When one of my favourite local cheese producers Dalewood Fromage asked me to do a recipe using their Winelands Blue Camembert I knew I was going to bake it. If you haven’t yet discovered the joys of a wheel off oozing baked Camembert you need to hop right on that train. I also wanted to include some roasted fruit to accompany this molten ball of deliciousness, and I made a maple buttery sauce infused with bay to roast the pears in and drizzle over the cheese. It’s a keeper.
I fell in love with these in-season baby pears I found and they were the perfect size for this dish. I used about 500 gms or the number you see in the images. Pears need a little time in the oven to become soft so I pre-baked them for 25 minutes and then added the cheese to the tray. I kept some of the maple sauce to drizzle over the cheese and this is also when I scattered over chopped raw walnuts. They become toasted and crunchy adding a lovely textural element when you scrape the melted cheese and pear onto a cracker.
Dalewood makes their cheese form a single herd of Jersey cows that never receive any growth or milk production increasing hormones. They just graze on their pristine green pastures along the picturesque Franschhoek-Simondium Road in the heart of the Cape Winelands. If you ever drive along that road in the day you must definitely pop into their farm shop. These happy cows produce less milk than cows raised in confinement but the quality is superb and results in exceptional cheese.
Because of its eco-friendly approach to farming Dalewood is able to produce a natural product with no preservatives, colourants or flavourants and suitable for vegetarians.
This is a superb way to end the meal with a combination of sweet and cheese. I would personally cancel dessert and just offer this.
*You could use regular Camembert if you can’t find the blue-veined Dalewood Fromage.
Maple & bay roasted pears with baked Camembert & walnuts
Recipe – serves 4 – 6 depending on the occasion
- 500gms baby pears, cut in half and cored (keep the skin on)
- 35 gms butter (salted)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- a few sprigs of bay leaves
- About 3 – 4 Tbs roughly chopped raw walnuts
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350 F.
Cut the pears in half and remove the core with a melon baller (this makes it so easy to do). Place the pears on the bay leaves on a small baking tray.
Add the butter, maple, vanilla and 2 bay leaves to a small pot and bring to the boil and then pour ¾ of the sauce over the pears. I allowed most of it to pool in the gauged out cores of the fruit (*you could probably do this in the microwave too).
Roast in the oven for 25 minutes and until the pears are starting to soften (Mine were fairly firm so they needed this amount of time. If your pears are quite ripe reduce the roasting time to 15 minutes).
Take the tray out the oven and tuck the cheese in amongst the pears. Drizzle over the remaining sauce and scatter over the chopped walnuts. Return the tray to the oven and roast for a further 15 minutes. Keep an eye on it so that nothing gets too dark and if needs be, loosely cover with a piece of tin foil.
Serve immediately with crusty bread or crackers.
*This post was sponsored by Dalewood Fromage – makers of some exceptional cheese
I made another baked cheese recipe using Dalewood Languedoc: