change was that I used 1 apple and 3 pears, and used a little dried ginger and cinnamon in the filling. Had no problem with it being runny or too firm!

  192. Karen Z Nunley

    I plan to take this as my contribution to a thanksgiving dinner. Can this be baked ahead and reheated? If so, at what temp, covered or uncovered, and how long? Thank you!

  193. Hi there! I wanted to make this for Thanksgiving and wanted to know if I can make this ahead of time? I was thinking it would be best to prepare, and not bake it. Freeze it and then cook day-of. What do you think?

  194. Sue

    I made this for Thanksgiving dessert except with Apples because the pears were hard as a rock. Served warm with high quality vanilla ice cream. the gingersnap topping is out of this world. I got many requests for the recipe. Every single recipe I try is so good. Thank you.

  195. Nicole

    Mixed feelings about this recipe (I made it as written). This was the third dessert I made this year for Thanksgiving, and it was the least favorite by far. Hard to compete with flaky pie crust though. I think part of the problem was that there wasn’t any chew to the crumble part- it could be improved with some nuts or oats to give it a bite. We inevitably had lots of leftovers, and I have enjoyed it as a yogurt (plain greek) topping for the rest of the week. Not all is lost

  196. Stephanie

    I would love to make this, but I would need to make it celiac-friendly. If I subbed the AP flour for almond meal, and found GF gingersnap cookies, do you foresee any issues?

  197. Ann

    Everything about this was great, not too thin or too thick as some people had, but by far the best part in my mind was the crumble topping. I could eat just a bowl of that and be perfectly happy!

  198. Lindsay

    Sounds amazing- could you replace the cranberries with another tart fruit? Rhubarb maybe? Our kids aren’t fond of the cran 🙄.

  199. I’m not sure how your blog caught my attention but I saw this recipe and uncharacteristically, tried it the same day.

    omg – this is a winner! Easy to make and absolutely delicious! Thanks.

  200. Katie K

    I think it was just an off Thanksgiving for me (see other posts under the stuffing/turkey posts). I have made this for several years running and thought I would take Deb’s suggestion about making it ahead of time but keeping the pears/cranberry mixture separate from the crumble topping. The topping was fine but not so much the fruit; I don’t know if by adding the extra lemon to keep the pears from getting brown as they waited made them mush up or what.
    It tasted fine but was really unappetizing with the pears completely disintegrating as they cooked.
    So my advice is that it is best to fix and assemble it right before baking and eating.
    It really is delicious with French vanilla ice cream.

  201. Phoebe

    Made this for Thanksgiving dessert, with a few minor tweaks. Didn’t have quite enough pears on hand, so supplemented with some tart apples, used ghee instead of regular butter to make it suitable for a lactose-intolerant friend, increased the amount of powdered ginger in the topping to 1/4 tsp, and grated some fresh ginger (a 1/2-inch nub or so) into the filling as well, for extra gingery kick. We served it with some very lightly sweetened, brandy-spiked whipped cream, and ate the few leftovers that remained with yogurt (a la the apricot breakfast crisp) for breakfast the next day!

  202. Mithu

    I like to add green apples and a large knob of fresh ginger to the fruit mixture. I also add the pepper to my gingersnaps. Though, sometimes I like to use pink peppercorns instead of white pepper. I also like to add Chinese 5-spice (the best blend has Szechuan peppercorns) sometimes.

    I had planned to make it again this week, but there were so many still-delicious looking plums and peaches in the market, that I bought 4 lbs and I’m thinking of using half of them (and eating the rest!) to make a peach, plum and gingersnap crisp. My Summer fruit might get a little Autumnal treatment with a little Grand Marnier and 5-spice or pink peppercorns! I have all Autumn to make this again with apples, pears and cranberries!

  203. Tiffany

    I used ginger cookies that had small bits of candied ginger and it added a nice surprise chew to the topping! This was the only kind of ginger cookie available at the store. And, my family likes eating this hot or cold! Thanks Deb:)

  204. Ruth

    Delicious! Made this tonight with red pears at perfect ripeness and my husband literally liked the plate. Perfect as is. Thank you!!!

  205. Max Alexx

    I’m going to try this with Fuyu persimmons (the kind that’s like apples, crunchy rather than soft) instead of pears. Sounds very good — thanks!

  206. Marci Lingo

    I made this last night–using 2 pears, 2 apples, and 2 C. of cranberries. I doubled the ground ginger in the topping and used black pepper (because I didn’t have white). I also used Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger cookies, which are superior to Nabisco, imho. IT IS SO GOOD, absolutely delicious!

  207. Katie

    Hi, I shared this recipe with my mom who made this the day ahead of Thanksgiving and now wants to know if she can leave it out on the counter overnight or needs to put it in the fridge. Thanks!

    1. Erica Dunn

      Katie…I made it today also and I don’t see WHERE on EARTH I could fit it into our fridge! I am not a pro by any means, but my research is showing that use of cream, milk, or eggs, necessitates something being put into the fridge, but fruit crumbles can be left out. I’m going with that!

  208. Erica Dunn

    I made this today and I have to say, it is one of the best desserts I’ve ever made. The flavor profile is absolutely delightful, the sweetness, tanginess, and warm spice with a hint of gingery pepper are all a hit with my family of many tastes. One thing…my filling did not thicken and is very watery. I don’t need it gummy, but it’s definitely too watery. I used firm (but not hard) pears, and my cranberries did not get syrupy and drippy as yours seemed to do. I am not a master baker! What would you recommend?

  209. Sarah

    FYI to those trying to cut corners – I made this with canned pears because that was all I had and it came out too liquid-y! Still tastes great but would not recommend.

  210. Cindy

    Hi Deb, I just had to let you know I made this yesterday (Thanksgiving) morning for (one of) our desserts this year. My husband loves crisps and crumbles, but I usually make apple. This one sounded amazing, so I gave it a try. Complete joy! It’s a heavenly match of flavors and textures, crunch and juice, sweetness and spicy snap. I followed the recipe exactly, except for using only one tablespoon of cornstarch, and I used a 1.5 quart dish. The crumble is perfect – very crunchy. Thank you – my husband and I loved it!

  211. Cindy

    Hi Deb – this recipe is amazing. Plate-licking delicious. Followed all the steps, used exact measurements (EXCEPT used only 1 T cornstarch instead of 2) and my husband and I LOVE it. Thinking of having for breakfast ;) It has a wonderful balance between flavor and texture, crunchiness and juiciness, sweetness and spiciness. Thank you!

  212. Sharon Margulies

    This is a keeper. I left white sugar out of the crumble and added some chopped up crystallized ginger instead for some added kick— served it warm with vanilla ice cream!

  213. Maro

    This year, I had persimmons from a friend’s tree, and leftover toasted pecans from our “tea tassies”, and these two additions (1/2 persimmon for 1/2 pears swap; about a 1/4 cup pecans added to crumble) were wonderful. We love this dessert!

  214. Maria

    Hello, wanted to thank you or sharing this recipe! Had it for our Thanksgiving dessert this year and it was such a hit! The perfect ending to the meal. I used Trader Joe’s ginger snap, which have a good amount of spice to them and that topped the dish so well. Thank you again, and have a wonderful holiday season. Stay safe!!

  215. Deanna Olson

    I love this dish! I’ve made it three times now- the only changes I make are using gluten free ginger snaps and gf flour, and I use apples instead of pears. I’ve found I need to cook it a bit longer than 45 minutes, probably because I use a bit more fruit. Everyone devours it! Thank you for sharing, Deb.

  216. Linda Zeigler

    I don’t eat flours or sweetners of any kind or alcohol for health reasons. You are such an original, inventive cook, it would be wonderful to see what you might be able to create for the millions like me who need to avoid those substances. I use unsweetened apple sauce, blueberries and pineapple to sweeten things but it is a challenge to create dessert.
    Many Thanks
    LInda Zeigler

  217. Sarah

    I made this over the weekend for a group of 12 old friends from all across the country. Everyone — every single one of us — loved it. I’m here to say two things: 1) I use Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Snaps and they are excellent for this. You’ll need about 1/4 of a tub (estimate – I’m going on memory here). 2) I have made this in the past with apples and cranberries and it was good. I have made it in the past with pears and a *whole bag* of cranberries and it was nice and tart, but good. This time, however, I actually made it as directed and it was DELICATE and DIVINE. So: search out the pears. Let them ripen a bit. Save those extra cranberries for something else. It’s worth it to follow Deb’s instructions.

  218. Kristin

    I’m so excited to make this for thanksgiving! But of course I just bought the pears… hoping it’ll still come together even if they aren’t ripe in time for tomorrow!!!

  219. Ella

    This was really good! I had really unripe Bartlett pears so I added some brown sugar to the filling (in addition to the white already in the recipe) and left out the lemon juice, thinking it would be too tart. Definitely the right call, so if your pears aren’t terribly sweet, I suggest you do the same. It ended up needing about 10 extra minutes for the pears to soften, too. I also added some pecans to the topping because it felt appropriate for Thanksgiving. We had it with whipped cream, but I think it would be dreamy with vanilla ice cream. Thankfully there’s leftovers for tomorrow!

  220. Sarah

    Could you substitute leftover fresh cranberry sauce (not canned) in place of the cranberries? If so, any guesses at the proper amount? And I’m thinking I’d need to reduce the sugar in the filling.

  221. Sophie Lafferty

    This was awesome! I had some overripe Seckel pears which I supplemented with Fuji apples. Divided the mixture in two 1-qt. baking dishes (one to give away and one to keep). Am so glad I baked on a parchment-lined baking sheet cuz the mixture bubbled over a little bit. Oh, so good! I look forward to using Chinese five-spice, other fruit combinations (like peaches and blueberries) throughout the year.

  222. Judith Lieberman

    I would like to make this the day before I need it. Would you recommend leaving the crumble off of it until the last minute so it doesn’t become soggy. Any other advice?
    Thank you!!!

  223. Julia Schrenkler

    Another winner! This received top marks from my spouse’s coworkers, and now we’re talking about how often we should make it. I went a lil heavy on the amount of pears and should have adjusted the starch to thicken up. (Let’s be honest I should have just weighed them.)

    So good, Deb. Thanks.

  224. Jenna

    I had a bag of fresh cranberries left over from Thanksgiving, and a box of pears I’d received as a Christmas gift. No way I could eat all of those pears before they went bad, so I made this last night. WOW. This was a huge hit. The cranberries really put it over the top. Used random ginger snaps that I found in the supermarket, plus a couple of grinds of the recommended black pepper. Would definitely make again. Thanks for another one!

  225. Rachel Fleishman

    I make this every year for Thanksgiving. This year I have vegan guests. Is there a substitute that tastes ok for the butter? Thanks.

  226. Keith

    I made this as written for Thanksgiving and while the flavor profile was great we found the topping too pasty and the filling too dry. Next time I would leave out or substantially reduce the cornstarch in the filling. I think the topping problem might by in the gingersnap composition or needs more moisture somehow – maybe the water trick for crispiness?? Will try a few things to get the textures right.

  227. Zanthe

    Odd question but do you think one could substitute persimmons for pears here? Looking for a way to use some lovely hachiyas and your husband’s complaint about pears seems to jive with the way I feel about persimmons. Also persimmon orange plus cranberry red sounds so pretty.