It’s officially fall! Which means the leaves are turning a glorious red and orange, we can finally declare sweater-weather, and we can finally go back into the kitchen without sweltering in the heat.
One of our favorite ingredients for autumn is always orchard fruit, like apples (of course), but also the ripe and juicy pears that start popping up on the market stalls during late summer. It’s a bit early still for Anjou, but you can find wonderful Bartlett pears and Bosc varieties at great prices.
Pears are fantastic partners for a cheese plate, their crispness and juiciness a great match for earthy, rich cheeses. And one of the greatest pairings is definitely with creamy blue cheeses, a combination that just seems to define this beautiful season.
Since we’re so elated we can bake again, we decided to make a seasonal tart featuring pears and blue cheese, encased in a sublime puff-pastry crust and topped with toasted almonds. Buttery, savory, cheesy and with just enough sweetness to balance it, this Pear & Blue Cheese Tart has become a seasonal favorite in our offices. You can buy the pastry sheets pre-made, or if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can make your own.
When choosing pears for our Pears & Blue Cheese Tart recipe, if it’s at all possible, chose from reputable local growers – this will ensure you get a freshly-picked pear. It’s better if they’re not fully ripened yet, so buy them hard a few days in advance, and leave them to ripen in your kitchen. Avoid any that have bruised skin or very evident blemishes.
You can pick your favorite blue cheese for this recipe, keeping in mind that some blues are much more intense than others. Roquefort tends to be stronger, while Gorgonzola Dolce is a milder option, and Fourme d’ Ambert somewhere in the middle in intensity. The rule of thumb is, if you love the cheese, you’ll love it in this Pear & Blue Cheese Tart recipe! (See our full selection of blue cheese!).