Caramelized Onion, Pear & Blue Cheese Bites

I am always looking for new appetizer ideas that I can serve to our farmhouse guests at Il Casale di Mele for our complimentary Umbrian wine tastings. At our wine tastings, my husbands serves 3 to 4 Umbrian wines, and I try to match each wine with two appetizers each. Although I now have a large repertoire of favorite appetizers to make, I get bored easily if I make the same thing too often so I love trying new things. One ingredient I have learned to love over the past two years is puff pastry. It is so versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. Although I have made my own puff pastry in the past, it is so much easier to buy it frozen, and Dufour is my favorite brand that I always have on hand in my freezer. It thaws quickly allowing you to create tasty snacks or treats whenever you need to.

I first made this recipe for family at Thanksgiving and we all agreed that it was a keeper. The combination of sweet and savory along with a hint of sharp blue cheese is truly addictive! This easy recipes uses puff pastry cut into small squares as the base, and then I top each square with a combination of caramelized onion, pear, chopped walnuts, and blue cheese crumbles. These tasty tidbits are perfect paired with a fairly robust red wine, and can be prepared from start to finish a few hours before you plan to serve them.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2014

Caramelized Onion, Pear & Blue Cheese Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 (1 Pound) Package Puff Pastry, Thawed
  • 1 Medium Onion, Peeled & Chopped
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste
  • 2 Medium Ripe Pears, Peeled, Cored & Cut Into Small Dice
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter, Divided
  • 3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Parsley
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped, Lightly Toasted Walnuts
  • 1/3 Cup Blue Cheese crumbles

Egg Wash:

  • 1 Medium Egg Beaten With A Tablespoon of Water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium sized frying pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of both the oil and butter until hot over medium heat, then add the onions and stir well.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low, and cook, stirring often, until the onions are very soft and lightly browned, about 12 minutes.
  4. Remove the onions from the pan, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  5. Add the remaining oil and butter to the pan and heat over medium heat, then add the pears.
  6. Cook the pears, stirring often until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  7. Combine the onions and pears along with the parsley in a bowl.
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and cut the puff pastry into 2 1/2 inch squares.
  9. Arrange the puff pastry squares on the baking sheet, and brush the tops with the beaten egg mixture.
  10. Take about 3/4 of a teaspoon of the pear and onion mixture and mound it into the center of each puff pastry square.
  11. Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the pear mixture, then do the same with the blue cheese crumbles.
  12. Bake until the pastry is very puffed and golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 15 minutes.