Harvest Pie with Apples, Pears, and Cranberries

The Research

You may not think of pies as healthy, but apples have a lot of nutritional value.  Also, according to a study published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, eating apples may help prevent and treat colon cancer.  The researchers found that oligosaccharides (complex carbohydrates) in apples decrease the number of tumors, size of tumors, and tumor growth rates in animals, and the more apple extract the animals were fed, the greater the reduction in cancer. The findings also showed that apple oligosaccharide actually helped in stopping the formation of new cancer cells. That’s good news for apple lovers – and apple pie lovers! One thing to keep in mind is to choose organic apples, because conventional apples sometimes contain chemical pesticide residues due to the way they are produced. Some of these chemicals have been shown to be carcinogenic, which might counteract any benefit derived from consuming apple oligosaccharides.

The Recipe

Excerpted from "Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbookby Myra Goodman

A celebration of the fruits of autumn, this fabulous pie serves up a hearty helping of pears, apples, and cranberries. For an additional punch, add a handful of raisins or a few tablespoons of crystallized ginger to the medley. This festive pie is a lavish alternative to the traditional apple pie, and like its simpler cousin, it partners deliciously with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Serves 8



  • Dough for a single-crust pie
  • 1 ripe organic pear, peeled and sliced (1/4 inch thick)
  • 3 crisp organic apples, peeled and sliced (1/4 inch thick)
  • 1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon or orange zest (or a combination)
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Streusel topping:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick ) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


Roll out the pastry dough into an 11-inch circle and place in a 9-inch pie plate, patting to fit. Trim or flute the crust around the edge of the plate. Transfer the crust to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack.

To make the filling, place the apples, pears, cranberries, and zest in a large bowl, and stir to combine.

Place the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and nutmeg in a small bowl and stir to combine. Sprinkle this mixture over the fruit and toss to combine.

To make the topping, place the oats, flour, brown sugar, walnuts, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium-size bowl. Using your fingers, blend the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal.

Place the fruit filling in the pie crust and cover the filling with the streusel topping. Don't pack down the topping.

Place the pie on the baking sheet in the oven. Bake until the juices start to seep and bubble along the edges, and the topping is golden brown, 50 to 60 minutes. Allow the pie to cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before serving.


Copyright 2006
Used by permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc. New York
All Rights Reserved
Banner Photo Credit: Patrick Fore; Unsplash.com
organic, the organic center, Myra Goodman, Earthbound Farm, Apples, Pears, Cranberries, holiday party, Harvest Pie