A nummy brie and pear grilled cheese sandwich

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Caroline grilling up lunch during April's Empire retreat.

A cold February morning wandering around Montreal led me to a cafe full of books and delicious-smelling coffee. It was a welcome respite from the Quebec winter wind, so I settled in and grabbed a menu. My eyes wandered over the typical cafe fare until they landed on what is now my favourite sandwich ever: the brie/honey/pear grilled cheese.

Here's the recipe for the sandwich that had me oohing and aahing aloud that day, and wowed the Offbeat Empire at the Offbeat Retreat.

Ingredients:

  • one Anjou pear, firm so as not to be too juicy, sliced
  • brie cheese, sliced
  • honey
  • bread, sliced thinly (get some nice fresh stuff from the bakery section — I recommend a whole-grain that's not too overpowering but that offers a contrast to the mild brie)
  • butter or mayo (I recommend mayo, and not Miracle Whip)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your skillet or griddle to medium-low
  2. Slather the bread with mayo on one side
  3. Lay it on the preheated skillet mayo-side down and arrange the brie on top being careful that it won't overflow
  4. Drizzle honey over it (not too much, just enough to get a taste)
  5. Cover the honey and cheese with pear slices
  6. Top with the other slice of bread and watch carefully for it to not burn
  7. When one side is done, flip it over and press it down to secure all the goodness inside
  8. The goal is not to have the cheese overly gooey because brie gets very runny when warm
  9. Remove from heat when bread is golden brown and cheese is melted to the bread and pears
  10. EATGASM

Variations:
This sandwich relies on a few things: crisp tangy fruit, sweet honey, strong mild gooey cheese, and whole-grain bread. Experiment!

  • Instead of pear, use Granny Smith apples and a pinch more honey
  • Try different breads, but avoid sourdough or white because they're too bland with brie
  • You can use camembert instead of brie if it's what you have, but the taste will be stronger and you may need more fruit to balance it out

Empire staffers say NOM!

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About Caroline Diezyn

Caroline is the Offbeat Copyeditor and Offbeat Home's Assistant Editor. She's an academic and a wannabe artist from Canada. She likes to dress in all black, has a severe case of wanderlust, and loves art and fashion. You can be her friend on twitter.