There's so much to savor once the fall weather sets in. I love seeing all the pumpkins and hard squashes and gourds. I love seeing the leaves change. I love apple time. I am always so heartbroken to see summer leave but there's so much fun in fall, I start to forget about it. I love warm sweaters and sweatshirts. For a few years, I hosted my annual fondue parties. I would have 5-10 pots of fondues and had friends bring their own bottles of wine. Those were some of the funnest times of my life! My good friend E (who is getting married in just over a month) plotted with her sister Kelly who lives in Chicago. Kelly asked if she could bring a couple friends, I was like sure, the more the merrier! Kelly and her friends arrived just as I was finishing about 3 kinds of fondue at once. They kept saying they needed help with some bags. I sent my friend Lisa out to help. She came back and said they still needed my help. A little put off, I rushed out to the trunk to help get these bags that could not wait, and out popped E! She lived in California at the time so I never expected her!!! I was so shocked but so happy!! That prank is still one of the best ones anyone ever pulled off on me!!!
One of the dishes I made that night was my pear and blue cheese tart. It pairs really nicely with a reisling and the punch of the salty blue cheese with the sandy texture of the pear is just heaven.
For this tart I used 3 varieties of pear, Red, Bosc and Bartlett, but truthfully, the next time I make t, I will use Red pears only, because they are the sweetest and my favorite. I also used the honey I bought earlier this summer from Beetree Farms. The Beekeeper Jan told me buckwheat honey is much stronger flavored, but I love it, its so much better than the generic honey bears I used to buy. Buy the best, stinkiest blue cheese you can afford, like a nice Stilton or Maytag. I really think quality ingredients make all the difference.
One thing I noticed is that puff pastry sheets have shrunk, the squares were so tiny I use both and had ingredients leftover.
I got this recipe from Tyler Florence's EAT THIS BOOK but I made changes:
1 lb of blanched almonds. I used about a half pound and had a lot of paste leftover!
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 pears sliced longwise I used red, bartlett and bosc
about 2 oz blue cheese crumbled
3 tbsp honey
1 pkg puff pastry
Unfold thawed pastry onto 2 pans, cut a rectangle about 1 inch from edge of pastry and prick inside rectangle with a fork. In a food processor pulse almonds and sugar with 2 tbsp water till makes a rough paste, slice pears long wise removing seeds if desired. Drop crumbled chunks of blue cheese over the pears, and drizzle a generous amount of honey over tarts. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.
E and Me in New Hampshire at Kelly's Wedding!