St.-André Cheese with Ginger Pears
Spicy-sweet pears marry beautifully with the luxurious St.-André cheese. Select Bartlett, Bosc or Anjou pears. If St.-André cheese is unavailable, use another French triple-cream cheese, such as Brillat-Savarin or Explorateur.
- 1 lb. firm but ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut
into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3 Tbs. cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
- 3 Tbs. finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 1 wedge (3/4 lb.) St.-André cheese, at room
- About 30 baguette slices, each 1/2 inch thick
In a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the pears, brown sugar, vinegar and cardamom. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then boil, stirring frequently, until the liquid thickens to a thick syrup and coats the pears, about 8 minutes. Mix in the crystallized ginger. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool briefly.
Arrange the bowl of ginger pears and the wedge of cheese on a platter. Accompany with the bread slices. Diners spread the cheese on the bread and top with the warm or room-temperature pears.