Fall in love with autumnal fruit when you make this stunning pie! A lightly salted crust and crumble topping made from walnuts, flaxseed meal, oats, and dates surrounds the sweet and tart inner filling. Pumpkin pie spice accentuates the seasonal flavors, and maple syrup adds a hint of rich sweetness to bring it all together. Perfect for a Thanksgiving feast, this pretty pie uses frozen cranberries because they keep their color and won’t bleed like fresh berries.

By Darshana Thacker Wendel,

Last Updated:



  • 1¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup walnuts
  • ¾ cup date paste
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal (preferably golden)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt


  • 5 pears, peeled and thinly sliced (5 cups)
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, divided
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup frozen cranberries


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. In a food processor combine 1¼ cups flour and the walnuts, date paste, oats, flaxseed meal, baking soda, and salt. Pulse until crumbly. Add ¼ cup of water and pulse a couple more times, until mixture binds. Reserve 1¼ cups of the mixture for the crumble topping.
  • For crust, pour the remaining flour mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. Pat the mixture into a thin layer over the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly crispy.
  • For pear filling, in a large bowl combine the pears, ¼ cup of the maple syrup, the flour, and the pumpkin pie spice.
  • For cranberry layer, in a food processor combine cranberries and the remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Pulse until crumbly.
  • Pour pear filling into baked crust, smoothing the top. Top evenly with cranberry mixture. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle top evenly with the reserved 1¼ cups flour mixture. Bake about 15 minutes more or until top is lightly browned. Let pie cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

Comments (35)

(5 from 10 votes)

Recipe Rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Deb Hallisy

This pie was delicious! And, it was easy to make! My husband called it a keeper and suggested we be bring it to Thanksgiving dinner. I agree and can’t wait for everyone to taste how good a plant based dessert can be!

Melinda Brown

Very upsetting to try and make this recipe from the 2023 FOK Plant Based Holiday magazine since the addition of water to bind the crust was not mentioned. Shame on me for not searching this website first once I realized the crust mixture was lacking. A total waste of time and money!

Lyn Adamson

I am using the diet tracking app 'Lose It' which is very helpful for tracking calories, also fat/carbs/protein. I am to keep my fat under 15% as part of my cardiologist's instructions to help me lower my blood pressure. I was just looking for your breakdown of this lovely dessert in terms of calories, fat carbs and protein. I did not add the salt, to keep it low salt. Not sure how to enter this in the app! Do you have that breakdown?

Lyn Adamson

I did use raspberries in place of cranberries, as that's what I had. It really was delicious. I did have trouble using the crust mix but was able to spread it out over the pie plate bottom using a spatula and a knife, and kept some for the top. I used the pie crust directions with the water which was needed. I appreciate having a low fat version as I'm on a very low fat diet. The walnuts fit into my daily limit. I was looking for a recipe that did not use fat in the crust and I will make this again, possibly with the revisions suggested in comments about using medjool dates and some water.

Lyn Adamson

This was delicious. Grandchildren enjoyed it too! Will make again.


Why in earth has the recipe STILL NOT been modified to add some liquid to the crust/crumble mixture!


Hi Lindsay, Looks like the addition of water is in the directions.


See the post from Courtney to Rochelle below.


Crust does need some "binder" to make it clump. I added 1-1/2 tablespoon vegan butter and a small amount of maple syrup. This helped. Might try it with some applesauce. Liked the flavor. Not sure crust needs to precook before adding filling. Used apples instead of pears but would suggest partially cooking before putting in the crust otherwise the long cooking time burns the crust.


I haven't tried this yet but when making apple crumble, butter is always used for the crumble topping and that seems to hold it together and brown it.


Doesn't look like recipe has been edited to make the crust and topping better. They are both too dry and not crust like or crumbly at all. This recipe is same as it is in the Thanksgiving recipe pamphlet. I will try the suggestions below, but won't make this again any time soon. Took to much time to have such disappointing results.

Courtney Davison

Hi Rochelle, I'm an editor with Forks Over Knives. I'm sorry for the inconvenience and for our delay in updating the recipe. Several people have reported the issue with the crust/crumble topping being too dry, so we've updated Step 1 to include the addition of ¼ cup water to help bind. We appreciate your taking the time to let us know about your experience. Thank you, Courtney Forks Over Knives


Agree with majority of comments…. A binding ingredient has been overlooked in the crust / crumble ….. Glad I didn’t plan this for taking to a feast….

Mazowski, Jessica

Yes this crust recipe needs modifying:(


Just made this for the first time; was planning to bring it to Thanksgiving dinner. The crust is not right... didn't brown on the top, it looks like I just have the flour mixture sitting on top (and it tastes that way, too). I should have read these comments first. The filling is quite good, though. I'm better at cooking savory meals, so I'm not quite sure how to remedy the crust problem if I ever decide to make it again. I won't be bringing this to dinner, unfortunately.


I did this recipe again, I soaked the dates then added some of of the soaking water and a little maple syrup to the crust/topping and pulsed till it was crumbly yet held together. Looks and tastes so much better. I’m one to follow a recipe the first time out so that might need to be changed? Thanks Megan Quinlan for helpful suggestion.


The “crust” dies not hold together at all. I don’t know why. I have double checked the ingredients and I used them all and the potions! It just crumbles. Very frustrating. Any ideas what could have gone wrong?


Does anyone have a recommendation for “pumpkin pie spice?” I’m thinking a combination of nutmeg, clove, & cinnamon but please let me know if I’m missing the mark!


I just made this. Something is missing in the ingredients for the crust, it is just powdery doesn’t combine at all. I went ahead and put it all together as instructed but it I wouldn’t serve it my friends. My hubby and I did try it, getting past the flour to the middle, and the filling is absolutely great. In less I can find a better crust this one won’t be in my lineup. Sorry. If anyone knows what I missed please chime in.

Megan Quinlan

I would probably either soak the dates. Or add a little water to the flaxseed and let it sit for ten minutes before using. Or add water 1 tablespoon at a time to the food processor until you get a better consistency. I’m glad you posted this though before I made it, because now I know that I might need to add water.


Thanks for posting this. I used soft and moist medjool dates instead of date paste and ended up with flour consistency crust, which I thought was odd, but I put it in the oven hoping for the best. Of course it didn’t work, and I came back and found your comment and the suggestion to add water. Seems like the recipe should be modified to say that if you use whole dates instead of date paste, add (nearly 1/2 cup?) water. The consistency seriously off without adding a lot of water.

Louise Ermanson

Delicious and easy to eat. It melts in our mouth. Definitely a 5 stars.

Elizabeth Braymen

What do you recommend as a wheat flour substitute? Thank you!


Can I substitute apples for the pears? I have a bunch I need to use.


Can the Wheat flour be changed for a gluten free option? Such as Oat/Brown Rice flour?

Liz Turner

Sure! --FOK editors

Elizabeth Aronson

I'm afraid I cannot recommend this recipe. The instructions are not complete and are confusing. The date paste divisions were hard to follow, and I ended up with the maple syrup waiting to be added somewhere--like, "What about me?" I'm sort of laughing, because I'm not a good baker anyway, but I love anything Forks Over Knives! I live by the app and have had many successes. I'm hoping, when I pull this out of the oven, it will taste good anyway. Glad I tested it out before Thanksgiving!

Liz Turner

Our apologies for the hard-to-follow directions, Elizabeth. We've edited the recipe to make it much more clear. --FOK Editors


I'd also like to know if frozen pears can be used. We only have pears for a very short season where I live and often they aren’t that great.

Darshana Thacker

Yes, you can use frozen pears.


I made this for Thanksgiving and added about 2 tbsp. of maple syrup to the crust flour mixture so it would pack down. It was a hit at our house! I agree the mixture did not brown on top, but it was very good. I will definitely make this again.


can fresh cranberries be used?

Darshana Thacker

Yes, you can use fresh cranberries. I would suggest adding some extra maple syrup because fresh cranberries taste more tart than the frozen ones.

Bonnie Gladish

Would I be able to use frozen pears?

Darshana Thacker

Yes, frozen pears should work too.

About the Author

Headshot of Darshana Thacker

About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit DarshanasKitchen.com and follow her on Instagram for more.
See More from this Author

Free Download

Free 5-day meal plan!

Get a taste for healthy, fuss-free meal planning with this free five-day meal plan from Forks Meal Planner!

By providing your email address, you consent to receive newsletter emails from Forks Over Knives. We value your privacy and will keep your email address safe. You may unsubscribe from our emails at any time.

Placeholder image

Join our mailing list

Get free recipes and the latest info on living a happy, healthy plant-based lifestyle.

By providing your email address, you consent to receive newsletter emails from Forks Over Knives. We value your privacy and will keep your email address safe. You may unsubscribe from our emails at any time.