Monday 22 February 2016

Gluten Free Caramelized Pear and Havarti Pastry

Ahoy hoy!

As I sit here I should probably be packing for training that I have in Toronto tomorrow but... isn't oogling over photos of pastry like wayyyyy more important?!

You're right. It absolutely is. I knew I could count on you to be the voice of reason in this situation.

So the lovely folks at Arla Dofino have been kind enough to allow me to try some of their delicious Havarti cheese. Havarti just sounds fancy doesn't it? Like you're not just regular cheddar. No, sir. You are a legitimately delicious, melty, exquisite fancy cheese that deserves it's own label and beautiful cheese board.




My goodness you really are on fire, aren't you?

So yes. Giveaway details at the end of this post OKAY?!

Moving on to this:

The second I gave my family the green light that this food item had been photographed and was A-OK for public consumption it started to disappear verrrrry quickly.

Not only that but it made the house smell like a darling little rustic cottage house in Tuscany...

Ok. I don't know what that would smell like but THAT WOULD BE WHAT IT'S LIKE IN MY MIND!

Crisp pastry, creamy Havarti and perfectly caramelized pears -- but without all the sugar and unhealthy refined flour of your average pastry.


I would never ever believe the person who told me there were health benefits to eating this:

Emotional benefits?

Heck, yes. But why have one when you can have both?!

I think this makes a great appetizer when its cut into charming little triangles. But let's face it -- you could quickly eat enough of this to count as a meal without even meaning to!

Let's check out the recipe!

Gluten Free Caramelized Pear and Havarti Pastry 

Yields 2 Medium Sized Pastries  

Serves 6-8 

Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free


  • 1 pie crust recipe plus 2 tablespoons cold butter cut into dough with the coconut oil * please note if your gluten free flour doesn't have xanthan gum, adding 1/2 teaspoon to the flour will help the texture!

For the filling

  • 4 large Bosc pears, peeled and sliced 
  • 1/2 - 2/3 cup coconut sugar (depending on sweetness of pears)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free flour 
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup   
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1 package Arla Dofino Light Havarti (half package for each pastry, cut into thin slices) 
  • Optional add-in :  1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Optional egg wash: 1 egg whisked with 2 teaspoons milk


  1. Prepare pastry (pie crust recipe) according to directions and place in fridge to set for at least 30 minutes
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F
  3. In the mean time, prepare the filling by chopping the pear into equal sized slices and placing in a medium sized mixing bowl
  4. Add the flour, sugar, oil, spices, salt to the apple and toss until fully coated -- leave to the side with the top covered
  5. Remove your havarti from the package and set aside!
  6. Once filling is complete and set off to the side, divide your pastry in half (one for each pastry) and roll out on a piece of parchment paper in as even as a rectangle as possible, if desired you may cut off the scraps to use as a garnish--  It is crucial you do this on the parchment paper because this will help us get it onto the baking sheet easily!
  7. In the middle of your rolled dough begin to arrange your havarti and pear (and optional walnuts) approximately 2 inches from the edge of the crust so you have enough room to fold over your dough.  If you have a lot of excess liquid at the bottom of your bowl give it a good mix but don't pick up too much of the liquid on the pears otherwise your dough will get soggy! 
  8. To finish, simply fold over the dough so the filling is fully wrapped in the pastry and cut several slits down the middle- use the parchment paper to help you fold over the edges!
  9. At this stage you may wish to apply pie crust cut-outs made from scrap dough and adhere them with the egg wash 
  10. Repeat this process for the second pastry! 
  11. Once complete, apply the egg wash with a pastry brush. This helps with colour, helps our pieces of dough stick together and helps our sugar adhere
  12. If desired sprinkle with coarse raw sugar or coconut sugar. 
  13. Bring your baking sheet to your work surface and slice the pastry onto the baking sheet using the parchment paper to easily glide it on (this is why parchment paper makes our job easier! baking on parchment paper saves us the grief of trying to move our delicate pastry)
  14. Bake at 400 F for 15 - 20 minutes and then reduce temperature to 375 for the remaining 30 - 40 minutes of baking.
  15. Baking times vary so monitor your pastry closely! Once the pastry becomes golden brown all over, remove from oven to cool completely. 
  16. Store leftover in the fridge for 2-3 days -- reheat in the oven!

Some quick process photos for you: Rolling it into a rectangle makes for a nice and clean-cut looking pastry! I just roll it out into as best a rectangle as I can manage (after cutting the dough in half so I have two even pastries) and then trim the edges!

Here is how I arranged it on the pastry:

It turned out perfectly golden and aromatic:

I wanted to cozy up to these triangles and allow them to take all my troubles away.

And by that I mean EAT THEM, EAT THEM ALL!

I didn't do that because even a little triangle feels a lot more substantial thanks to the wonderfully satisfying and healthy ingredients. YUM!

I felt like I was in a Roman garden while setting up for this photo shoot. I wanted a toga and a goblet of wine. And Brad Pitt from Troy.

Honestly I just felt like he would have completed the scene.

On an unrelated note do you feel like your weekends are just coming and going in the blink of an eye. Does somebody have access to a blip in the space-time continuum that we can just like shut off or something?!? I started the pastry in the morning and then boom it was 3 pm and I hadn't taken photos!

Twas chaos. 

Hopefully the chaos doesn't ever come across in the photos because I can't see that reeling anyone in. OH WOW THIS GIRLS RECIPES LOOK SIMPLY DISASTROUS AND CHAOTIC. MUST TRY!

There's not much left to be said about this dish. I absolutely LOVED LOVED LOVED the way it turned out -- and the taste is absolutely insane. So delicate yet the flavours really just meld together in a satisfying way.

Even if you want to be lazy and just throw this into a puff pastry -- I approve. Because puff pastry is delicious and this would still turn out amazing.

And if you wanna win something coooolll....

To win the gift package pictured above that includes: An Arla Dofino Wooden Cheese Board, Ceramic Eraseable Cheese Markers, 25$ worth of Arla Dofino Vouchers 

  • Leave a comment on this post saying where you would like to enjoy this baked brie and with WHO!
  • Leave a comment on the post on my Facebook page saying where you would like to enjoy this baked brie and with WHO and TAG SOMEONE who may want to enter, too!
  • Leave a comment on the post on my Instagram saying where you would like to enjoy this baked brie and with WHO and TAG SOMEONE who you think should enter, too! 

Contest is open to Canadian Residents ONLY! Winner will be chosen via random draw!


Thank you for reading this long post -- hope you enjoyed the photos, hope you ENTER the contest either he or on FB or instagram, and most importantly I hope you try the recipe!

Happy Havarti'n!


1 comment:

  1. I would love to share with my husband and kids at home....but I'll need you to bake it for me🙈