Monday, April 16, 2012

Pears and Roquefort - A Match made in Culinary Heaven

Until fairly recently I did not like blue cheese. Just couldn't stand the stuff. Until on our way home from a trip to the Vendée we passed by a sign "Roquefort 3 km". On the spur of the moment we decided to visit the village that produces the world famous blue cheese and ever since tasting the real, the perfectly ripened and not too strong Roquefort I am maybe not a 100 per cent convert but willing to experiment.  

 One of the famous Caves de Roquefort

So when I found a recipe marrying pears and Roquefort I just had to give it a try. All you need to prepare "Pear and Roquefort Tarts" for four is a roll of puff pastry, 2 firm pears, a bit of paprika powder, a tbsp of butter, 100 g (1/2 cup) of Roquefort cheese and 1 tbsp of thick cream. I use crème fraîche. 
Start by preheating the oven to 180°C/360°F, unroll the puff pastry and line 4 small tart tins with baking paper and the pastry. Prick the pastry base (not the sides) with a fork, line with some more baking paper and and weigh down with baking beans. Prebake the shells for 15 minutes, discard paper and the baking beans and let the shells cool down in their tins.
Meanwhile peel and cut the pears into not too fine chunks. Season with a good sprinkling of paprika powder. In a pan, melt the butter and over medium heat slowly fry the pear slices until slighltly softened. Let the chunks cool down.

Frying the pear chunks

With a fork mix the Roquefort and the crème fraîche. Fill each pastry shell with 2 or 3 pear chunks and top with the blue cheese/cream mixture. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tarts are nicely browned. Serve hot or lukewarm with a little salad on the side.
Not only does this make a perfect lunch but I bet a few more Blue Cheese converts, too.

Oozing deliciousness: Roquefort and Pear Tarts

22 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Jaz, and they taste real good, too.

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  2. We will definitely have to try these Barbara; they look delicious! I keep trying to make a daughter a blue cheese fan but no luck; maybe this will do the trick. My grandparents had a farm not too far from Roquefort and raised sheep. The truck from Societe in Roquefort would come every day to collect the milk. I am happy you got a chance to stop and visit there.

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    1. Have you been to Roquefort, Michel? If not you really need to go next time you come to France, it is amazing to see those caves.

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  3. How beautiful and tasty, Barbara. We love a ripe, sliced pear topped with blue cheese for dessert or just with a glass of wine. I know we would love this.

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    1. Remind me before you come here in autumn, Susan.

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  4. I can almost taste it; lovely combination.
    Rita

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  5. My mouth is just watering reading this. Wow it sounds delicious. Diane

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    1. Thank you Diane, the cheese in your last post looked delicious,too.

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  6. How lucky to live in France. I love the cheese you can find there. Interesting post and yummy!

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    1. Thank you Alida, yes, we are lucky with the quality of the produce here.

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  7. Replies
    1. Thank you Tim, your asparagus and cheese tart looks divine, too.

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  8. I love blue cheeses, but had never tasted anything like the Roquefort cheese bought directly from the cave in your photo, we make pilgrimages there, addicted I am,so glad you've dipped a taste bud in,thanks for sharing this recipe, great photos Barbara

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    1. Thank you Lynn,it is amazing how tastes change, I am now planning a Roquefort sauce for tonight's pasta can you believe it?

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    2. I often use the end of the roquefort wedge in an impromtu sauce, yummy: do you use professional 'baking beans' if so any suggestions as to where I could find some?

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    3. Hi Lynn,
      no, I use a kilo of "fèves" (broadbeans)cheaply bought at the market and used again and again. No need to buy the expensive ceramic ones. But if you insist, there is a fabulos new kitchen shop right next to Ikea at Le Pontet where you will find them. Call me if you go there - let's meet for coffee?

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  9. I would love to visit this cave~and am going to make this. Just had my hands all over pears this morning but was stumped what to make.....back to the store! In fact, I would love to make a visit your way in the near future! Thank you for the mention in your last post. I need to get those questions answered and pass that on!

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  10. I love this recipe! Such a typical French styled dish, in my view anyway! Found your blog via one of my followers and will follow it too. I am very influenced by French Provencal cuisine.

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