What says autumn has arrived better than a sweet and savory tart that combines seasonal pears, raw honey, and a bit of sharp cheddar? This fruity, deliciously simple dessert is perfect for your next dinner party. Or serve alongside a salad for a light evening meal.
Why We Love These Ingredients
Pears are low in calories, high in water and deliver a hefty amount of soluble and insoluble fiber, which keeps your heart and gut healthy. Pears contain polyphenol antioxidants, which protect against oxidative damage.
Like most fruits, the most nutrients of a pear are concentrated in the skin; in fact, the peel boasts up to six times more polyphenols than the flesh Pair your pear with protein—such as the cheddar cheese in this recipe—for a well-rounded healthy snack or light meal.
Raw honey—so good and so good for you! Research shows that raw honey has antifungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which stops germs from grabbing hold and promotes wound healing. It’s also an antioxidant and natural immune booster.
Note: most of the honey you find in grocery stores is pasteurized. The high heat of the pasteurization process kills unwanted yeast, improves the color, removes crystallization, and extends the shelf life. However, many of the beneficial nutrients are also destroyed in the process. So search the organic shelves for unpasteurized, raw honey.
Cheddar cheese is high in calcium and protein which supports healthy bones and muscles. Since cheddar is a harder, aged cheese, it’s low in lactose. If you’re sensitive to lactose, you may be able to eat cheddar without suffering from bloating, stomach upset, and gas.
Pro Tips to Get You Started
Pears come in several different varieties. Bartlett, Bosc, and D’Anjou pears are among the most popular. This recipe calls for red pears, such as Anjou or Bartlett. The red skin adds nice color to the tart—but if you can’t find red pears any type will do.
You can certainly make the dough from scratch up to 5 days in advance [we included the recipe, just in case.] Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
But if the mere mention of a homemade pastry crust has you running for the hills, store bought pastry dough or pie crust is fine, too. It will save time and effort, and it’s a great option when entertaining. Thaw out the pastry dough before preparing the tart.
While you might be tempted to use frozen puff pastry for the crust, avoid that temptation—the juice from the pears can make the delicate puff pastry soggy.
Ready? Let’s do this!
Pear, Honey, and Cheddar Tart
Active Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs 25 mins
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter (4 ounces), chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 3 tablespoons ice water
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ pounds firm-ripe red Anjou or Bartlett pears cored and cut into 3/4-inch-thick wedges
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice [about 1 lemon]
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 egg
- Sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Make the pastry dough [if using store bought crust, skip to step 2]
- Whisk together flour and salt in a large bowl. Using your fingers, rub butter into flour mixture until butter forms pea-size pieces. Add cheese and toss to incorporate. Stir together 3 tablespoons ice water and vinegar in a small bowl and add to flour mixture. Gently mix flour mixture with your hands until it forms a shaggy dough.
- Gently knead dough by pressing the heel of your hand into the dough so it compacts against the base of the bowl and comes together. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and shape into a 6-inch disk about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour or up to 5 days.
- Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in lower third position. Unwrap dough, and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a 14-inch round, flouring dough as needed to prevent sticking. Transfer to a parchment paper–lined rimmed baking sheet. Place dough in refrigerator until ready to use.
Make the pear filling:
- Toss together pears, honey, butter, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add cornstarch, pepper, and salt; stir until well combined.
- Arrange pear filling in center of chilled pastry dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold uncovered dough edges inward by about 1-1/2 inches, pleating dough to form a crust and gently pressing to adhere. Brush crust lightly with beaten egg.
- Bake in preheated oven until crust is golden brown and filling is thick and bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool for at least 15 minutes or up to 12 hours.
- Drizzle with additional honey and garnish with more shaved cheddar. Slice and serve.
Recipe source: https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/pear-honey-chear-tart