December 16, 2014
Cranberry Pear Crostata ♥ A successful dessert from a not-so-successful baker
Coupons make me do strange things.
Somehow I know someone else also understands that.
You see, I had a coupon for Ocean Spray cranberries. A tradition in this house that I make a dessert as soon as fresh cranberries appear or I miss them till next year. Armed with that coupon and one for Pillsbury pie crusts, I was on my way to the store for my annual cranberry harvest.
For some bizarre reason, my local supermarket decided to buy a generic brand and the bags they finally got in (two days before Thanksgiving mind you), had crinkled, split or mushy cranberries.
I was terribly disappointed that this would be the first year without a fresh cranberry dessert. It wasn't so much that I disliked frozen cranberries but I can never find them when I want them. Each year I buy enough to freeze 3-8oz bags then I have them all year.
Last week I was in my big box warehouse store and right next to the bags of Brussels sprouts, I noticed a few bags of cranberries, oh yes, but not just any cranberries, Ocean Spray cranberries. Forget the coupon, all I could think about was my dessert. You would think I found truffle oil on sale.
I have never baked a crostata before and I had just enough ingredients. It only required pears, cranberries, almonds, a few spices, and of course, sugar (but just a touch).
It was kismet (or maybe Christmas magic), I never get lucky.
I know prettier pies are out there but I posted mine because I wanted you to know that if a non dessert maker can do this, anyone could and it was the easiest thing I have ever made. No measuring required, you want it sweeter, add more sugar, more cinnamon? sprinkle more in. I used the spices that I thought I would like with pears. No pears? then use apples. It's all good and in 40 minutes it's on the table, cooling.
I don't even peel the fruit. All the fiber and nutrients are in the skins, leave them on.
I baked mine in a deep dish pie plate to catch all the juices and to keep it from flattening out. It worked wonderfully. A Pyrex pie plate would also work great.
Foolproof, I only wished I had uninvited guests popping in.
"But of course, I always whip out a dessert like this."
Let's get baking .......
Pear & Cranberry Crostata
makes one pie
* 3 Bosc pears, seeded and stemmed, cut into 1" chunks
* 1/2 cup cranberries
* 1/4 cup sliced almonds
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste)
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
* 1/4 cup granulated sugar
* 1 pie crust
* egg wash (beaten egg)
* handful of Demerara (or sanding) sugar, optional
* 1 tablespoon cornstarch or flour
* pinch of salt
Spray a pie plate and preheat the oven to 425°.
Place the pie crust into the pie plate.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the first 7 ingredients and then mix in the cornstarch and salt.
Spoon the mixture into the pie crust and turn the edges back over the mixture, creasing every 2-inches and gently pressing down to adhere.
Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with the sanding sugar.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the juices bubble and the crust browns.
Remove and allow to cool to room temperature.
Serve with Yogurt Ice Cream or whipped topping.