Sunday, September 7, 2008

Gorgonzola and Pear Tart

As I feel my way through this whole blogging revolution, bear with me. For now, I'll list the ingredients, give a general run down of working through the recipe, any thoughts/suggestions for the dish, and an opinion of the quality of the dish. Feel free to suggest any additions/removals from this list.

Background

I had come across this recipe some time back, but kind of forgot about it. That is, until my husband and I realized we had a 2002 Martinelli Dry Gewurztraminer we purchased on our honeymoon (2007) that really needed to be enjoyed and was desperately in need of an interesting dish to pair with it. And how fitting that I should kick off my first real post with a wine from the winery that really elevated my interest in wine and food pairings. Enter the gorgonzola and pear tart...

Ingredients

1 store bought pie shell
4 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces Gorgonzola
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
Pinch salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
3 small pears, cored and sliced
2 ounces prosciutto, cut into thin strips

General Instructions

Bake the pie shell in a tart pan according to the package instructions. Allow to cool slightly. Combine the cream cheese, Gorgonzola, fresh thyme, a pinch of salt and black pepper in a bowl with a hand mixer. In a large skillet brown the pears in the butter.

After the tart crust has cooled, gently spread the cheese mixture over the bottom. Arrange the pear slices over the cheese mixture. Sprinkle the thin strips of prosciutto over the top.

Suggestions

I added about a tablespoon of brown sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the pears as they cooked. I really enjoyed the extra hint of sweetness and I feel it complimented the savory of the cheese/herbs well. Additionally, I very briefly sauteed the prosciutto, just to crisp it up a bit and add just a bit more texture to the dish. With a little extra thyme on hand I sprinkled about a half a teaspoon over the finished dish. It added a nice bit of color contrast.

Opinion

I thoroughly enjoyed this dish! I thought the cheese was a bold combination of salty and savory and paired extremely well with the fruit (note: I am a huge fan of bold cheeses; this dish is not for the faint of cheese hearts). I did feel toward the edges of the tart the cheese-to-fruit ratio increased, leaving the fruit overpowered. I might consider adding an additional pear to the preparation in the future. Alternatively, I would consider a bit more brown sugar to accentuate the sweetness of the fruit and combat the saltiness of the tart crust and cheese.

Perhaps my expectations for the wine were inflated, but I really felt the Gewurztraminer was disappointing! Being a bit older for a white (2002), it is possible that it had simply passed its prime. Alternatively, the pairing could have been a bit off. Overall, the wine poured well, leaving the glass thickly coated. The color and nose were extremely reminiscent of a Moscato, or other dessert wine, but this was no sweet bomb! It was dry, but fruity, with a fruit character reminding me of a Pinot Grigio. Unfortunately, when paired with the tart, the wine came away almost bitter by comparison. The pears helped to accentuate the fruit tones, but the cheese and saltiness of the crust just left the intense alcohol (15.6%) completely unmasked.

One final note

This Dry Gewurztraminer tasted exceptionally well when we were at the winery in June 2007. I think it might have been a mistake for us to sit on it as long as we did. It was already five years old at the time of purchase, and as the tasting personnel indicated, it was peaking at the time they were tasting it. For those interested, Martinelli is a wonderful, smaller winery located in the Russian River Valley in Sonoma. The winemaker, Helen Turley, likes her wines large and bold, with a good alcohol punch-- hence a Gewurztraminer weighing in at 15.6%. It is definitely a destination to keep in mind if you are ever in the area. Their Zinfandels and Pinot Noirs are quite renowned, and in my opinion, the best wines I have thus far tasted!

2 comments:

thefens said...

I really enjoyed this dish. I can't comment on the wine, but the dish was good. I agree with your suggestion for the brown sugar and would be interested in tasting how that changes the tart.

kimberly said...

The pear is useful in weight loss diets, including food, fiber maintains its fullness and cleanses the body, also have many vitamin and potassium. SO the pear is one of the fruits with more properties and is very easy to find it. Just go at supermarket and you will have varieties to shoose from.


buy viagra