Pear and Cranberry Rustic Tart


Rustic tart with Bosc or Bartlett pears, fresh cranberries, ginger, and a touch of almond.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Have you seen the pears at the market lately? Gorgeous!

This is a rustic tart, using Bosc or Bartlett pears (great cooking pears) that have been pre-baked with ginger, sugar, and butter, giving them a wonderful caramelized flavor in the tart.

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Their buttery sweetness offsets the crisp tartness of the whole cranberries.

I got the idea from a pear crostata recipe in The Boston Globe. That recipe, which I made and is fabulous, uses pear halves and layers the pears and cranberries on top of frangipane.

I did find the Globe’s recipe a bit too fussy, along with taking the better part of a day to make. So, this is my simpler version, still the same wonderful mix of flavors, but with a little less effort.

A note on the crust. In my opinion, a pie is just an excuse to eat a fantastic homemade butter crust. These days you can buy frozen flat crusts, but if you haven’t made a homemade crust, I strongly encourage you to try it.

You can make dough rounds ahead of time and freeze them, making it convenient to roll-out whenever you want to make a pie.

Pear and Cranberry Rustic Tart Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 6

You can either cut up the pears into cubes, or halve them and core them, and use pear halves. The halves will make a prettier presentation, but the cubes will be easier to prepare.


  • 4 pounds (about 8) Bosc or Bartlett pears (ripe but still quite firm, NOT soft), peeled, cored, cubed into 1-inch pieces (or halved)
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled, chopped
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (do not sub brown sugar, it will change the taste too much)
  • 1/4 cup (half a stick) butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 pie crust recipe
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract


1 Make the pie dough from one recipe of a butter crust, or buy the kind of frozen pie crust that is folded in a box and lays out flat.

2 Roast the pears: Heat oven to 400°F. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil. Toss together in the pan the cubed pears (or pear halves if using), ginger, and sugar, and spread out evenly in the pan. Dot the top with butter.

Roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the pears are tender when pierced with a fork, and starting to get brown and caramelized around the edges. Remove from oven and let cool.

3 Combine roasted pears with cranberries and almond extract: Use a slotted spoon to lift the pears out of the roasting pan, and place in a large bowl. Stir in the cranberries and almond extract.

4 Roll-out pie dough and fill with pear cranberry filling: Heat oven to 350°F. Roll-out the pie dough to a 13-inch diameter. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Mound the pear and cranberry filling in the middle of the dough round, leaving a 2 to 3 inch border.

Fold up the edges over the fruit, pleating the crust around the edges, leaving most of the fruit exposed in the center.

5 Chill for half an hour before baking.

6 Bake: Bake at 350°F for 1 hour, or until the crust is nicely browned.

Cool on a rack for at least an hour before serving.

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Roasted pear and cranberry crostada - from the Boston Globe

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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17 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Sarah K Hamilton

    This recipe is absolutely amazing! 10/10. Rave reviews from all who ate it!

  2. Kirzania

    I, too, am late to the party but I have to say I found your recipe about three years ago and I have been making it ever since. I had some ups and downs in the beginning (mainly with the pie crust – boo) but this is now our staple at Thanksgiving. And, if everyone is good, at Christmas too. It has officially replaced our apple pie tradition, this is SO good. I appreciate that I can do quite a bit ahead of time, like roasting the pears and throwing them and a pie crust dough in the fridge a day before, assembly the morning of, and then throw it in the oven as we sit down to eat, maybe a little before. Then it’s ready to go after dinner, clean up and a bit of “resting.” I’d say it’s on par with the prep work I have to do for apple pie, so not that I save much time there, but the taste… Oh, the sweetness of the pears and the way the cranberries follow it with a burst of tartness. I am eating my second helping as I type. As a side note, I’ve found I prefer the Bosc to the Bartlett, though Bartlett will do in a pinch. I can’t put my finger on the reason.
    … Did I mention that, if there’s any left, it makes a FANTASTIC breakfast?


  3. Michelle

    Way late to the game here but I wanted to thank you so much for the way you write your recipes. I love how you add practical advice (e.g., in the linked pate brisee recipe talking about freezing the butter) without it being too wordy. It really helps! I love baking but I’m not particularly experienced at it (yet) but I was still able to make this from scratch and not only did it taste AMAZING but it looked beautiful. I was so impressed with myself and I know that much of that has to do with your straightforward and well-written recipes. Thank you thank you thank you! You are my go-to for pretty much all recipes now!

  4. Wildwood Girl

    This indeed is a WONDERFUL recipe! I too, wondered about the length of time required for the roasting and the baking, but all that heat yielded a fabulous flavor (and texture), and is necessary in reducing the amount of juice given off by the pears. Everything you suggested was perfect: the ginger, the almond extract, the roasting time (better watch the pears closely as you approach 55 minutes). I did change a couple of things: reduced the sugar to 1/4 of a cup, but added a ground walnut, flour, and sugar mixture which I spread on the pastry dough before piling on the fruit. Also, I cut the pears lengthwise into 6ths –sort of a compromise between halves & cubes. Thank you so much for your research and inspiration! I’ll be checking your blog regularly for more fab ideas!


  5. Nancy

    Wah! It looked great going into the oven, but it breached one side of the crust while baking, spilled over, and made a big mess. Too much filling? I’m glad I made a back-up dessert for today…

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