October 12, 2013

Spiced Pear-Cranberry Crumb Bars

I was trying to find something in my freezer this morning, and did a double-take when I realized how many bags of cranberries I still had leftover from last holiday season.  Since cranberry season is almost upon us it is definitely time for me to use up this supply so that I will have room for the next time I purchase excessive amounts of them - and I will because I have this overwhelming sense of fear that I will run out.

As luck would have it Chocolate, Chocolate, & More just happened to post a recipe link from Imperfect & Fabulous on Facebook recently that I thought would work perfectly with the addition of cranberries. I just love the tart-sweet combination of pears and cranberries.  Actually I am just a big fan of cranberries in general.

As I was making the filling the house began to smell like Thanksgiving, which was just fine with me since it is my favorite holiday of the year.  I didn't grow up celebrating Thanksgiving, and if we did it would have taken place around April/May since that is Fall for us. I celebrated it for the first time when I moved to Canada, and from that moment on I knew it would become a tradition no matter where I was living.

These bars are quick and easy to put together, and have just the right amount of spice.  I sent them to school with my daughter and they were given the thumbs up and disappeared in a very short time.

Spiced Pear-Cranberry Crumb Bars
(Printer Friendly Recipe)

Crust/Topping ~
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
Filling ~
  • 3 pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom

  1. Line an 11x7-in baking pan with parchment paper or foil. 
  2. Preheat oven to 375℉.
  3. Toss the pears and cranberries with the lemon juice in a medium saucepan and saute, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes over medium-high heat.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together all crust ingredients except for butter; stir in butter until well combined. 
  5. Set aside ¾ cup of crust dough for the crumb topping, and press the rest into the prepared baking pan.
  6. Combine the remaining filling ingredients, add it to the pears and stir until the mixture has slightly thickened, about two minutes; pour onto the crust.
  7. Sprinkle the reserved crust dough it over the top of the filling, covering it as evenly as you can.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
  9. Refrigerate until cold and cut into bars.

Recipe adapted from Imperfect & Fabulous


  1. These look wonderful! I always use cranberries for chutney--maybe this year I need to reserve a bag for baking also!


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