Every couple of months, my husband and I get together with a group of friends for an “iron-chef” style dinner party. Mostly, it’s just a pot-luck dinner party, but to make things interesting, a key, seasonal ingredient is chosen, and we all make a dish incorporating it. Last week, the ingredient was pears, and Dave and I were supposed to bring dessert. I’ve been on a bit of a goat cheese kick lately, and I decided to make a tart pairing the two. We didn’t win – that honor went to the ridiculously delicious pear and prosciutto pizza – but it was pretty good, if I do say so myself! Here’s the recipe:
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a pie or tart pan. Make sure goat cheese is at room temp.
1/2 c + 2 Tbsp butter
1/4 c powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/4 c. flour
Cream the butter and powdered sugar together using a hand mixer until fluffy. Then add in the salt and flour and mix until it just holds together. Press into the bottom and sides of a greased pie or tart pan. Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees. While the crust is cooling, warm the honey glaze, prepare the filling and then slice the pears.
goat cheese filling
1 1/2 packages (12 oz) mild goat cheese at room temp (I used the 365 goat cheese from Whole Foods)
21/2 Tbsp sugar
Mix the cheese and sugar together until soft and pliable
1/4 c. honey
dash of vanilla
few shakes of cinnamon
couple of drops water if necessary
Warm ingredients together in a saucepan.
3-4 ripe pears, sliced thin
With a spatula, press the goat cheese filling into the cooled crust. Cut the pears in half and slice very thin, then arrange the pears on the filling.
When pears are arranged, brush liberally with the honey glaze.
Bake the tart at 375 for about 30 minutes or until pears are soft and crust is slightly browned. Check regularly. Remove from the oven, and brush again with the honey glaze. Enjoy!