This pie was inspired by one made famous by Mission Pies in San Francisco. Long lines of customers mob the bakery during the holidays to buy their fresh baked pies, and this is one of their bestsellers.

I was inspired by the pear cranberry combination, but I decided to make a crostata instead of a traditional pie. A crostata is a freeform pie baked on a cookie sheet instead of a traditional pie pan. I love the rustic look of the dough folded over the filling. Don’t worry about being too precise – keep the shape freeform and rustic.

My son and I visited Mission Pie to taste-test this pie last week, and I could barely get in a taste – that’s how fast my son was wolfing it down. We got home and experimented – using crushed gingersnap cookies in lieu of a crumb topping – and my little taste-tester says it’s just as good as the one we had at the bakery. We hope you’ll agree!

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen pie crust, thawed
  • 4 pears, peeled and cut into 1/8 wedges
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries (optional)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon or powdered ginger
  • 1/3 cup crushed gingersnap cookies
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 1 tsp sugar (raw Turbinado sugar looks great)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° degrees.
  2. Roll out pie crust into a larger circle, approx 15-16 inches wide. Place pie crust on a baking sheet, preferably lined with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, mix pears, cranberries, maple syrup, lemon juice, flour, and cinnamon. Pour this mixture on pie crust and spread to within 1 inch of edge. Sprinkle with gingersnap cookies. Fold edges of pie crust over fruit filling, overlapping every few inches and pressing to hold.
  4. Brush pie crust edges with milk. Sprinkle with sugar. (This step is optional but makes for a pretty presentation.)
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool before moving to a serving plate.