Pear-cranberry filling

Earlier this afternoon, we returned from Princeton, where we were visiting Will’s parents. They’re heading out of town tomorrow, so, as they often do, they emptied the contents of their fridge into our car as we were leaving. Among the items were four extremely ripe, bruised pears. When we got home, I figured we wouldn’t get around to eating them before they turned to complete mush, so I decided to make a whatever-we-have-on-had pear crumble (it’s windy and pouring rain outside, so I was unwilling even to walk the 2 blocks to pick anything up at the grocery). This is what I came up with, loosely based on a recipe I found on Epicurious:

Filling (mix all together in a medium bowl):
4 overripe pears, peeled and chopped
1/2 can of whole-berry cranberry sauce (fresh or frozen would also be nice, but canned was what was on hand from an earlier Georgantas cupboard-dump)
1/4 cup sugar
generous dashes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove

Topping:
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rolled oats (okay, I used Uncle Bob’s Multigrain Hot Cereal–what was on hand–but oats would likely be the better choice here)
dash of salt
1/2 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into little pieces

Combine dry ingredients and then cut in butter with a pastry blender until it looks like cornmeal; I also tossed in some chopped walnuts that I was tired of looking at. Dump pear mixture into a buttered 8 x 8 baking dish and sprinkle topping over it. Bake at 350 for about an hour. Delicious! I need to do cupboard-cleaning cooking more often…

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