Organic D’ Anjou Pear and Gjetost Hand Pies
My lovely friend, DrasticJo, introduced me to the wonders of Gjetost the other evening. It’s an amazing caramel tasting soft cheese. And the first thoughts about this recipe fired up the minute that amazing cheese started melting in my mouth!
I’d gotten beautiful organic D’ Anjou pears in our Brown Box Organics delivery and knew that I wanted to make “Pear Pie Cookies”, or some sort of hand pies with them. The perfect addition - Gjetost!
- I peeled and thinly sliced 4 organic D’ Anjou Pears
- Put them in the crock pot
- Added generous amounts of ground Cloves, Allspice, and Cinnamon
- Added a couple of handfuls of brown sugar and some pats of organic butter
Simmered the pears in the slow cooker on low for a couple of hours.
The Crust (makes a double recipe)
- 1/2 C Buttermilk
- 1/2 C Crème fraîche
- 1/2 C Sugar
- 4 1/2 C Organic Flour
- A couple of pinches of salt
- 3 cubes (1 & 1/2 cups) of frozen butter
- Splashes of Vodka
- 1 egg white for the wash and sprinkles of sugar
Beat the buttermilk and crème fraîche together with the sugar and set aside. Sift the flour and salt together. Grate all of the frozen butter into the flour and toss to coat all of the butter flakes. Gradually add the liquid/sugar mixture and gently press in with a fork. I use my hands to gently push the dough together, but be careful not to overwork it. Add a few splashes of vodka as necessary to make the mixture a little wetter. Stop when you’re able to form 4 separate equally sized balls of dough. Wrap those individually in plastic wrap, press them into 4” x 4” pieces and refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes. Take the dough portions out one at a time and work with them. Roll them out to about 8” x 8” and tri-fold them and then fold them in half and return them to refrigerate for another 30 minutes. Again, work with each portion one at a time leaving the remaining ones in the refrigerator until it’s time to roll them. Roll them out thinly and cut with a scalloped round cookie cutter. (You will have plenty more dough to make more pies.)
Assembling the Hand Pies
On a parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet, place 1 dozen rounds of dough. Place small, thinly sliced pieces of Gjetost on each round of dough, and top with slices of pear that you’ve allowed to cool slightly from the slow cooker, add another slice of Gjetost to the top. Wet the edges of the dough with water to seal and crimp them with the tines of a fork all the way around. Prick the tops of the pies with the tines of a fork to vent. Once the tops are on all of the pies, brush them with a wash of egg white mixed with a bit of water and then sprinkle each one with a little bit of sugar.
Bake them at 350 for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
These are amazing fresh out of the oven as well as cooled. Enjoy!