Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Summer Perfection: Pear & Prosciutto Flatbreads with Brie

This is a sponsored post. I was compensated financially by California Bartlett Pears. All thoughts and opinions about these pears are my own.

My love for pears runs deep. It always has and always will. Pears whisper their flavour, rather than shout it from the rooftops like the stone fruits currently having their moment. Pears are the underdogs of the fruit world, and I kind of love them for that. Their subtle sweetness is still something I crave in this season of peaches and cherries. The pear, to me, is the perfect fruit. I love the shape, the scent and the sweetness. In fact, if I were to ever get a tattoo, it would be that of a pear, somewhere. Pears are what I remember eating as a kid while riding with my mom in the grain truck, as my dad was combining the fields of wheat on our Saskatchewan farm. Pears are what a really cute boy I used to work with many, many years ago would bring me as a token of his fondness. Things didn't work out with the boy, but my fondness for pears lives on.  Funny thing how one sniff takes you back to when you were 5 or 25. 

For a fruit lover like me, this is the most wonderful time of the year. When I saw baskets full of beautiful California Bartlett Pears at my local supermarket, my heart leapt a little. These sweet and juicy pears are only available for several weeks in July and August which means I can get my pear love in the summer and then in the fall with the pears from beautiful British Columbia. It’s a win win for me! California pears make for ideal, healthy summer snacking as they are loaded with antioxidants, are a good source of fibre, and a source for Vitamin C, potassium and folic acid. I love eating them out of hand, as their flavour is just so darn fine. But if you know me, you know I’m going to get creative with them in the kitchen,too. 

I thought about making something sweet with the pears, like buttery scones or a dreamy cake. But then I had a craving for something savoury and decided to switch things up a little and slice California Bartlett pears on a savoury flatbread of sorts. Other key players are creamy brie, salty prosciutto, floral honey and earthy walnuts so you know it’s going to be a flatbread to remember. There’s a little salty, and a little sweet, and everything comes together in no time flat. I love using packaged Naan bread as a base - it’s pretty much a blank canvas for all kinds of delicious things. I brushed the bread with a little olive oil and let it hang out in a 400F oven for about five minutes just so the crust gets nice and crispy. No one likes a soggy bottom, right? Next, just tear up brie and scatter it on the crust. Layer in some pretty slices of almost ripe California Bartlett pears - too ripe and the flatbread will be too juicy - and slices of prosciutto. Walnuts might be an odd thing to add to a flatbread, but they bring a lovely crunch and I really can’t imagine eating this without them! Grind some fresh black pepper over everything, then bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes, until the cheese is melted, the prosciutto is crisp and the pears are soft. Remove from the oven and give a generous drizzle of your favourite hone and scatter with fresh thyme leaves. 

These flatbreads are so good for late summer entertaining - just cut into wedges and serve on a platter. Or, they make a lovely light supper or lunch - just add a green salad if you wish, and a glass of your favourite bubbles. I love no-fuss summer snacks like this. Not only do the flatbreads look pretty, but the complementary flavours and textures of the California Bartlett pears, prosciutto, brie and walnuts turned a plain crust into something extraordinary. 

Speaking of extraordinary, For many other delicious recipes featuring California Bartlett Pears, go to www.calpear.com. 

Pear and Prosciutto Flatbread with Brie

1 package of two Naan breads (garlic or plain)
1 Tbsp olive oil
150 grams of brie cheese, torn 
1-2 California Bartlett pears (almost ripe), thinly sliced
100 grams prosciutto, torn
1/4 cup walnuts
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp liquid honey
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
2. Place the Naan bread on the baking sheet and brush with the olive oil. Bake for 5 minutes until golden brown. 
3. Scatter the brie over the bread. Arrange pears slices on top, along with the prosciutto. Add the walnuts and black pepper. Bake for about 10-12 minutes on the bottom rack in the oven. When done, the brie will be melted, the pears soft and the prosciutto crispy. 
4. Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey. Finish by sprinkling on the thyme leaves. Cut into wedges and serve immediately. Makes 2 flatbreads. 

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