Recipe courtesy of Gale Gand

Vacherin Mont D'Or with Ripe Pears and Drageed Hazelnuts

Vacherin Mont d'Or is one of the most loved French cheeses from the Franche-comte area in the Savoie above the Rhone Alps close to the Swiss border. Some say the Swiss make it too and they invented it but it has been determined it was the French who invented it. It is made from raw cows milk usually with winter milk and the curds are uncooked, pressed then aged on spruce planks. The curds are rubbed with salt water so they have a washed rind and then place in a wooden box of a band of spruce to help them keep there shape as they ripen and to give it a unique flavor and aroma. The rind is usually slightly crusty and golden with the interior pate being quite yellow creamy and sweet but pungent in flavor. It has at least a 45 percent butter fat content and is aged 3 weeks minimum. To serve it you must use a spoon to scoop it out of the box because ripe it is quite runny, so one 500 gram wheel should really be consumed in 1 sitting as it oozes everywhere in the box once you break through the rind. Dragees are tiny sugar balls used for decorating cakes or when nuts are coated with a thin hard layer of sugar.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 30 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Share This Recipe

Ingredients

3/4 cup sugar

Water, as needed

1/2 cup peeled hazelnuts

1 French baguette, sliced thin

2 ripe pears, like Comice, Anjou, and Bartlett

1 Vacherin Mont d'Or (500 grams)

Directions

  1. To make the drageed hazelnuts, place the sugar in a small saucepan and pour the water around the edge to moisten it completely. Bring this to a boil and then add the hazelnuts. Stir continuously until all the water is cooked away and the nuts are coated with a sugar frosting.
  2. Turn the heat to medium and continue cooking and stirring to re-caramelize the sugar and make them shiny. As soon as all the sugar has turned to a thin coating of caramel on the nuts, let them cool 30 seconds then dump them onto a slightly greased cool surface like a piece of marble.
  3. Being careful not to burn yourself, separate them into individual glazed nuts. Let cool. Store in an airtight container.
  4. On small plates place a few slices of the French bread and pears and place a spoonful of the cheese on the plate. Scatter the hazelnuts around the plate, about 5 or 6 per serving.

Choose a topic to find related recipes.

Fudge Factor

Over-the-Top-Delicious Treats to Satisfy Your Food Obsession

Are you infatuated with ice cream? Do you lust over lobster? Swoon at the sight of chocolate? Here's the best recipe for each food …

Review: Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert's Chocolate Bar Nov 16, 2012

Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert have teamed up with master chocolatier Christopher Curtin to create the "Good & Evil" chocolate b …

Sifted: Plan-Ahead Valentine's Day Desserts Feb 6, 2013

By: Lauren Miyashiro

Get our take on the best in food news, recipes and more from around the web, including the best Valentine's Day recipes.

The Craziest Chocolate Creations for American Chocolate Week Mar 17, 2013

It’s officially American Chocolate Week. Check out photos of mind-blowing chocolate creations.

Train Frontman Pat Monahan's Dark Chocolate Obsession Feb 11, 2013

By: Cameron Curtis

Train frontman Pat Monahan, an avid chocolate lover, shared with us his top five reasons for eating dark chocolate.

Chocolate Desserts

Indulge in our decadent chocolate desserts, from cookies and cakes to puddings, souffles and truffles.

How to Chop and Melt Chocolate

Lots of recipes call for melted chocolate. Follow these step-by-step instructions to do it properly.