Bosc pears with a sharp blue cheese for a rustic tart.
This dish makes a nice lunch served with a salad of baby greens dressed simply with aged balsamic and olive oil. For a late night snack, enjoy a slice with glass of port and some candied walnuts.
Frozen Butter Pastry:
8 Tablespoons of butter, cut into small cubes and frozen
1 1/3 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 Tablespoons ice water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 eggs beaten- for the glaze
Savory Pear and Blue Cheese Filling:
2 ripe bosc pears
1 cup crumbled cheese- I used about equal parts Stilton and ricotta, feel free to adjust the proportions to suit your taste
1 Tablespoon heavy cream
4 large fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
fresh ground pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons melted butter
To make the crust, pulse the frozen butter, flour and salt in your food processor fitted with a steel blade until it resembles a coarse meal. Dump this mixture into a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of iced water and cider vinegar, stir gently until the dough just forms a ball. You may need to add an additional tablespoon of water for the mixture to come together. Flatten the ball into a disk, wrap in saran, and chill for a about an hour in the fridge. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it's about 1/4 inch thick and big enough to cut a 12 inch round. Using a dinner plate as your guide, trim the dough into a neat circle. Next, our savory toppings...
Start by slicing your pears in half, then scoop out the core with a small spoon or melon baller. With the pears cut side down, cut into 1/4 slices. Squeeze a half of a lemon over the pear slices, and let them sit while you mix up your cheeses.
For the filling, combine ricotta, blue cheese, heavy cream, sage leaves, and pepper. Stir with a fork until the sage is evenly distributed, then spread over the pastry, leaving a 2 inch border. Arrange the slices of pear on top of the cheese, and brush with melted butter.
To form the pastry crust, begin by brushing the exposed edge of dough with an egg wash, then gradually work your way around the circle folding the dough up and over the edge of the filling, pinching together the excess dough. Once you've made it all the way around, brush the crust with more of the egg wash. This helps 'glue' the pastry together, and creates a nice golden brown on the finished product.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375F for 20-25 minutes. Can be served warm or at room temperature.