My uncle made this pie for Thanksgiving every year, and as a child I was fascinated by the combination of fruit and cheese — an addition inspired by Vermont apple and cheddar pie. The cheese doesn't add savory notes as much as a creamy tang, and the cranberries add tartness and a pop of color.
For the filling:
Preheat your oven to 425 F and set a rack to the lowest position.
Combine the pear chunks, cranberries, cheese, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, and lemon juice together in a large bowl. Spoon into the pie shell, leaving the juices behind.
For the topping:
Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, flour and nuts. Pour the melted butter on top and stir with a fork until crumbles develop. Sprinkle topping all over the filling.
Bake the pie for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 F and bake until the top is browned, and the juices are bubbling, 40 to 50 minutes more. Remove finished pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. The pie filling will set as it cools. Slice and serve pie at room temperature.