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Nov 11, 2014

Mini Cranberry Pear Streusel Pies

Last year I made apple and chocolate pecan pies for Friendsgiving, and while they turned out great, I really wanted to try something completely different this year. A pear and cranberry streusel pie seemed like just the thing, perfect for Thanksgiving but a little outside the norm. Individual mini pies are just the right amount of dessert after a big meal, plus its hard to say no to a dessert that's already portioned out. While making mini pies is a little more work than making one big pie, this recipe will also serve a lot more people than a single pie will, making up to 24 individual mini pies.

Mini Cranberry Pear Streusel Pies

(serves up to 24)


2 pie crusts*
Flour for rolling out pie crusts

For the filling:
6 ounces fresh or thawed frozen cranberries (1 1/2 cups )
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 whole cinnamon stick
1 1/2 pounds firm, ripe pears, such as Bosc or Bartlett, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
Coarse salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

For the Streusel Topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Coarse salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

*You can use homemade or ready made pie crusts for this recipe. I used this pie crust recipe in case you are curious, though it isn't the recipe I usually use and I wasn't blown away by it. If you only have one pie crust or only want to make 12 mini pies, you can either halve the recipe or use the leftover filling and streusel topping to make a mini cranberry pear crisp, which is what I did. The crisp can go in the oven with the mini pies and should take about the same amount of time.


Preheat the oven to 390.

Using a cupcake tin, place aluminum foil strips in each cup, so that you have a bit of overhang on each side. This will make it easier to remove the mini pies after baking. Spray the cups with nonstick spray.

Roll out the cold pie dough. Using a '1 cup' size measuring cup, cut out 24 circles from each pie crust. Press dough circles into the sides of each cup.

Chill pans in the freezer until the mini crusts are firm, about 30 minutes.

Make the pie filling: Bring cranberries, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, water, and cinnamon stick to a simmer in a pot. Cook until cranberries are tender and start to burst and sauce is thick, about 25 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick. Let cool completely.

Mix together pears, remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, flour, and lemon juice. Stir in cooled cranberry sauce.

Make the streusel: Whisk together flour, brown sugar, oats, ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until combined and mixture resembles coarse meal with some large pieces remaining. Refrigerate until ready to assemble pies.

To assemble pies: Spoon filling into crusts then sprinkle evenly with streusel.

Bake until filling is bubbling and tops of pies are golden, about 30-35 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before lifting each pie out using the foil flaps. Allow pies to cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

I served my pies with some vanilla Ted Drewes custard and they were phenomenal. I will definitely be making these again soon!

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