hi! i’ve been pretty absent the last couple of weeks – fortunately it’s not like last time where i haven’t been blogging or cooking at all, this time i’ve been knee deep in all of the other projects i have going on. it’s october and i’ve been running around trying to find christmas props for a holiday guide i’m shooting (so hard to find!) – and i’m so excited to share what i’ve been working on with you soon!
while i was browsing the aisles at the grocery store on the weekend for ingredients for this christmas shoot, i was walking past the cheese wall and stopped in my tracks at this: maple sheep’s milk cheese. i wasn’t planning on really squeezing in the time to make something for my own blog this weekend, but as soon as i saw this i knew i needed to make something with it – i get way too excited over new foods. most times when i head to a grocery store, i go in with the intention of being in and out in 30 minutes, though that never ends up being the case. i’m actually a very organized shopper; i always have a very detailed list of what i need, and i know most downtown stores like the back of my hand, but i’m forever getting distracted by new seasonal produce and beautiful fresh loaves in the bakery (okay – in full disclosure, i actually go to the bakery area and stand there for a couple of minutes just basking in the smell and trying to resist the urge of buying one of everything). i just feel so inspired surrounded by pretty food.
i thought that the sweet, rich cheese would pair nicely with in season bartlette pears, and a crispy, flaky crust. i rolled out this beautiful savoury crust from smitten kitchen. it took a lot of work to knead together and roll out – i honestly though i had had ruined this batch somehow as it’s very dry – but with a little elbow grease and some patience, it’s buttery goodness when it’s done.
maple goat cheese & pear tart
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, diced
1 basket ripe bartlett pears
1 small package of maple sheep’s milk cheese
1/2 small package small goat’s milk cheese (optional – i added because i wanted a richer layer of cheese)
1 tsp cardamom
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
fresh salt & pepper
1 tablespoon melted butter
in a large bowl or bowl of food processor, combine the flour, cornstarch and one-fourth teaspoon salt. cut the butter in with a pastry blender – or if using food processor, pulse a few times, until it is in very tiny bits. dump onto your counter or a cutting board, add one egg to the middle and mix until a dough comes together. knead a few times and form a ball to roll out. lightly flour your surface and roll out – this dough is tough to pull together – i had to roll it out in the pan i was baking it in. it’s definitely worth the effort though – i promise.
pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees – par bake your crust for about 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden. this will keep from the crust being soggy. (you can use pie weights or poke holes in the crust to avoid it from bubbling).
whip both cheeses together until light and fluffy – add cardamom and maple syrup, dash of salt and pepper and mix well.
slice pears using a mandolin or very thinly with a sharp knife. once tart is golden, smear with cheese mixture and layer with cut pears. using a pastry brush, brush pears gently with melted butter.
bake for about 15-20 minutes, until pears are cooked through but not soggy. remove and let cool in pan on a cooling rack. remove and cut into pieces. enjoy!