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.

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

Showing 4 of 17 Comments / Reviews

  • Sarah K Hamilton

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

  • 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?


  • 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!

  • Ru

    Is there a way to get the almond flavor without using almond extract? What about using almond slices or ground almond?

    You can substitute 1/4 cup of the flour in the crust with finely ground almonds. ~Elise

  • Katie

    I am planning on making this tart today (to enjoy with the World Series and a house full of rabid Giants fans). Question: Roasting the pears at 400 for an hour or more AND then baking the assembled tart at 350 for another hour seems like a lot of baking time for pears. Am I missing something (or just being chicken)?

    Yes, I know it seems like a lot of time. I was surprised too when I made it. I did attempt this tart without the pre-baking and frankly it just wasn’t as good. The pears need that extra baking to get the caramelized flavor. I even made caramel separately and poured it over the raw pears the time I made it without pre-baking. It didn’t work. The flavor didn’t come through. So, yes, you need to do the long baking. ~Elise

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