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Sep 21, 2023

Pear and Cranberry Crostata

Celebrate fall with this rustic roasted pear and cranberry crostata. 

Close up of roasted pear tart with cranberries.

This pear and cranberry crostada begins with a pâte brisée crust filled with frangipane. Next, it's layered with roasted pear halves and cranberries. The crust is brushed with an egg wash and sprinkled generously with sparkling sugar before baking. 

What is pâte brisée?

Pâte brisée is essentially a pie crust where the fat is rubbed into the flour with the palms of your hands to create a super flaky pastry. At its most basic, it's flour and fat, a little sugar, and a bit of ice water to bring everything together. 

This one also includes an egg yolk and cold milk instead of water. 

What is frangipane?

Frangipane is an easy to make almond cream that is often used in tarts and other pastries. It's delicious paired with fruit. I've used it in a pear tart as well as an apple puff pastry tart

It consists of almond meal, butter, sugar, egg, a bit of flour, vanilla, and a pinch of salt, and it's super easy to make. Once it's baked, it thickens. 

Roasted pear tart with cranberries on a serviing plate.

Make this crostata for your holiday dessert table. It's delicious on its own or topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

Tips for Making this Pear and Cranberry Crostata:

While this crostata has a few different parts, you can make many of them in advance and then assemble the dessert right before baking. 

The pâte brisée can be made and refrigerated up to four days in advance. The same is true for the frangipane, which can actually be made a week in advance. 

You can also roast the pears up to five days in advance and keep them in a covered container in the refrigerator. 

When you are ready to assemble the crostata, roll out the dough, top it with the frangipane and then the pears and cranberries, and then brush the crust with an egg wash and sprinkle it with sparkling sugar. You should still chill the crostata for at least an hour and up to a day before finally baking it. 

With all of the make-ahead options, making this should be pretty stress-free, but I still found myself staring at it baking through the oven window hoping it would stay together. 

Pear and Cranberry Crostata assembled before baking.

Once you've baked this crostata, let it sit for about 2 hours before cutting into it. It should still be warm, but if it's not, you can re-warm it if you like for a few minutes in the oven. 

If you are serving this dessert at a dinner or holiday party, you can time it so that you assemble and chill the crostata in the morning, bake it around 3:00 p.m., and then let it settle while you are making the rest of the dinner. 

Pear and Cranberry Crostata on a serving platter.

Roasting the pears in butter and some sugar really emphasizes and concentrates their flavor and natural sweetness. The pears shed a lot of liquid during the process, which further brings out their "pear-ness." 

In addition, because the pears have already roasted, your crostata won't end up being soggy. 

For the pears, I used Bosc, which are a bit crisper than Anjou or Bartlett and will hold up while roasting. They will still get very soft, but won't get mushy. Just handle them with care when arranging them on top of the frangipane. 

While I haven't tried it, you could use Asian pears for a crisper result. They definitely hold their shape when roasted. 

For a dessert where you can use canned pears, be sure to try my pear and almond tart

Individual slice of Pear and Cranberry Crostata on a white plate with a fork.

Storage and Leftovers:

This crostata can be kept, covered, at room temperature for up to two days. After that, refrigerate it. Leftovers are wonderful rewarmed, even briefly in the microwave, for breakfast. 

After all, it's just fruit, right? 

Pear and Cranberry Crostata on a white serving plate.

You can use either use fresh or frozen cranberries. There's no need to thaw them if they are frozen. 

Every holiday season I stock up on a few bags of cranberries and freeze them to use all year long. That way, when I want to make this dessert or my favorite cranberry crackle tart or a cranberry almond tart, I always have a secret stash of cranberries. 

Pear and Cranberry Crostata on the serving plate with a slice.

Pear and Cranberry Crostata

Pear and Cranberry Crostata
Yield: 10 Servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 1 HourCook time: 3 HourInactive time: 4 HourTotal time: 8 Hour
Celebrate fall with this rustic roasted pear and cranberry crostata.


For the Crust
  • 140 grams (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 128 grams (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons cold milk
For the Roasted Pears
  • 9 Bosc pears, peeled, cut in half, cores removed
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 56 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 4 slices
For the Frangipane
  • 50 grams (1/2 cup) almond flour
  • 56 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted room temperature butter
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher salt
For the Tart
  • All of the dough for the crust
  • All of the frangipane
  • All of the roasted pears
  • 100 grams (1 cup) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 egg lightly beaten with one tablespoon of water
  • 2 tablespoons of sparkling sugar


To Make the Crust Dough
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (you can also use a hand mixer), mix the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter pieces and mix on low for 30 to 45 seconds, until the butter is distributed in visible pieces throughout the flour. You should be able to form clumps of dough by squeezing it with your hand.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and milk. Dump it into the flour mixture and mix on low for about 30 seconds.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and press it all together. Using your palms, press sections of the dough away from you against the surface, smearing the dough to distribute the butter. You should end up with a cohesive dough with streaks of butter.
  4. Form the dough into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 4 days.
For the Roasted Pears
  1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a 9 inch by 13 inch Pyrex or baking pan, toss together the pears, sugar and butter. Roast them, tossing every 20 minutes or so, for 60 to 90 minutes, until the pears are tender and lightly browned on top.
  3. Cool, pour off most of the liquid, and refrigerate the pears for up to 5 days.
To Make the Frangipane
  1. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the almond flour and beat for one minute on medium speed.
  2. Beat in the egg on low speed and then add the flour, vanilla, and salt. Mix until combined. You can use it right away or refrigerate it for up to a week.
To Make the Tart
  1. Roll out the dough into a 12 inch circle on a floured surface. Place the dough circle on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  2. Spread the frangipane in the center of the dough, leaving a 3-inch border all around.
  3. Arrange 8 pear halves in a circle over the frangipane, cut side down, with the stem side facing toward the center. Top with one or two pears in the center. To cover the gaps. Sprinkle with 3/4 of the cranberries.
  4. Top with another layer of pears in a similar pattern, using about 7 pear halves. Be sure to reserve one pear half. Sprinkle with the rest of the cranberries.
  5. Slice the last pear half into 4 or 5 slices, cutting through the fat end and leaving the narrow end intact. Fan the sliced pear out and place it in the center of the tart.
  6. Fold the edges of the crust up and over the pears, forming pleats. Press the pleats together and press the crust into the pears.
  7. Refrigerate the tart for at least an hour and up to one day before baking.
  8. When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  9. Brush the pleated dough with the egg wash and sprinkle with the sparkling sugar.
  10. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and cooked through.
  11. Cool on the baking sheet for at least 2 hours before serving.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

24 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

13 g

Carbs (grams)

62 g

Fiber (grams)

9 g

Net carbs

53 g

Sugar (grams)

35 g

Protein (grams)

5 g

Cholesterol (grams)

88 mg
pears, cranberries
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Recipe adapted from Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe by Joanne Change, published in 2010. I also have Flour Too and Pastry Love, which is just gorgeous. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. So many layers of deliciousness!!! And I love that you can make everything ahead of time to throw together before baking! Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck - Colleen

  2. OH my....what a perfect holiday dessert and I am thrilled to have a homemade frangipani recipe. Thanks Karen.

  3. What a pretty treat! Our local farm stand has pears out now and I have one bag of cranberries left in the freezer. It feels meant to be!

  4. Pears so often get overlooked with all the apple and pumpkin spice madness. Those bright red pops of cranberry and that sparkly sugar crust, I'm totally here for it! And yes, fruit absolutely = breakfast!

  5. Pears are one of my favorite fruits, and I love everything about this dessert, Karen! This will be the star of any dessert table it's on this holiday season, thanks for the lovely recipe!

  6. My company loved that this rustic tart had pears instead of the usual apples. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

  7. The easiest kind of pie to make and so good! Plus the cranberries look like red rubies--so pretty!


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