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Recipe

Roasted Pear and Blue Cheese Shortcakes

Scott Phillips

Servings: 8

Cheese course? Dessert? Serve them both in this sophisticated and not-too-sweet finale to wow your guests. The salty, pungent blue cheese is a genius pairing with the sweet, honey-roasted pears.

Ingredients

For the shortcakes

  • 5-1/2 oz. (1-1/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more as needed
  • 4-3/4 oz. (3/4 cup) fine cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 2 cold hard-cooked large egg yolks
  • 4 oz. (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter, 6 Tbs. cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes, 2 Tbs. melted
  • 1 cup sour cream

For the filling

  • 4 oz. (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 Tbs. plus 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 oz. creamy blue cheese, softened
  • Flaky sea salt
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 3 pears, cored and cut into 8 wedges each
  • 2 Tbs. heavy cream

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 570
      Fat Calories (kcal): 300
      Fat (g): 33
      Saturated Fat (g): 20
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
      Cholesterol (mg): 135
      Sodium (mg): 520
      Carbohydrates (g): 64
      Fiber (g): 4
      Protein (g): 7

Preparation

Make the shortcakes

  • Combine the flour, cornmeal, 1/4 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Crumble in the egg yolks, add the cubed butter, and pulse until the pieces of butter are no larger than peas, about eight 1-second pulses.
  • Transfer to a large bowl, add the sour cream, and combine with a fork until the sour cream is mostly incorporated. Using your hand, gently fold and press the shaggy dough against the side of the bowl until all the dry bits are incorporated and it comes together in a cohesive but slightly tacky ball.
  • Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a 1-inch-thick rectangle (about 9×5 inches). Use a bench knife or chef’s knife to cut the dough into 8 equal rectangles and set them about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Freeze for 45 minutes.
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Brush the tops of the shortcakes with the melted butter, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tsp. sugar. Bake until they’re golden and mostly firm to the touch, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Make the filling

  • In a medium bowl, combine 6 Tbs. of the butter and 3 Tbs. of the honey with a fork. Add the blue cheese and a pinch of salt and stir until just combined; don’t overmix or the butter will look gray.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Melt the remaining 2 Tbs. butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the bay leaves and cook, swirling the pan, until the butter smells nutty, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/3 cup honey and simmer until large bubbles rise to the surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pears. Using tongs, transfer just the pears to the prepared baking sheet, reserving the butter in the pan.
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the broiler on high. Broil the pears, basting them with some of the honey butter halfway through cooking, until tender and sizzling around the edges, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Remove the bay leaves from the honey butter. Warm over low heat, and then whisk in the heavy cream.
  • Using a serrated knife, split the shortcakes horizontally. Spread the blue cheese butter on the bottom halves, and top with the pear slices and the other halves of the shortcake. Drizzle with the warm honey-butter cream and serve.

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