Pear, Brie, and Cranberry Sauce Flatbreads

November 11, 2021

Cranberry sauce has always been one of my favorite parts of my favorite holiday, but I’ve always kept it contained in its little Thanksgiving box. However, these fall treats featuring freshly sliced pears and brie cheese let it shine in a cranberry sauce flatbread.

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I’ll never fully understand my own love for jellied cranberry sauce. It’s basically cranberry-flavored jello, and yet it’s just so sweet, and nostalgic, and delicious. Maybe part of the charm is the way the cranberry sauce holds onto the ridge shape of the can it came in. In my house, we always had multiple cans of the stuff for Thanksgiving dinner, even though mom liked to make her own homemade version.

In this recipe, I use my childhood favorite part of the meal as a shortcut to a tasty late-fall treat. The sweet and tart cranberries complement the sweetness of Bosc pear slices and creamy brie, all piled on top of a biscuity shortbread dough for a delicious flatbread snack.

What You Need to Get Started

You can easily find all of the ingredients for these Cranberry Sauce Flatbreads at your grocery store:

Let’s Make the Flatbread Crust

While we are using canned or leftover cranberry sauce here as a shortcut, making the flatbread crust is still something that I enjoy doing from scratch. Getting your hands in that bowl of dough, kneading and rolling — it can be very cathartic after a chaotic holiday meal with the whole extended family.

This yummy treat comes together pretty quickly, so begin by preheating your oven and prepping a sheet pan with either parchment or foil.

To get started, combine your dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl, and whisk them all together. This crust tastes kind of like a cross between a biscuit and a shortbread, and it’s lightly sweetened.

While the bulk of it is flour, you’ll also be using sugar for that sweetness, baking powder for just a little bit of rise, and of course salt to bring out the other flavors.

Mix up the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl, whisking until everything is smooth. Using a combination of melted butter and olive oil as the base here makes it easy to stir and let it all come together.

You will also add a splash of apple cider vinegar, my favorite way to add a little bit of extra tartness. I love how this vinegar is sweeter than some others, and how it works so well with fall flavors. A small amount of milk helps everything stick together, and adds a little bit of that biscuity flavor.

Once they’ve been mixed separately, add the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry. Don’t worry about overmixing here. You’ll be kneading a bit anyway to help with gluten formation, so you can get it all stirred together.

When it starts to form into a dough, get your hands in there and begin kneading it, right in the bowl. The dough should be fairly dry and easy to handle, but hold together in a large ball. Split that into four balls, and roll each one out to be about an eighth of an inch thick.

Place the four flatbread rounds onto your prepared pan. Don’t worry too much if they aren’t perfect circles or if the edges are a little bit ragged. It gives these a handmade rustic quality.

Bake the crusts on their own for about ten minutes. They should rise slightly, appear dried out, and maybe have a subtle golden color to them. Set the pan aside, leaving the oven on, and start preparing the toppings.

Make Pear, Brie, and Cranberry Sauce Flatbreads

There are three pieces to topping these flatbreads: cranberry sauce, pear slices and pieces of brie. Get started by slicing the pears.

I suggest using just-ripe Bosc pears. This variety has a rough, brown skin, which you can leave on or peel off if you prefer. When ripe, the skin turns from a greenish to a more golden hue, and they should have some give.

Boscs are a good choice here because they still hold their shape when sweet enough to eat. I don’t suggest Bartlett pears in this recipe, because they need to be much softer before they are ready to enjoy.

Prepare the flatbreads by spreading a nice thick layer of cranberry sauce all over each of the crusts. It ends up being about two tablespoons of cranberry sauce for each, which gives you a perfect base for the pears.

Arrange the pear slices on top of the cranberry sauce in a pretty pattern. I went with just a simple scallop, allowing each slice to slightly overlap. However, you can do whatever you want with these. Finally, add small pieces of brie dotted between the pears.

Bake the topped flatbreads for an additional five minutes. This will allow the brie to get all smooth and melty, even dripping a little off the sides if you placed pieces near the edges. For an extra touch, sprinkle the tops with cinnamon.

These taste best served immediately and warm. Cut each into quarters with a pizza slicer or sharp knife, and enjoy. If you are serving these as an hors d’oeuvre, mix up the pieces. Or for a small group, plate each sliced flatbread on its own.

Leftover cranberry sauce? It happens to the best of us, but no worries. Make these delicious Pear, Brie, and Cranberry Sauce Flatbreads as a fun fall snack!

How to Serve Cranberry Sauce Flatbread

This flatbread can be a fun way to incorporate cranberry sauce into your Thanksgiving meal. To start, it would make a great appetizer, alongside some vegan carrot “bacon” wrapped water chestnuts and apple slices with ginger caramel sauce.

You can also serve it as a simple breakfast Thanksgiving morning to get yourself in that fall spirit. Try it alongside warm mugs of chai white hot chocolate or a honey chestnut cafe au lait if you’re more of a coffee person.

If you have leftovers from your feast, a cranberry sauce flatbread makes a delicious snack or side with your turkey sandwich and reheated potatoes. Try it with a fall cocktail, like hard apple cider sangria. For a mixed crowd, serve the versatile cinnamon apple shrub which can be made zero-proof.

More Pear Recipes to Try

Additional Holiday Favorites

Pear, Brie, and Cranberry Sauce Flatbread

Use up leftover cranberry sauce, or buy an extra can for these mini flatbreads that are the perfect bites for fall, featuring Bosc pear slices and mild brie.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 breads
Calories: 436kcal

Ingredients

Shortbread Flatbreads

  • 1 ½ Cups Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Unsalted butter melted
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ Cup Milk

Cranberry, Pear, and Brie Topping

  • ½ Cup Jellied Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 Bosc pear cut into thin slices
  • 2 oz Brie cut into ½-inch "cubes"
  • Cinnamon for garnish, optional

Instructions

Shortbread Flatbreads

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until combined. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the butter, olive oil, vinegar, and milk until smooth.
  • Add the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry, and stir to combine. Use your hands to knead the dough together until uniform.
  • Split the dough into 4 evenly sized balls, and roll each out between two sheets of parchment paper until about ⅛-inch thick.
  • Place each rolled piece of dough on the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes, until dried out and lightly golden. Set the pan aside on a trivet and leave the oven on.

Cranberry, Pear, and Brie Topping

  • Spread each warm flatbread with ¼ of the cranberry sauce, coating the entire piece of bread. Arrange the sliced pears and top and dot with the brie.
  • Place the pan back in the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes, until the brie is melted.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired. Then quarter with a pizza cutter and serve.
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