It's pear season! And what goes best with pears? Cheese, of course! Awhile back, the nice folks at Rogue Creamery in Oregon sent me a shaker of their new Blue Heaven powder to try. Blue Heaven is a project they have been working on for more than ten years and just recently unveiled for Rogue Creamery's 80th Anniversary. Rogue Creamery is most famous for producing award-winning, gourmet blue cheeses so it should be no surprise that Blue Heaven is a blend of their popular Oregon Blue, Oregonzola, Crater Lake Blue and their special reserve blue cheeses. The cheeses are dried and then mixed with nonfat organic milk powder. Why should you try it? Because it tastes great! Blue Heaven is also convenient, shelf stable and made from certified sustainable raw cow's milk. It can be used in all kinds of delicious dishes- to add some zing to your mashed potatoes, to accent your soups or even as a savory seasoning sprinkled on your popcorn. There's all kinds of creative ways you can use Blue Heaven to transform your dishes. I decided to use my complimentary shaker of Blue Heaven in making a pear tart. I had picked up some fresh, juicy Bartlett pears during my excursion to Courtland this weekend and was just itching to make something with them. I used a basic tart shell recipe and made a filling of sliced pears, Blue Heaven and cream cheese. (I wanted the filling to be a bit creamy, hence the cream cheese.) Since pears tend to get tender when baked, I also tossed in some toasted almond slivers to give the tart some added texture and crunch. The Blue Heaven ended up lending a nice mellow blue cheese taste to the tart filling which I liked. It wasn't overwhelming at all.
The end result? My cottage was filled with intoxicating aromas all yesterday afternoon and the Blue Heaven-Pear Tart got an enthusiastic thumbs up all around from my taste testers and one, "Nom! Nom!" The Kidlet even liked it.
Blue Heaven powder can be ordered online via the company's website. It is also available at Laurent Dubois, one of France's finest cheese shops, and Simon Johnson's specialty food stores in Australia, for you international folks.
Website: Rogue Creamery
Facebook: Rogue Creamery
Phone: (866) 396-4704
Blue Heaven-Pear Tart
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup AP flour
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
2 fresh Bartlett pears- sliced (To peel or not to peel- it's your choice.)
3.5 to 4 tablespoons of Rogue Creamery's Blue Heaven powder
2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons almond slivers, toasted
2 tablespoons honey, warmed (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. In a small pan over medium-high heat, toast your almond slivers. Flip and stir them often. Be sure to keep a close eye on them as they can go from toasted to burnt very quickly.
3. Beat butter and 1/3 cup sugar with mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add flour, continue to mix. Remove dough from mixer bowl and place in a 9-inch quiche pan (a springform pan will also work). I prefer the quiche pan because it gives the tart a more polished look with its crimped edges and the removable bottom makes for easy release and serving. Nordic Ware makes a good one that runs about $11 and comes in a variety of colors.
3. Press the dough onto the bottom of the pan and about 1/2 way up the sides of the pan. Make sure the dough is spread out evenly.
4. Slice your pears and arrange on top of your dough. Sprinkle with 2/3 cups toasted almond slivers.
5. In a mixer bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and 1/3 cup sugar. Make sure the two are completely blended- no lumps. Add your egg and Blue Heaven. Mix well. (If you prefer a more robust blue cheese flavor, you can adjust the intensity by adding more Blue Heaven. At 3.5 tablespoons, my tart had a nice subtle blue cheese taste.)
6. Pour filling over pears. Spread evenly. Top with remaining 2 tablespoons of toasted almond slivers.
7. Bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce to 375 F and bake for additional 20-25 minutes.
8. Allow tart to cool.
9. Slice. Drizzle with warm honey if you wish, before serving.
* I was not compensated for this post other than receiving one complimentary shaker of Blue Heaven powder. All opinions are completely my own and I was under no obligation to write about the product.