This time of year you can find lugs of fresh pears ripe and ready for canning. I only know that term because we’ve purchased them in years past and brought them home for my mother-in-law to can when she wasn’t able to get them in our hometown. Although you can usually find them year round, this is the best time to get pears. And when you’re looking for a simple meal, adding sliced pears to a grilled cheese can really class it up.
Pinterest and food blogs are full of so many interesting ideas and ways to make a grilled cheese sandwich. From jalapeno popper to buffalo chicken to apple. Well, why not pears? Honestly, I probably saw the idea somewhere – although I don’t remember where and can’t find it saved to my Pinterest account. Sometimes, I truly feel there are no or at least few truly new ideas out there. Either way, someway, somehow I decided to make a pear grilled cheese. I chose fontina for the cheese because it is smooth and creamy and melts beautifully. Monterrey jack would also work really well. A nice multi-grain bread will contribute a nuttiness to the sandwich that is the perfect balance to the sweet and juicy pear.
Here’s what you need:
Plus butter, of course you need butter for a grilled cheese. Because we’re going to start by buttering one side of each piece of bread.
Now to prevent your counter from getting full of butter when you need to build the sandwich on the inside, use the classic grilled cheese trick of stacking the bread, butter side in. That leaves you with the non-buttered side up which you can cover generously with grated fontina cheese. The cheese doesn’t have to be grated, I just couldn’t find a chunk that was a conducive shape for slicing.
And the star of the show is going to be quarter inch or so thick slices of juicy ripe pears.
Now top the pears with some more fontina cheese, so it can glue the pears to the bread as it cooks. And pick up the top slice of bread that’s loaded with all the cheesy and pear goodness and place it into a nonstick pan that’s been preheated over medium-low heat. Normally, I would cook grilled cheese over medium heat, but I wanted to cook this a little slower to allow the pear to soften just a bit and warm up as the cheese melts and the bread toasts.
Place the second slice of bread and put it on the sandwich butter side up.
After about 3-5 minutes (depending on just how hot you have your stove), once the bottom slice of bread gets a nice golden color (you can peak by lifting a corner gently with your spatula), flip the sandwich over to cook the other side.
Cook for another 3 minutes until the second side is equally golden (the 2nd side usually goes a bit faster for me). Remove from the plan, cut the sandwich in half and serve.
- 2 slices multi-grain bread
- 1 T butter, softened
- ½ c grated fontina
- 1 ripe pear, sliced into ¼ inch slices
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat.
- Butter on side of each slice of bread and stack together butter side in.
- Sprinkle half of the cheese onto the bread.
- Lay on a single layer of pears.
- Top with the remaining cheese in an even layer.
- Pick up the top slice of bread and place the sandwich in the preheated skillet, butter side down. Top with remaining piece of bread, butter side up.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes until the bread is golden brown.
- Carefully flip and cook for approximately another 3 minutes until the second side is golden brown.
- Remove from pan. Slice and eat.