Pears fell from heaven during my childhood. Okay, well, not quite. But they did fall from several trees in my family’s front yard. When my family purchased the property, the fruit trees were aged and unkempt, but they still produced an abundance of fruit. My friends and I collected the fallen pears, careful of yellow jackets. Sometimes we ate them, but more often, we fed them to our horses. So it goes when you’re a kid and more interested in making a horse eat healthy than eating healthy yourself.
Though I did not always appreciate the pears that fell from heaven during my childhood, I now find myself hankering after the delicate, tender sweetness of pears this time of year.
And you know what’s amazing with pears? Cheese.
Especially when the pears have been dunked into sugar and spice and then swaddled in pastry. Then, the cheese comes along as a creamy, rich topping to bind all the ingredients together. Bliss.
In search of this bliss, I turned to a basic, never-fail, never-want-to-throw-the-rolling-pin-out-the-window galette crust recipe from Simply in Season. They use it for a plum tomato pie, but I always apply it to sweet recipes as well. Because you know what? It uses cheese in the crust. What could be better?
- 1½ cups flour
- 1 stick butter (minus one tablespoon), cold
- ⅓ cup Conebella Farm Cheddar, shredded
- 4 tablespoons water (or more as needed)
- 5 Bosc pears, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ⅓ cup Conebella Farm Sharp Cheddar
- A handful of walnuts
- Egg (for brushing dough)
- Cut butter into flour until the mixture is crumbly, like cornmeal. Add cheese. Mix. Add water (bearing in mind that the mix comes together as you work with it - you don't want it too sticky). Work the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Mix together sliced pears and lemon juice in a medium-sized bowl. Add brown sugar, cloves and flour and mix well. (Don't start this until you're just about ready to bake - sugar makes fruit release its juice.)
- Roll out the dough on floured surface, until it is about ⅛ to ¼-inch thick. Place fruit in center. Wrap dough around it.
- Top with cheese and walnuts. Brush with a lightly whisked egg.
- Bake at 400 for 50 minutes.