What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Enjoyable Eats: Piquant Pear Passion! Did you know a little bit of cheese and fruit make a great dessert at the end of a meal? Sure you did. The French have been doing it for years. Europeans, too. Bleu cheese, or its milder cousins Roquefort and Gorgonzola, is a perfect match with sweet ripe pears. Nuts provide that little extra crunch you crave. If making ahead, to keep the pears from turning brown, simply dip them in a wash of lemon juice and water. It works. If you wish to top off the dessert plate with subtle sweetness, drizzle some natural honey over the pears before serving. Obviously I threw in the greens as garnish. Habit, that’s for sure.
PIQUANT PEAR PASSION
1-2 ripe pears, cored and sliced
4-ounces Bleu cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup walnut pieces
Arugula leaves, for garnish
Natural Honey, for drizzling (optional)
Arrange pear slices in a dessert dish. Add the bleu cheese crumbles. Sprinkle with walnut pieces. Garnish with arugula leaves. Drizzle pears with natural honey.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Daily Special: Oven-Glazed Pears! Presenting a dessert as sweet as honey and as satisfying as a piece of pie. Make one for yourself or enough for a crowd. The recipe measurements below only need one pear, which is two servings. Perfect for dessert for two. The aroma alone will make your house smell amazing!
1 slightly firm pear; peeled, halved, and cored
2 tablespoons sweet dessert wine
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
Cinnamon to taste
Preheat oven to 375°. Arrange pear halves in a small baking dish, cut side up. Sprinkle cinnamon, then vanilla over pears. Dot each pear with butter. Drizzle honey over each pear half. Pour in the sweet wine. Roast for 40 minutes. Using oven mitts, carefully remove the dish from the oven. Tilt the dish so the juices pool in one corner. Take a spoon and baste the pears. Turn each pear over and return to the oven to roast 20 minutes longer or until a paring knife inserts easily. Baste occasionally for a caramelized finish. The sauce will thicken slightly. Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Simple Sensations: Fresh Pear Tart! Even if you are only slightly crazy about pears, one taste of this beautiful caramelized fruit dessert will have you boasting of connections to Le Cordon Bleu. The secret to making this incredible tart is baking it in an iron skillet; first on the stove and then in the oven.
FRESH PEAR TART
1 sheet of Puff Pastry
6 ripe pears; peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375°. Place the butter in the iron skillet on the stove. As it melts, add the sugar and arrange the pears carefully to look appealing when the tart is served “bottom up”. Increase the heat and cook gently until sugar is caramelized. Sprinkle in the cinnamon. Once the sugar has turned golden brown, remove the pan from the heat and gently lay the puff pastry over the fruit. Be sure it fits snugly to the pan. Place the skillet into the oven. Bake 15-20 minutes until the pastry crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before turning upside down onto a serving platter. Cut and serve warm. Add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream for the finishing touch. Smile lovingly and say, “It’s just a little something I made with all my heart!” ❤️