Pear and Cranberry Squares

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When first coming across this recipe I just knew cranberries and pears would make the perfect combination.

Cranberries were never and still not a part of my everyday cooking or holiday fare for that matter. While growing up the mere existence of cranberries was unknown to us. Makes sense that if cranberries couldn’t be put into a tomato sauce, added to a soup or fried like a cutlet the ingredient was altogether irrelevant .  To be fair I’m not sure if they were ever included in various other regional cuisines of Italy.

I’ve recently been saving recipes using cranberries although at this point they all happen to be in desserts, muffins and breads. The reason may be they are classified as fruit just as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and the any other berry.  Although the name itself indicates it’s a berry,  I have never wondered about its classification and never considered it a fruit for some reason.    Venturing into the savory side of this very interesting berry will take a little more time.

I was right; the sweetness of pears mixed with the taste of tart cranberries is perfect. The buttery crust and crumble just adds to the deliciousness!

Pear and Cranberry Squares

Filling
3 cups peeled and diced pears
¾ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons each fresh lemon juice and zest
3/4 cups chopped walnuts

  1. In a medium saucepan combine pears, cranberries, sugar, lemon juice and zest.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat stirring frequently.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer until pears are tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Cool slightly then add chopped walnuts. Set aside.

Crumble
1 ½ cups quick cooking rolled oats (not instant)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cups cold butter

  1. In large bowl combine oats, flour and brown sugar.
  2. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.
  3. Press 2 ½ cups of crumble in a lightly greased 9 inch square baking pan.
  4. Reserve remaining crumble for top.
  5. Spread filling over base.
  6. Sprinkle remaining crumble on top.
  7. Bake on a preheated 350 degree oven 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown
  8. Let cool, cut into 12 squares.

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Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • Although the recipe instructs to add the oats into the mixture before cutting  in the butter I suggest adding the oats after cutting the butter into the flour, brown sugar mixture. This will preserve the texture of the oats.
  • The pears I used were very juicy giving a little more liquid that I would have liked so I drained some of the liquid.

 

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