Cranberry Pear Tart

Cranberry Pear Tart

Traditional Thanksgiving isn't in the cards for us this year, which is fine because we're not much for celebrating holidays "the traditional way". Traditional is a funny word isn't it? Opting outside is more of a holiday tradition for us--it's what we normally choose to do when we have plenty of time off from work.

Since actual Turkey Day is typically reserved for adventuring, we eat more Thanksgiving fare before and after the holiday, at potlucks and work parties and Friendsgiving celebrations.

Preparing for Friendsgiving is a whole different beast than preparing for a family holiday: the family usually has at least a semi-planned menu, so you know what you’re supposed to bring.  But Friendsgiving (at least the way we do it) is a lot more casual. Everyone brings what they want, a little slice of what Thanksgiving means to them (or whatever they had time to pick up at the store). Both events usually have plenty (err, too much) food, but at Friendsgiving I find there are always a lot more repeats, like four pumpkin pies and three salads and then only one pot of mash potatoes. You've been to one of those potlucks right? You know what I'm talking about.

Cranberry Pear Tart
Cranberry Pear Tart

I was thinking about this very predicament when I started making this tart. You see, I really wanted pumpkin pie (hello, it's pumpkin pie, who doesn't want a slice?!). But I knew there would already be at least one other pumpkin pie. So I decided to go in a whole new direction: something without pumpkin, or pecans, but still perfect for fall. 

This Cranberry Pear Tart? Ding!

Pears don't get the attention that pumpkin gets this time of year, but they deserve a little time in the limelight. This tart, laced with just a hint of cinnamon, maple syrup, and fresh orange zest, is the perfect offbeat dessert for any Thanksgiving potluck, Friendsgiving or other fall get-together.

Something else to love about this Cranberry Pear Tart: it’s pretty much just fruit in a pie crust (whatever pie crust you like, though I use this crust recipe to make it paleo-friendly) which means that it doesn’t have the same super heavy feeling that pecan or pumpkin pies do. Which means.... you can have a slice of each and the Cranberry Pear Tart will round out the trio! 😉

(Ehem. While we are talking about pecan pie, let's talk about pecan pie! My love.)

Cranberry Pear Tart
Cranberry Pear Tart

The other great thing about the fruit-in-crust situation is that it is reallllllly easy to make this tart. Slice up those pears, pop 'em in your crust, and arrange the cranberries with the maple sauce. Cook. Top with whipped cream. Eat. Lick plate. Done. 

Wishing you all safe travels and a happy Thanksgiving, whatever that means for you! 🤗

Cranberry Pear Tart

Published November 16, 2017 by
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Serves: 6   |    Total Time: 60 minutes


  • 1 batch of pie crust dough ( Try this Paleo pie crust)
  • 2 large Red Crimson pears - about 1/2 pound (D'Anjou or Bosc would also work)
  • Heaping 1/2 cup cranberries, fresh
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch (for Paleo, sub 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder)
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • Whipped cream, coconut cream, or ice cream for serving.


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease an 8-inch pie pan. Rough pie crust to 1/8 inch thickness using a rolling pin, and fit to pie pan. Trim edges as necessary, and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cold water and the corn starch until full combined. Then, whisk in the maple syrup, orange zest, and cinnamon. Add the cranberries and stir so they are coated.
  3. Slice pears in half, and remove core. Then, slice thin (1/8 inch thick) and arrange in prepared pie crust.
  4. Once all pear slices are arranged in crust, arrange cranberries over top, pouring the maple syrup mixture over pears as you go. Use a brush to spread the maple syrup mixture over pears so they are all coated.
  5. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until tart is bubbling, crust is golden, and pears are tender. Serve with whipped cream, coconut cream, or ice cream.