I was walking through the supermarket the other day and saw a bag of fresh cranberries. They were screaming to be picked up and baked into something delicious, so I grabbed some pears, brought them home and made this cake.
The base layer crust and the crumble topping are made at the same time. The crust is just pushed into the bottom of the pan and prebaked. Then the fruit is ladled in and it’s topped with the loose crumble. It’s so decadent, I would serve this at any holiday dinner.
Cranberry-Pear Crumble Bars
- 1 pound (2 large) pears, ripe but firm
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (see my homemade vanilla recipe here)
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
For the filling:
For the crust & crumble:
- Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×9-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- Prepare filling: Peel, core and chop the pears into 1/2-inch pieces. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of chopped pears. Add pears, cranberries, sugar and orange juice to a heavy-bottomed skillet or saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until pears soften, cranberries burst, and juices are thickened and jammy, 7 to 10 minutes. Add vanilla, orange zest and fresh ginger and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare the crust.
- Prepare crust and crumble: In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, almond flour, oats and salt. Stir to combine. Add butter and almond extract, and stir until crumbs are well moistened.
- Reserve about 2 1/2 cups of the mixture for the topping. Pour remaining crumbs into prepared dish and press them into an even layer. Bake the crust until golden, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Spoon filling (it’s O.K. if it’s still warm) evenly over the hot crust, top with reserved crumbs, and return pan to oven. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let the bars cool slightly before cutting and serving. Enjoy!