When I was a sophomore in high school, I tasted my first pear and brie pastry. It was the strangest thing I had ever seen, the soft and slightly ammonia-scented cheese coated the glazed pears and was tucked haphazardly in a crust, folded in on itself much like a gallette.
I fell in love with the hot pear filling and now use pears whenever I can. This recipe originally called for tossing the maple syrup coated pears with cheddar and baking the filling covered by a regular pie crust. This upgrade to a crumble topping with crisp bacon, cheddar and brown sugar just takes the whole experience of fruit and cheese to another level.
Pre-heat oven to 375*. Crisp 1/4 pound of bacon on a cookie sheet. Drain well and then crumble the bacon and mix with 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp allspice, and 1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese.
The crust can be found here; prepare half of this recipe. Lay the crust, un-trimmed, into the pie pan, cover with a slightly damp towel and rest.
Wash eight to ten pears thoroughly. Peel, core, and cut into even bite sized pieces. Mix together 4 tbls melted butter, 4 tbls maple syrup, 1/2 tbls cinnamon, 1/2 tbls nutmeg, 1 tsp vanilla bean bourbon extract or paste. In a large pan toss the pears in this mixture, gently cooking for at least five minutes. Then layer in the crust and coat with the crumbles on top.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, tented with foil. Remove the foil and bake for another five minutes. This is outstanding when served with a savory rosemary cream drizzled over a hot slice.