Pear Cranberry Holiday Pie Cups

Pear Cranberry Holiday Pie Cups

Written by Emily

Every so often, I open my inbox to a message that says, “Do you sell your pies?”  My answer is always the same – no.  In every response, I go on to explain that I will gladly make pie for anyone,  I just don’t accept money. This inevitably leads to an uncomfortable exchange, with the person who wants the pie having a hard time accepting something at no cost, and me having a hard time convincing them that I LIKE to do this. From my perspective, once there is money exchanged,the fun starts to diminish and the pressure for quality and consistency increases.  This is the difference between a hobby and a business.

Not only do I enjoy making pie, but I also enjoy giving it…with no strings or price tag attached. Throughout my years of giving pie, it’s become evident that people have a hard time receiving. Myself included. I’ve become interested in this dynamic because at it’s core, this is such an important exercise to practice –  being able to give and receive with no expectations. Particularly the receiving part.

This phenomenon has been alive and well at work as holiday gifts have begun to show up on desks around the office. As soon as someone receives a small holiday gift, they immediately feel bad that they didn’t give something to that person and begin to wonder if they should give them a gift in return. A gesture that was meant to spread good will turns into a moment of holiday stress as people begin to overthink motives and see gift-giving as eye-for-an-eye. The simple act of giving gets hijacked with both the giver and the recipient feeling awkward, and the feelings of happiness and kindness become a footnote.

Receiving gratefully is going to be my work in the New Year. It’s just as important as giving selflessly. The two go hand in hand and when they are both present, it’s a truly remarkable experience.

My wish for all of us this holiday season is that we might give selflessly and receive gratefully, replacing stress and anxiety with kindness and gratitude.

Back to the pie…

You know what also helps with stress and anxiety?  Pie.

I usually stay away from recipes that have more than two words in the title.  Same goes for ice cream flavors.  The more words, the more complicated I presume it will be.  However, this recipe is an exception.  Every word matters and makes this my new favorite holiday pie treat. The pear and cranberry get warmed up with fresh grated ginger root, and the gingersnap crumble topping is the perfect finishing touch. These pie cups are great for gifts and gatherings!

Print Recipe

Pear Cranberry Holiday Pie Cups



  1. Prepare pie dough and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Roll out pie dough to 1/4 inch thick as you would for a pie. Using a 5-inch round cutter or glass, begin cutting out circles, placing them on a plate or baking sheet. Continue to roll until you get 10-12 circles. If your dough gets too warm, place in the refrigerator while you begin your pie filling, then roll again. Once you have all of your circles, place them in the refrigerator.
  3. Preheat oven to 375
  4. Prepare cranberries by placing cranberries, 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over low heat.
  5. Let cranberries cook down while you start to peel and slice the pears, stirring frequently.
  6. When cranberries start to soften and mixture starts to thicken, remove from heat and let sit. The mixture will continue to thicken so that you have what looks like a cranberry sauce.
  7. Slice pears, then cut the slices in half, making smaller pieces. Place in a medium bowl.
  8. When cranberries are room temperature, add cranberries to the mixture and as much sauce as you want to sweeten.
  9. Add grated ginger root and mix.
  10. In a small bowl or ramekin, mix together 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cornstarch and set aside.
  11. Just before you are ready to fill the pie cups, incorporate the cornstarch mixture into the pears and cranberries.
Prepare the pie cups
  1. Take pre-cut pie dough circles out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature (about 5 don't want them super warm and soft).
  2. Using a standard 12-cup muffin tin, line each cup with pie dough. You can use your fingers to smooth out the crust.
  3. Place lined muffin tin back into the refrigerator while you make your topping.
Gingersnap Crumble Topping
  2. In a food processor, combine flour, oats, gingersnaps, salt and spices. Mix until the cookies are a fine crumble.
  3. Add in the butter and pulse until well incorporate.
  4. Turn out into a small bowl and with your hands, create small chunks so that it resembles more of a crumble topping than a fine mixture.
Filling Pie Cups
  1. Fill each pie cup to the top.
  2. Top each with the gingersnap crumble.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the crust is brown and the filling is bubbling.
  4. Let cool completely in the muffin tin before removing.
  5. Just for fun, I used a cookie stamp to make snowflakes out of extra pie dough scraps and baked them in the warm oven while the pies were cooling.
  6. Using a small butter knife or icing spatula, gently remove each pie cup and place in a decorative muffin liner. Cover loosely and keep at room temperature for two days.

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