When I was little, I thought cranberries came in a can, jiggled and nothing more. I was not a big fan, and usually didn't take any on Thanksgiving. They just seemed to me like they were part of the tradition but nobody really ate them. Thank goodness I have since been exposed to good cranberries. I love buying fresh ones this time of the year and making them into something delicious. Especially when used in a baked dessert where they can be allowed to become almost jammy. So when I saw some at the store last week, I had to pick them up.
I decided to bake one of those delicious desserts, a vegan cranberry pear pie. Pears are sweet, cranberries are tart, so it is the perfect pairing! I am on a huge pie kick lately. My favorite is with a crumble topping. It is a bit less fussy, and even more delicious and crunchy. I am a big texture person so the jammy filling with a crunchy topping is perfect in my book. Especially when paired with coconut whipped cream or ice cream.
I used an equal of cranberries and pears in the filling to balance it out nicely. Some orange zest and juice joined the show since it is a lovely flavor with cranberry. I was getting excited about this! I made a crunchy walnut crumble topping, and I knew this was going to be good. Once it was smelling all wonderful and baked to jammy perfection I could not wait to dive in.
I always have to cut myself a pretty large piece. It was wonderful. Sweet, tart, crunchy, melt in your mouth, heavenly. No reason to be sad about summer fruit being out of season when you have this type of deliciousness! Cranberries to the rescue! This would be the perfect addition to a Holiday table!
Vegan Cranberry Pear Pie with Walnut Crumble Topping
Makes 1 9 inch pie
1 1/2 cups all purpose gluten free flour
3 Tbsp coconut sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
6 Tbsp coconut oil, in its solid form
about 2-3 Tbsp cold water
3 cups diced ripe pears
3 cups fresh or frozen organic cranberries (if they are frozen, thaw them first, and drain off any liquid)
juice and zest of one small orange
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 Tbsp arrowroot powder or all purpose gluten free flour
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch sea salt
3/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour
3 Tbsp coconut sugar
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
pinch sea salt
To make the crust, in a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, sea salt. Cut in coconut oil with a pastry blender or 2 knives until it is in pea sized pieces. Mix in just enough water to create a smooth dough that holds together but isn't too sticky. Add a 2-3 Tbsp water as needed, and knead slightly until a smooth dough is created.
Roll out into about a 9 inch round using parchment underneath and floured rolling pin. Place dough into an 8 inch pie pan and fit to edges (being careful since gluten free dough is more fragile). If it tears, no worries, just press it back together and patch it up. Flute the edges, or crimp with a fork. Set aside in the refrigerator.
To make the topping, combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix together and squeeze together until it is clumping up a bit. Set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 400F degrees. In a large bowl, toss together the filling ingredients. Spoon into crust. Scatter the topping over that. Bake for 1 hour in the middle rack of the oven until pears are cooked through, cranberries have burts and it is and bubbling (after 15 minutes check it and if it is getting too dark, tent it with foil for the rest of the time in the oven).
Remove from oven and let cool until warm, and top with some ice cream or coconut vanilla whipped cream and enjoy!