How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter an 8-by-12-inch ceramic baking dish; sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar over the bottom. In a food processor, pulse 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar with the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Add 8 tablespoons of the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal; transfer to a bowl and pinch into clumps. Refrigerate until chilled, 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a cast-iron skillet. Add 1/2 tablespoon of the granulated sugar and cook over high heat, swirling, until dissolved, 1 minute. Add one-fourth of the pears, cut side down, and cook, turning once, until browned on the cut sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the pears to a baking sheet and wipe out the skillet. Repeat three more times with the remaining butter, granulated sugar and pears.
Arrange half of the pears in a single layer in the baking dish and sprinkle with half of the cranberries. Top with the remaining pears and cranberries. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the crisp is bubbling and golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes; serve with ice cream.