Pear and Dried Fruit Honey Pie with Blue Cheese Crust

September 14, 2010
Author Notes

One of my favorite desserts is a glass of great port that has a nectar-like sweetness to it, pears drizzled with honey and a wedge of blue cheese. Heaven on a plate. So I decided to turn this into a pie, adding some friends like dried fruit macerated in port, a little sage leaf to a pear juice reduction, and some butter. After all, what's a little butter between friends? For the blue cheese crust, I highly recommend a less soft bluey cheese. I used Point Reyes Blue Cheese which has a lesser amount of blue mold in it versus something like a gorgonzola. The soft gooey blue cheese won't work so well here. I didn't want the blue cheese flavor to overwhelm the other flavors, so I didn't put a lot in the crust; but if you want to add more, go for it, but make sure you take the same amount you're adding away from the butter so that the flour to fat ratio doesn't change much. And honestly, this pie is a little trouble to make since part of what makes it work so well is the amazing crust, but trust me, it's worth it. - ChezSuzanne —TheWimpyVegetarian

Test Kitchen Notes

This lovely pie makes you want to curl up in front of the fire with a good book in one hand and a glass of port in the other. If the thought of blue cheese in the crust scares you off, don't let it. It is virtually undetectable, however adds a lovely touch of saltiness and flakiness to the final product. - Victoria —The Editors

  • Makes 1 double crusted 9" pie
  • Blue Cheese Pie Crust
  • 10 ounces all-purpose flour (King Arthur)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 ounces blue cheese (see headnote for tips on type of cheese)
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons ice cold water (or just enough to hold the crust dough together)
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Pear and Dried Fruit Honey Filling
  • 2 pounds 5 ounces pears (I used Bosc)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped in 1/4" pieces
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup white port (I used a sweet one)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
In This Recipe
  1. Blue Cheese Pie Crust
  2. Mix the flour, salt, and sugar together and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to chill. Warning: do not use pastry flour as the crust will be tender enough from the cider vinegar, butter and blue cheese. Cut the butter into 16-20 pieces and place in the freezer along with the blue cheese for 30 minutes.
  3. Place the flour mixture in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to disperse the salt and sugar through the flour. Chop up the blue cheese and add to the food processor. Pulse until mixed in (about 8 - 10 pulses). Add the butter and continue to pulse until the consistency is like coarse cornmeal. You can check to make sure the butter is evenly cut up with a fork.
  4. Drizzle in the cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of ice water. Pulse 8-10 times. Open the food processor and pinch the dough together. If it doesn't stay together, add another tablespoon of water. Keep checking and adding small amounts of water until the pastry dough starts to hold together when pinched. Pulse as little as possible, as you don't want to start developing too much gluten.
  5. You should have around 22 ounces of pastry dough. Divide in two unequal halves and form into a 10 ounce disc and a 12 ounce disc. Wrap each in wax paper and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. The dough should be firm but you should be able to push it in with your finger.
  6. Roll out the larger disc first into an 1/8" thick circle. Fold the disc in half and then in half again into 1/4 of a circle and place in the pie plate positioning the the point of the dough in the middle of the pie plate. Unfold the disc in the pie plate, draping the excess over the edge of the pie plate. Grind black pepper lightly over the dough.
  7. Roll out the second, smaller disc. Pour the pear filling (recipe follows) into the pie plate and cover with the smaller disc. Crimp edges. Since there is both butter and cheese in the dough, make sure none of the crimped edge is over the outside of the pie plate as it will fall off when in the oven. (My picture reflects the mistake I made in this :-))
  8. Lightly baste the crust with egg to facilitate a nice golden crust.
  1. Pear and Dried Fruit Honey Filling
  2. Preheat the oven to 375F. Peel and seed the pears and slice into 16 slices along the length per pear. Place in a large bowl with the lemon juice, sugar, agave, and spices including the salt. Set aside for at least 30 minutes. Drain off the pear juices and agave. You should have about 3/4 cups of juices/syrup.
  3. Place the drained syrup in a small pot over medium heat with the sage leaves and reduce to 1/2 cup. Let cool for at least 15 minutes to steep the sage. Remove the sage and stir the honey in.
  4. Bring the port to a boil and pour over the dried fruit and candied ginger. Let steep for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Pour the syrup over the pears. Drain the dried fruit from the port and add the dried fruit to the pears. Add the cornstarch. Mix together with a large metal spoon until the cornstarch is completely dissolved into the syrup. Pour into the pie plate lined with the blue cheese pastry dough. Place the second rolled disc of pastry dough over the pear filling. Crimp following tips in the above Pie Crust directions.
  6. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until the filling is bubbling. Cover the crimped edges with foil if they begin to brown too much. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  7. This pie is great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some heavy cream whipped with mascarpone cheese and honey. To die for.

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