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Fruit Desserts for Fall - Fresh Pear Pie, Cranberry Apple Pie, and More!

When autumn is in the air, our thoughts turn to delicious pies, tarts, and cobblers, fresh from the oven—or the slow cooker. As they bake, their tempting aromas prompt us to enjoy a hot cup of tea, coffee, or spiced cider. It seems that everyone has their mom’s or grandma’s favorite apple pie recipe, so we’re highlighting some other varieties. The recipes here are adapted from, where you’ll find hundreds of more baking ideas. Which ones will you treat your family to this season?

Fresh Pear Pie

Serves 8

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 double pie crust for a 9-inch pie
  • 5 cups peeled and sliced pears
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack.

2. Combine sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and lemon zest in mixing bowl.

3. Roll out half the pastry and line a 9-inch pie pan. Arrange pear slices in layers in the pastry-lined pan, sprinkling the sugar mixture over each layer. Dot with butter and sprinkle with lemon juice.

4. Roll out remaining dough for the top crust. Place top crust over filling and trim edge. Fold edge under bottom crust, pressing to seal. Flute edge. Cut slits in top crust to allow steam to escape.

5. Bake on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, 35 to 40 minutes longer. Allow to cool several hours before serving.


Sweet Potato Pie

Serves 8

  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
  • 4 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, butter, egg yolks, brown sugar, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and evaporated milk. Mix well.

3. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add 1/4 cup sugar and fold into sweet potato mixture.

4. Pour into pie shell and bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until firm. Cool completely before serving.


Cranberry Apple Pie

Serves 8

  • 6 apples
  • 1 (16 oz) can whole cranberry sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pastry for a 9-inch double crust pie

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a pie plate with pastry.

2. Peel, core, and slice the apples.

3. Combine apples and cranberry sauce in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add to the apple mixture. Mix thoroughly. 

4. Turn filling into the pastry-lined pie plate. Cover with top crust. Crimp edges. Cut slits in top crust.

5. Bake for 1 hour or until the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbly. Cool completely before serving.


Country Apple Tart

Serves 8

  • ½ cup butter, chilled
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1 pear, peeled, cored and sliced
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ cup apricot jam, warmed

1. Cut the cold butter and cream cheese into the flour with a knife or pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (This can also be done in a food processor: pulse the cold butter into the flour until the mixture resembles cornmeal; add the cream cheese and pulse until it's the size of small peas.) When you squeeze a handful of the mixture, it should form a ball. 

2. Shape the dough into a round disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

3. Toss the sliced apples and pear with the orange juice. Whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and cornstarch. Toss the fruit with the sugar-spice mixture and set aside.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Set out an 8-inch tart pan, or, if you'll be making a free-form tart (galette), lightly grease a baking sheet.

5. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface to form a 10-inch circle. Transfer the dough to the tart pan or baking sheet. Arrange the fruit decoratively in the tart pastry. If you're baking the tart on a baking sheet, leave a 2-inch rim of dough and fold it up over the edge of the fruit (the pastry folds will overlap).

6. Bake the tart until the crust is browned and the filling is bubbly, about 30 minutes. Remove the tart from the oven and brush it with the apricot jam. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

Slow Cooker Peach and Berry Cobbler

Serves 8

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups frozen peach slices
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries or mixed berries
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 package white cake mix
  • ½ cup melted butter

1. Lightly spray the slow cooker with cooking spray. Mix peaches and berries together in the slow cooker; sprinkle with cornstarch and toss to coat.

2. Stir vanilla into berry mixture; add brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour cake mix over berry mixture and drizzle with melted butter.

3. Cook in the slow cooker set to high until bubbling, 3 to 3-1/2 hours. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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