Suzanne’s Recipe 18 – 2014 Poires au Bleu d’Auvergne
The recent spate of public holidays is giving us several long weekends which enables visits from friends and families. This means lots of entertaining and trying to find interesting but easy recipes to serve. One of my regular clients, Anita Saunders, shared a recipe with me for a delicious desert of baked pears with a blue cheese topping, to which I added a couple of extra ideas. I used Bleu d’Auvergne which is a creamy blue cheese, full of flavour, from the Massif Central in the heart of France. There, the ancient volcanic region became an area of large pastures where the Arvernii, an ancient Gallic tribe, grazed there cows and first created this beautiful cheese. This is an interesting dish as it combines the desert course, the cheese course, nuts and the after dinner port.
- 6 pears
- 150g Bleu d’Auvergne from the French Market shop
- 3 Petit Suisses fresh cream cheese “ “ ”
- 3 tablespoons /50 ml Balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons / 50 ml Port
- 1 teaspoon/ 5 ml vanilla essence
- 60 g sugar
- 5 ml coarsely ground black peppercorns
- 50g Walnuts
- 12 Almond Biscotti from the French Market shop
- Preheat oven to 180 C degrees
- Peel, halve and core the pears.
- Put the butter in the baking dish in the oven until melted
- Remove from oven and turn the pears in the butter until well coated.
- Place the pears cut face down on the baking dish.
- In a small bowl mix together, the port, balsamic vinegar and vanilla essence.
- Pour this over the pears.
- Sprinkle the sugar and black pepper over the the pears.
- Bake the pears in the pre-heated oven for at least 20 minutes until soft.
- Baste with sauce regularly.
- Test with a fork to see if pears are soft and cooked through.
- Chop the walnuts into small pieces put aside.
- Use a fork to crumble the Bleu d’Auvergne into a mush.
- Add the Bleu d’Auvergne to the petit suisses cream cheese and mix well together.
- Remove the cooked pears from the oven and place 2 per person, flat side upwards, on individual serving plates.
- Pour the remaining cooking juices around the base of the pears.
- Top the pears with a helping of the Bleu d’Auvergne and cream cheese mix.
- Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts.
- Place some almond biscotti on the side of each plate and serve straight away while the pears are hot and cream cheese mix has not melted.
I recommend serving this beautifully sweet and spicy desert with a glass of port