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Ainsley Harriott’s Honey and Thyme Caramelised Pear, Pecan and Cheese Tart

Classically paired, the blue cheese, pecans, pears and honey combine wonderfully in this autumnal tart from Ainsley Harriott.


This easy-to-make sweet and savoury tart is gorgeous,with flavours that make me very happy indeed. Creamy, tangy goat’s cheese with buttery pear and aromatic thyme and the warm honey bringing sweetness – it’s just delightful! I’ve used a little blue cheese to add a burst of contrasting sharpness, but if you prefer you can leave it out and use a little more goat’s cheese. Serve with a watercress or rocket salad.

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25g butter
2 tbsp runny honey
2 firm pears, cored and sliced
½ lemon, for squeezing
1 x 500g block ready-made puff pastry
plain flour, for dusting
125g soft goat’s cheese
100g dolcelatte or similar soft blue cheese
a handful of pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped
3 - 4 leaves of thyme sprigs (or whole sprigs if soft)
1 egg, beaten (or a little milk)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

In a large frying pan over a medium heat, melt the butter with the honey. Add the pears and a squeeze of lemon juice and cook for 2 minutes on each side until caramelised. Remove the pears from the pan and lightly season, reserving the honey caramel in the pan.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a rectangle about 28 x 38cm and 5mm thick. Score a 2cm border around the edge of the pastry then place it on the lined baking sheet.

Arrange the pear slices over the pastry within the border, then dot the cheeses over in an even layer, then the pecans. Scatter over the thyme. Lightly brush the border with the beaten egg.

Bake for 15–20 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden and the cheese is bubbling. Season and drizzle with a little of the leftover caramel to serve, either warm or cold.

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