Why do we eat cheese with fruit? Most people don’t question the notion. Our earliest image of enjoying cheese is a still-life of a glass of wine, a slab of cheese (probably brie), and a fat cluster of grapes.
We eat fruit with our cheese because the combination of flavors are complementary, because the fruit brings out certain notes in the cheese, or vice versa. You have sweet and juicy against salty and savory, firm versus soft, nutty with candylike, and so on and so forth.
This sweet pear and cheddar tart is the best of both worlds. Bosc pears are beautiful; they have a crisp, dense, slightly grainy texture with a sweet flavor and subtle hints of fall spices. So I’m thinking why not make it a trio? Port wine is a sweet, red, fortified wine from Portugal that pairs wonderfully with aged cheddar cheese. What’s not to like??
This elegant pear tart is topped with cheddar streusel and served with a raspberry-port wine sauce.
Cheddar Pear Tart
Raspberry-Port Wine Sauce
Puree raspberries in a blender. Pour into a wire sieve placed over a bowl to remove seeds. Add port wine to raspberry juice. Chill. Alternatively, whisk in cornstarch & place in a small saucepan. Heat, stirring constantly until sauce cooks & thickens. Set aside to cool.
Line a tart pan with a removable bottom with foil paper then a piece of parchment paper. Spread 170 gm of the shredded cheddar cheese evenly in bottom of lined pan. Chill.
Prepare pears & place in a large bowl, toss pear slices with lemon juice if using. Layer pears over shredded cheddar in baking pan. Chill.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, 5-spice & 60 gm shredded cheddar cheese; cut in butter & sprinkle over pears.
Bake for 50-60 minutes until top is browned. Cool on a wire rack.
Place on a serving platter, cut into wedges & serve with raspberry-port wine sauce.