Cooking Classes


Bosc Pears en Croute with Prosciutto

I don't know if you would call his a salad or a tapa.  It is definitely not a dessert.  I have tried it both using puff pastry and using phyllo pastry.  I prefer the phyllo pastry.  It is lighter and more buttery.  In fact, did you know that unless you purchase a premium quality puff pastry, it doesn't even have butter in it!  With pears, I definitely want butter.  I like to serve this with watercress or micro greens.  I used a nice Morbier cheese for the filling.  Oh, also, I only used one slice of prosciutto per pear.  I think it depends upon how thinly they are cut.

Ivan Beacco
Borgo Antico Ristorante
New York, NY

Makes 4 servings

4    Bosc pears, peeled and halved
Coarse sea salt
12    thin slices Speck Alto Adige or proscuitto
4    ounces soft Pecorino Toscano or soft mild sheep’s milk cheese
2-3    stems fresh tarragon
4    6-inch squares puff pastry, rolled thin
2    egg yolks, lightly beaten
4    whole cloves

Sauce and garnish
1    cup heavy cream
2    ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2    teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1/2    cup toasted hazelnuts, skinned

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Remove pear cores, making a cavity about 1 inch in diameter and 1/2 inch deep. Place cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet and lightly rub with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake 15-20 minutes until tender but still firm. A toothpick or tip of a sharp knife should have a little resistance when inserted. Cool.

Cut 4 pieces of cheese the size of the pear cavities. Press cheese into a ball and place in the cavity of four pears; enclose with a matching pear half. Place about 6 tarragon leaves on the outside of each pear. Wrap pears with slices of speck, covering as much of the pear as possible. Set pears in center of a pastry square; pull sides of pastry up, twisting pastry at the stem end of pears. Insert a clove to resemble pear stems if you were not able to keep the real stem when you were preparing it.

Set the pastry wrapped pears on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet. If using puff pastry, brush with egg yolk.

If using phyllo pastry, brush each sheet with butter and stack 5 or 6 sheets and wrap the pears.

Bake at 400ºF for 20-25 minutes until pastry is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, simmer cream, Parmesan and pepper over medium heat until cream is reduced and slightly thickened. Keep warm.

To serve, place warm pears on serving plates. Cut vertically with a sharp knife (an electric knife works well), and arrange pear halves leaning against each other with the cheese pooling around them. Spoon pepper cream around pears and garnish with hazelnuts and watercress.


  1. Hi Sarah, I've learnt something today. I can't imagine they could put something else than real butter in puff pastry!!!!!!!
    I usualy use homemade puff pastry in my recipes though this requires hours and hours of folding dough on itself but really worths all these efforts. At least, I'm sure there is real butter in it lol.
    Your dish looks really appealing! Pass a fork please.
    Have a great day darling.

  2. This is a meal! I have a favourite recipe for puff pastry, but it is packed away at home! So I checked Dorie Greenspan. She says that Pepperidge Farms has no butter - I was in disbelief. And that is the only brand I can find. She buys frozen pastry from Dufour Pastry. I'll have to check it out.

  3. Nous avons plus de chance en France où il y a de la pâte feuilletée avec du beurre.
    Tes poires en feuilleté sont magnifiques.
    J'essayerai bien la recette.
    Sarah, concernant la clé de l'amitié, ton français est très bon car tu as tout compris.
    A bientôt.

  4. This is an intriguing dish that would be perfect for the holidays Sarah. What caught my eye is that you were a Home Ec teacher. That is how I learned to cook.

  5. Bellini Valli, this is a wonderful lighter main course. I would definitely serve it. Unless I make my own puff pastry, I would only use phyllo pastry. I learned how to cook in my home ec classes in high school, but my mother had a few good things, mainly pie and date squares. She never used a recipe no matter what she made.

  6. Boy, you sure got my attention with this one. It looks wonderful and a great first course for our Christmas dinner. Thanks for sharing it with us Sarah.


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