To help contribute to the Thanksgiving feast, I was asked to bring a pie. I thought long and hard about which pie to bring, and after several days I couldn’t find a recipe that seemed to fit what I had in mind. So I made my own. That’s right, this dessert is 100% me. Before I started culinary school I never would have even dreamed of trying something on my own. I’ve always been fairly good with food, but only with explicit directions to follow. Now, however, I’m a lot more confident and have been branching out and experimenting with things.

These days when Steve comes home from work and asks me what I’m making for dinner, I shrug and say I don’t know, I’m making something up. He looks skeptical until we sit down and eat. Thank you, culinary school. It’s a lot of fun, actually, not being tied down to recipes, to be able to look in the fridge, see some stuff and find a way to make it all come together.

Anyway, back to the pie. I wanted something with fruit and decided to use cranberries, and I thought adding pears would be nice. And I really like crumble topping so I wanted to incorporate that, and I wanted to use my new tart pan so I decided to use that…and it just sort of came together in my head. I did look at several recipes as a guide, but I’m still going to claim this recipe as my own. It turned out really well, I thought it was delicious, and I got lots of compliments. I ended up making two tarts and I wish I had made three so I could have had one all to myself!

Apple Pear Cranberry Crumble Tart
For the crust:
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. shortening
1 cup. flour
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 Tbsp. cold water
Combine the salt and flour. Cut in the shortening with a knife or pastry cutter until the pieces are the size of peas. Add the water slowly (you may not need it all) until the dough just comes together. Form into a ball and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out dough and place in the bottom of a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. You can also use a pie pan if you wish.
For the filling:
1 cup cranberries
2 medium apples, peeled and sliced
2 medium pears, peeled and sliced
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
Mix ingredients until combined. Pour into prepared pie shell.
For the crumble:
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup oats
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 toasted almonds
Mix the crumble ingredients, cutting the butter into the dry ingredients. Sprinkle over tart. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until juices bubble.

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2 Responses to Apple Pear Cranberry Crumble Tart

  1. Kara and Andrew says:

    I totally love the feeling of not being tied down to a recipe as well. Right now I am making up some butternut squash soup. We’ll see how it turns out! All things considered I really have learned a lot in school.

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