This pear and gorgonzola cheese tart looks like it is quite a production but is surprisingly easy. A home made buttery shortcrust pastry encases a gorgonzola dolce cheese filling and is topped with sliced pears. There's a final drizzle of honey and some rosemary. Think a cheese plate, in a tart!
The most onerous part of this is probably the pastry. You can use store bought pastry but I love the flavour and texture of home made pastry. What I like to do is make the pastry the night before (this takes around 5 minutes) and let it rest overnight. Then it's just rolling out the pastry and then filling it on the day so that the pastry is crisp and fresh. Don't be tempted to roll out the pastry straight away. This is a pastry rich in butter so it really needs a rest.
Don't have gorgonzola? Most cheeses suit this - goat's cheese, cream cheese, feta - basically any cheese that goes with pears on a cheese plate.
Beurre Bosc pears are best for this as you won't get the same visual effect from other types of pears (perhaps a very bright red pear might also be nice). Beurre Bosc pears were first cultivated in France and now grow around the world. They have a brown skin and creamy, juicy white flesh ("beurre" means butter and it was named after its buttery texture). Beurre Bosc pears keep their shape well for baking. It has a tapering shape and a smooth finish and I always think of it as the most photogenic pear (yes I'm weird that way).
I couldn't decide whether this was a sweet or savoury item so I served it both as a dessert and for Mr NQN's lunch and he was very happy because he loved the amount of juicy pear. It's basically one whole pear per serve. It's a little bit sweet but not overly so and I think if you have someone that always orders a cheese plate because cakes are too sweet, they would adore this.
Although I love desserts and sweets I am often tempted by a cheese plate after dinner. I didn't grow up eating nice cheeses, I think supermarket plastic cheese was the only cheese on offer when I was a child but I am definitely making up for lost time now and will have about half a dozen cheeses in my fridge on the go at one time.
When I tweeted a cheese toastie I had eaten at Pina, a follower on twitter @pjsweeney tweeted a response. He said that he has a friend from Moldova who told him of a local saying involving cheese. It is for when you are in control of a situation or decision making and the saying goes, “I have the knife, I have the cheese”. Isn't that clever? I'm definitely going to use it from now on!
So tell me Dear Reader, how many cheeses do you have in your fridge at the moment? Do you like gorgonzola dolce? Have you ever heard of this saying?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Simple Pear, Gorgonzola & Honey Tart
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 1 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 45 minutes plus resting time for pastry
Cooking time: 35 minutes
- 200g/7ozs. flour
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 140g/5ozs. butter, chilled and cubed
- 5-6 tablespoons ice water
- 140g/5ozs. gorgonzola dolce, room temperature
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons honey plus extra to drizzle
- 6 Beurre Bosc pears
- A few sprigs rosemary
Step 1 - Place the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse again and then add the ice water (start with 5 tablespoons of water and then add the extra one if it needs it) and pulse until it forms tiny balls. Place on a floured surface and shape into a ball adding a touch more flour if needed. Cover with cling film and rest overnight (it is very important to rest the pastry).
Step 2 - Take a 30x20 cm (12x8 inch) pastry tin and spray with oil. Take a non stick mat or large sheet of parchment and flour this and flour the top of the pastry and your rolling pin. Roll pastry out until it fits the tin and sides with some overhang. Chill for 30 minutes while you make the filling.
Step 3 - Preheat oven to 190C/374F. Blend the cheese until smooth and add the eggs and honey and process. Pour into the pastry case. Then take the pears and slice them thinly about 1cm or 1/2 an inch from the top. Fan out and place on top of the gorgonzola custard. Bake for 30-35 minutes until custard is wobbly but set. Trim the edges of the overhung pastry. Drizzle some more honey and add some rosemary sprigs on top.