Pear Cranberry Pie Kits are Here!

I know that this time of year is basically dominated by pumpkin spice. But I get excited about a different fall flavor. Cranberries. This time of year, my local grocery store starts selling these big, super soft, oatmeal cookies with dried cranberries instead of raisins. And the coffee shops start offering the cranberry orange muffins. Those muffins are just sweet little pillows of happiness.

Cranberries are so delicious and so full of antioxidants and, dare I say versatile. Last year at Thanksgiving, I made turkey mashed potato egg rolls with a cranberry sauce dip. Regular thanksgiving turkey just seems stupid now. Why have dried out turkey breast when you can have shredded turkey smooshed up with mashed potatoes, wrapped in a handy roll, fried, and then dipped in sweet and sour cranberry sauce?

But let’s also look at another fall fruit that I dream of all year, the pears. I love them more than summer peaches. When a Bartlett is perfectly ripe and so juicy that you kind of have to suck on it when you bite into it, otherwise the juice will drip everywhere. It’s pure heaven. I even love pears out of the can, especially paired with a couple of snickerdoodle cookies or gingersnaps.

This inevitably brings me to my new seasonal special pie kit. You guessed it, pear cranberry. Anjou pears (Bartletts are too soft for baking) and fresh plump cranberries. I just made a batch of pie filling packed with both. As I was simmering the filling on the stove, the cranberries burst open and turned the filling a gorgeous bright ruby red. It almost looks like the filling jars are being illuminated from inside the jar, like a stained glass window. And the flavor is sweet and tart. The brown sugar gives it a slightly caramel-ish note but the cranberries still bring that pucker factor. When you taste the filling under that sweet crumble topping, it’s going to be perfectly balanced and bright.

This is what fall is supposed to taste like.

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