Dessert wine paired with Harry & David’s Organic Pears + Giveaway

French Style Pear Tart using harry and david's organic pears

French Style Pear Tart

While any day is a good day for dessert, a holiday is the best excuse to enjoy it with a dessert wine. When Harry & David asked if I’d like to host a giveaway (end of this post) of one box of their organic Royal Riviera pears during the holidays, I knew it would be a great excuse to make an easy but delicious dessert, and pair it with some sweet wines. I asked friends for a pear tart recipe, something to remind me of the one I had when in Paris. My friend Linda gave me this easy, 5 ingredient recipe that came out perfectly. I then paired three different dessert wines, and euphoria ensued.

Harry and David's Organic Royal Riviera Pears are non-gmo fruit

Harry and David’s Organic Royal Riviera Pears

The most important ingredient for the tart, of course, is the pears. They need to be perfectly ripe, sweet, juicy, and healthy. Harry & David’s organic Royal Riviera pears were just the ticket. These pears are included in just about every Harry and David gift basket, and like most tree fruit, they’re not genetically modified (non-GMO). Harry & David’s 80th anniversary is next year, and they still use all natural grafting methods, instead of genetically modifying the seeds. Though Harry & David did provide the pears for this post and the below giveaway, I have been a loyal customer personally as well on a corporate level for years.

To make the pear tart, you just need five ingredients:

2 Harry & David’s Organic Royal Riviera Pears (substitute different quality pears if you MUST…)
1 sheet Frozen Puff Pastry Dough (a rectangle that is about 12 x 8 is ideal)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I improvised and did 3/4 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp all spice)

Pepperidge Farm frozen puff pasty was perfect

Pepperidge Farm frozen puff pasty was perfect

For the tart “crust”, I went with a frozen puff pastry dough from Pepperidge Farm. It was not the size and shape I wanted, but it worked just fine.

Before you start cutting and layering, mix up the sugar and spice ingredients in a medium sized bowl and set aside.

Slice the stem and very top off of the pears and then slice the pears in half lengthwise. Then, use a paring knife and cut out the core. Next, place the pear flesh side down, and slice lengthwise about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.

Slice then core the Harry & David Organic pears

Slice then core the Harry & David Organic pears

 

Slice the harry & david organic pears in 1/8 to 1/4 inch wide pieces

Slice the pears in 1/8 to 1/4 inch wide pieces

Once the pears are cut, unfold the dough, placing it on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

The Pepperidge Farm dough was about 9″ square, and I traced a border of about 1″ around it with a butter knife. Be sure not to go all the way through the dough. This 1″ border will cause the ends to puff up around the filling when cooking, and create edges around the pears. I would have preferred the dough’s width be about 8″, and then the 1″ border would have made for a much more narrow tart.

I was a little skeptical at first that tracing a thin border would create the puffed edges, but it really worked. WHO KNEW?!

cooking with harry and david non-gmo organic pears Trace a 1 inch border around the dough

Trace a 1 inch border around the dough

Next, begin layering your pear inside the center of the dough. Be sure the larger end of the pear is closer to the traced line, and have the pears overlap. Try to use the smaller outside pieces of pear first, as a bit of a base. That way, the longer pieces will line up nice and upright. Be sure you don’t leave too much space between the pieces.

Layer your Harry and David pears inside the center of the dough

Layer your pears inside the center of the dough

Once your pears are layered nicely, being sure not to leave too much open space in the middle, while not going over the border, sprinkle the sugar mixture on the top. Place the tart in the refrigerator while you preheat the oven to 400. It should stay refrigerated about 20 minutes.

Sprinkle your Harry and David pears with the sugar mixture

Sprinkle your Harry and David pears with the sugar mixture

After the 20 minute refrigeration, place your pear tart in the oven. Set the timer for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, reduce the oven temperature to 350, and set another timer for 10 minutes.

When the timer goes off, if the crust isn’t golden brown and crisp, give it a few more minutes. Once finished, remove from oven and let cool. Now, on to the dessert wine!

Dessert Wine Perfect for a Pear Tart!

Dessert Wine Perfect for a Pear Tart!

Pairing wine with sweets has one general rule: your wine must be as sweet or sweeter than your food. If not, the wine may taste muted or bland after tasting the dessert. That said, I’ve selected a trio of dessert wines to pair with the tart. They each come from a different region, and are made with different grapes. I will say that the Sauternes from the amazing Chateau Coutet pictured above was not opened for this tasting. It was a full sized bottle, as opposed to the typical 375ml half bottle you’ll find for white dessert wines. I therefore chose to open another, quite delicious bottle of Sauternes to avoid any waste of the Chateau Coutet, since I was the only taster.

Pairing Harry and David Pear Tart with Anakena Late Harvest 2008 dessert wine

Anakena Late Harvest 2008 dessert wine

Hailing from Chile, the Anakena Late Harvest 2008 ($20) was the least sweet of the three wines. However, it was still a perfect pair with the pear tart. Made with 85% Viognier and 15% Muscat of Alexandria, the Anakena Late Harvest 2008 was not heavy on the palate, and still a bit crisp. The nose and palate were delicate white floral and dried apricot, with decent acidity. It’s not as  heavy or viscus as a Sauternes, and there are no honey notes that are found in the other two options. However, this is definitely the best dessert wine pairing if you are not typically a sweet wine drinker.

pairing harry and david pear dessert with Les Petits Grains 2011 Muscat de Saint Jean de Minervois

Les Petits Grains 2011 Muscat de Saint Jean de Minervois

From the South of France, I paired Les Petits Grains 2011 Muscat de Saint Jean de Minervois ($15) with the pear tart. Made with muscat grapes, the Muscat de Saint Jean de Minervois uses the noble Muscat a Petits Grains variety of grape, different than the Muscat of Alexandria in the Anakena Late Harvest wine, though from the same family. The commune of Muscat de Saint Jean de Minervois was named after it’s famous muscat wines in 1936, and was originally Saint-Jean-de-Pardailhan.  The bouquet of the Les Petit Grains 2011 was unimpressive, and perhaps a little plastic. However, the palate is much different. A very viscous wine, there are delicious floral and honey flavors mixed with spiced orange rind, and laced with dried apricots that dance on the palate. This was an excellent option to pair with the Harry & David Royal Riviera Pear inspired dessert.

Chateau de Cosse 2008 Sauternes with pear tart dessert

Chateau de Cosse 2008 Sauternes

The coup de grâce of this delicious project was pairing of Sauternes with the tart. I selected the Chateau de Cosse 2008 Sauternes ($20), which is part of the Domaines Barons de Rothschild family. The bouquet is amazing floral, sweet honey and ripe apricot. This wine is much more viscous than the previous two, providing a very rich experience. The palate is a sweet savory experience, and each sip makes your mouth water. There are amazing flavors of honey and dried apricot, mixed with hints of flowers. This was the best pairing in my opinion.

Now the exciting part. I’m happy to be giving away some of Harry & David’s Organic The Favorite® Royal Riviera® Pears. One lucky person will win 1 box of beautiful organic pears ($34.95 value)!  H&D invented the fruit of the month club. At least one shipment of these pears is sent to every member. You can savor these delectables yourself, simply enter the giveaway below. There are multiple ways to enter, so be sure to catch them all!
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This contest is open to US residents only. The winner will be chosen Sunday 12/15/2013. I will need to forward a mailing address for the winner by Monday 12/16/2013 to Harry & David!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Exciting Delivery From Harry & David organic non-gmo pears

Exciting Delivery From Harry & David

Remember that Sharing is Caring. You should not only share this post with your friends, but share some wine and pears with them!

 

The Chateau de Cosse 2008 Sauternes and the Les Petits Grains Muscat de Saint Jean de Minervois 2011 were both media samples from Pasternak Wine Imports. The pears used to make this dessert, as well as for the giveaway, were provided by Harry & David. However, per my sample policy, I offer no assurances that I will use products that are samples, and that my opinion will always be honest about the products I use. I have nothing but my word and reputation, and no free wine or food will make me compromise that. 

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  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/megilmore heymar

    I define organic as free of synthetic or artificial fertilizers and, in the case of Harry & David pears, bursting with memorable flavor. They are truly nature’s candy. And if you haven’t treated yourself yet, you’re really missing out on something quite special. Cheers!

  • Crystal W.

    Organic means grown with no chemicals, pesticides, etc. I love these pears and didn’t realize they are organic – bonus!

  • Laura Brewer

    Organic is grown with out chemicals, pesticides or antiobiotics

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    Well said!! I was quite fortunate to visit their Oregon orchards!!

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    A delicious bonus :)

  • http://www.alannacoca.com Alanna Coca

    I came across your blog through some kind of internet rabbit hole.So glad I landed here! I’m a wine fan, but don’t know enough about it to make informed decisions about which to order with what. My mouth is now watering over the pear tart post.

  • saramama

    I try to buy organic whenever possible. It feels good to know there are no chemicals and pesticides my kids are consuming.

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    I like that you said “Whenever possible.” It’s important to realize that we make the best decisions we can with the information we have and situations we’re in. We may not be perfect, but we’re doing our best! Especially, when it comes to our kids!

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    I’m so happy the rabbit trail led you here! I would love to hear how I could help you feel more comfortable and informed about wine selection!

  • mklopez

    Organic = Anything that my sister will ask me to replace my food with. :)

  • Elisabeth

    Organic to mean means no chemicals or anything genetically modified. I like my food as pure as possible!

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    Healthy Living!

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    No more Twinkies!!!!

  • ambersconfections

    I try to eat organic when I can.

  • Becca Ferguson

    Organic to me means supporting local farmers that are keeping the earth healthy by using sustainable farming practices.

  • http://www.lizfreshplate.blogspot.com/ Liz Lanza

    To me. grown or produced with no chemicals or pesticides.

  • bittystarr

    Organic means natural, from the eath to me!

  • Bev Schantz

    organic goes well with my new eating lifestyle…..more grains, less meat, very little processed food and my latest discovery!!!!!! water kefir. Organic means as pure as the driven snow (not GMO’d; no pesticides) and very good for my health and body

  • Wendy Goldman Scherer

    Oh my – you know I love to bake and I love, love, love their pears! Totally going to try the sauternes with the tart. Sounds like holiday dessert to me! Thanks!

  • Emilee Stein

    I think it’s time I ventured into the world of dessert wines. This looks like the perfect place to start.

  • Laura K

    Since pears are one of my favourite things in the world, I’m bookmarking this post so I can follow all instructions, including the wine!

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    Good Luck Laura! Don’t forget to enter before midnight tonight!!!!! They are scrumptious!

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    I have always been a Port-and-Cigar guy. I love Sauternes but don’t drink it often enough. I usually “save it for something special”. However, when I have it, i looooooooove it!

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    I couldn’t agree with you more :) It really does scream “HAPPY HOLIDAYS”. However, it’s easy enough for every day!

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    Awesome outlook, Bev! I love that you’ve made it a lifestyle. That’s the only way this healthy way of life is going to work! Enjoy!!!!

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    :)

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    Absolutely! They can use pesticides, but they are typically plant based. Did you know chrysanthemums are helpful in controlling pests?

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    I absolutely agree! Local farmers who grow sustainable and without chemicals NEED our support!

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    So do I!

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    :)

  • susitravl

    No chemicals is what I think of when I think “organic”.

  • http://agoodtimewithwine.com mmwine

    Congratulations to Manda O – enjoy Harry & David’s delicious Organic Royal Riviera pears!

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