Topping a crisp, juicy pear with creamy cheese is a delicious and texturally-rich flavor combination. Whether you’re looking for a quick midnight snack or sophisticated hors d’oeuvres for your next dinner party, a cheese and pear pairing is a fun and sophisticated option. Perfect your pairings with these simple tips.
Start by becoming familiar with the flavor profiles of your pears. Comice pears, for example, are rich and creamy, featuring an almost custard-like texture with a strong, sweet flavor and a delightful scent. If you prefer a snack that’s light, crisp and refreshing, you may want to choose the smooth and slightly citrusy d’Anjou pear.
After you’ve selected your pear, it’s time to find the perfect cheese. The first thing to consider is what cheeses have flavor profiles that will complement your fruit. Comice pears, for example, are so sweet that they benefit from just a little bit of salt. Try pairing your Comice with a salty, full-flavor cheese, like a Manchego. D’Anjous, on the other hand, work well with fresh, bright cheeses, such as feta. Golden pears, which are sweet and crisp, pair with anything from a strong blue cheese to a creamy aged cheese.
Another important factor to consider is texture. To create the most interesting pairings, go for textural contrast. Top your creamy Comice pears with Stiltons or Gorgonzolas that feature just a bit of crystal formation or a slightly grainy texture. Crisp d’Anjous go great with smooth and creamy cheeses, such as a fresh goat Chevre.
Finish your delicious treat with a beautiful presentation. For plated or pass around dinners, prepare your pears by slicing them thinly, topping each piece of pear with a slice of cheese and finishing with a sprig of rosemary or sage for color. For something less formal, spread your cheeses and pears on a platter and let your friends dig in.