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