Dessert stirs interest

More than a few readers found a photo of a dessert in the print version and an emailed digital version of our recent Holidays in the Country special section simply irresistible and wanted to know more — like what it was exactly and if we had the recipe.

The photo, which accompanied a story headlined Simplicity is key to hosting successful holiday parties by Susan Chaves, is of the Pears and Camembert dessert via the Twice Baked Twins — Joy Paoletti and Judy Vig, whose food column appears regularly in our Arts & Leisure section and online at The twins Joy and Judy, who offered advice on holiday parties in Susan’s article, plan to feature the dessert that caught readers’ eyes in a future column.

But we got the early scoop!

Pears and Camembert

Since there was so much interest in the dessert photo and so many comments of the mouth-watering kind to satisfy, we contacted Joy and Judy and they kindly forwarded the recipe. Here it is.


• One 8-ounce wheel Camembert or Brie cheese, very cold for easier slicing

• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

• 1 large Bosc pear, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice

• 2 tablespoons brandy

• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish

• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

• 1 tablespoon honey

• 8 walnut halves


Slice cold cheese wheel in half crosswise; set aside. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add diced pear, and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in brandy, and cook 1 minute more. Add rosemary, and stir to combine. Remove from heat, and spread pear mixture over bottom half of reserved sliced cheese wheel, reserving 2 tablespoons mixture for garnish. Transfer cheese to serving plate.

Return skillet to stove, and heat balsamic vinegar and honey until simmering. Simmer mixture until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool, about 5 minutes. Pour half the glaze over cheese and reserved pear mixture; top with remaining half of cheese wheel and pears. Drizzle with remaining glaze, and garnish with walnut halves and rosemary. Serve immediately.

Among the inquiries received about the photo was one from a foodie sister of one of our editors. And he’s learned that when a sister wants something, you’d better respond — and quickly. Besides, the sister promised to share a batch of the dessert with him soon. Yum!