Pear and Dried Fruit Honey Pie with Blue Cheese Crust

September 14, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Makes 1 double crusted 9" pie
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • mrslarkin
  • lorigoldsby
  • TiggyBee
  • pauljoseph
  • AntoniaJames

40 Reviews

CharlieR December 17, 2011
I can't believe how flakey the crust looks!

Pears I can take or leave but combined with the other ingredients, it sounds really delicious.

Will give this a try.
TheWimpyVegetarian December 20, 2011
Thanks so much CharlieR! This pie is definitely about more than just the pears, but you could substitute apples for the pears if you like too. Hope you try it and like it!!
mrslarkin August 7, 2011
mmm....this would make a great breakfast, lunch, dinner OR dessert!
TheWimpyVegetarian August 7, 2011
Thanks mrslarkin!!! I must admit I've had this for breakfast with some coffee and convinced myself I was getting my fruit serving for the day.....
lorigoldsby August 7, 2011
Wow! I don't think this can wait until the fall! A definite "blue ribbon" from this state air judge.
TheWimpyVegetarian August 7, 2011
Thanks so much lori!!!!
TiggyBee August 6, 2011
Here's what I love about all the notifications I get: When I finally get to them all, I'm reminded of forgotten goodness!! Love this recipe...
TheWimpyVegetarian August 6, 2011
Thanks so much TiggyBee!! That's such a nice thing to say!!
pauljoseph September 18, 2010
Will try this today (Sunday 19th)
TheWimpyVegetarian September 18, 2010
I hope you like it as much as we did, pauljoseph! I just finished our pie yesterday. Would love to hear how it goes for you!
pauljoseph September 18, 2010
what is Agave Nectar is there any Substitute I can use in India like honey
TheWimpyVegetarian September 19, 2010
I wouldn't use honey only because you're going to reduce the liquid on the stove and honey doesn't do well with that. I would use 2 Tablespoons sugar. When you stir the honey in after the syrup is reduced in Step 2, I would add 1/4 plus 2 Tablespoons of honey instead of the 1/4 in the recipe.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 19, 2010
Oh! And you asked what agave nectar is - it's a sugar substitute found at many stores here that is from the juice of the agave plant. Sorry that threw you a bit!
AntoniaJames September 15, 2010
Wonderfully decadent . . . just love it! Might be nice with dried red currants instead of, or with, the dried cherries, depending on how tart your cherries are. Great idea to use the light port. Gorgeous photos, too!! ;o)
TheWimpyVegetarian September 16, 2010
ThanksAJ! The red currants would work well with the dried cherries. Great idea!
gingerroot September 15, 2010
YUM! I also love the blue cheese-fruit-port pairing and this sounds fabulous! I bet this is delicious - a slightly savory crust with a sweet honeyed filling. I bet fresh figs would be good too in place of the pears.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 15, 2010
Thanks gingerroot! I thought long and hard about doing this with figs, and then considered adding dried figs to the dried fruit mix. In the end I was more tempted by the pears at the store and was afraid the dried figs would overshadow everything, and the rest is history. Saying that, I'd love to try it with figs next. Would love to hear what you think if you try it!
Sunchowder September 15, 2010
This looks amazing, I have saved this one too! What a beautiful combination of fruits ;)
TheWimpyVegetarian September 15, 2010
Thanks! I just got home and am finishing off a piece of it while I write this. Hope you try it - and would love to hear any feedback you have!
monkeymom September 14, 2010
YUM!! beautiful!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 14, 2010
Thanks monkeymom!
TiggyBee September 14, 2010
YUM!!! : ) Save a piece for me!!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 14, 2010
Thanks TiggyBee! And it's a deal as long as you save a piece of your pear and raspberry pie for me!!
Midge September 14, 2010
What a delicious combo!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 14, 2010
Thanks Midge! I love your apple and cheddar cheese pie too - and I've made your green bean salad oodles of times now :-)
thirschfeld September 14, 2010
wow, how did I not see this. That looks like a really flakey tasty crust and what great ingredients. I love blue cheese and I like the hone addition.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 14, 2010
Thanks so much thirschfeld! I collected my pie scraps, rolled them out and cut them into strips, twisted them and baked them off as a little savory treat. All in the interest of economy of course...
MyCommunalTable September 14, 2010
I like about anything with blue cheese in it and pie is my favor it dessert, who would of thought to combine them? Keep cooking and I will keep learning...
TheWimpyVegetarian September 14, 2010
Thanks MyCommunalTable! That's what I love so much about this great community. We are all learning from and being inspired by each other!
mrslarkin September 14, 2010
oh my gosh. this sounds great.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 14, 2010
Thanks mrslarkin! I gotta admit I had a hard time convincing myself that it wouldn't be a wise, healthy breakfast this morning. Maybe a mid-morning snack would be ok though.....
testkitchenette September 14, 2010
Love the combination of fresh and dried fruit!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 14, 2010
Thanks testkichenette! Me too! They add another burst of flavor to the filling and feels so "autumn" to me.
lapadia September 14, 2010
This crust sounds great paired with your filling and I don't mind a little trouble now and then! I think the crust would be good with other fillings too.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 14, 2010
Thanks lapadia! I really like the way the crust came out (now that I know to make a shorter crimp!) and can see it with apple pie and savory pies too. I should have mentioned too that if you want more blue cheese flavor, you can add more blue cheese, but take the same amount away from the butter. I was going for a pretty close to 50/50 flour to fat ratio to balance with the sweetness of the filling.
lapadia August 7, 2011
A delicious reminder to check my "saved" recipes more often! I made the cheddar crust last year...this is the year for Blue cheese!
TheWimpyVegetarian August 7, 2011
I know the feeling! I would love to hear what you think if you try it, lapadia! I have so much respect for your pies!!!
lapadia August 7, 2011
Thanks again! And, I have sherry vinegar on my grocery list for this week to make your Red Pepper Jam, what is your favorite sherry vinegar?
TheWimpyVegetarian August 7, 2011
One that I like is made by Napa Valley Naturals. It's a Sherry Reserve Vinegar, aged up to 15 years with white oak. I've also been very happy with Sherry Vinegar by O Olive Company. But I think this would be a great question for Food Pickle to see what people's favorites are! I always find out about new products I didn't even know existed!
lapadia August 9, 2011
Thanks for you Sherry Vinegar favorites, I also asked foodpickle!