Put down the plastic-wrapped cheese singles and try this savory gorgonzola and pear grilled cheese with fig jam and thyme butter. Sweet, seasonal pears get jammy with figs and creamy gorgonzola cheese. It's a melt-in-your-mouth delicious spin on the classic grilled cheese.
Who doesn't love a melty cheese sandwich? Ooey gooey gorgonzola goes so well with pears and figs. The addition of fresh thyme to the buttered bread adds a layer of earthy flavor. Your griddle will be begging for this gourmet grilled cheese sandwich.
Gorgonzola Vs Blue Cheese
Gorgonzola is basically an Italian blue cheese that is made from cow's milk. It tends to be milder than blue cheese but still has a full bodied, salty and earthy flavor. Blue cheese and gorgonzola are pretty much interchangeable in recipes, however this will depend on your taste. Gorgonzola cheese is readily available in supermarkets.
See below for a quick description of the ingredients you need for this gorgonzola and pear grilled cheese.
- Bread- Use good thick bread. I use rustic bread (like sourdough) that is wider than most store-bought sliced bread. It will hold the ingredients better and you can easily cut it in half to make two servings.
- Pears- I prefer Bosc pears for this recipe. They are firmer, and sweeter and hold up well to the gorgonzola. Use a pear that you love to eat. Bartlett varieties are also a good choice.
- Fig jam- Choose a brand you love.
- Gorgonzola cheese- A mild Italian blue cheese. I like to buy the block and slice it myself, but you can buy crumbles as well.
- Butter- Unsalted or salted is fine. I use unsalted so I can control the salt.
- Thyme- Fresh thyme is best, but you can use dried if that is all you have. If using dried thyme, smell it first to make sure it is still fresh and earthy.
See recipe card for full list of ingredients and quantities.
See below for assembling the pear and gorgonzola grilled cheese.
Mix the softened butter with the thyme. Set aside.
Spread the fig jam on one side of two pieces of bread. Place the sliced pears on one side of the bread.
Layer the gorgonzola over the pears. Place the other slice of bread on top to make a sandwich.
Spread the thyme butter evenly over both sides of the bread. Grill until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted.
Try some of these swaps or variations to suit your tastes.
- Blue cheese- Blue cheese can be swapped out for the gorgonzola. You can also try a milder gruyere cheese for a perfect melt.
- Fruit jams - Try apricot, raspberry, or even pear jam. Whatever you choose, make sure it's a good quality jam made from real fruits.
- Thyme - If you don't have fresh thyme, you can use dried. Rosemary also goes well with pears.
- Caramelized onions- Try adding caramelized onions to bump up the sweet and savory notes.
You don't need anything fancy to make this gourmet grilled cheese sandwich. A panini maker, grill pan, or fry pan will do the trick. I love this panini maker, and use it all the time.
For the best taste, make sure your pears are ripe. The riper the pear, the sweeter and softer the pears will get when grilled.
The grilled cheese police won't come after you if you don't do this, but buttering your bread first gives the bread the best flavor and allows the butter to spread evenly. Make sure your butter is softened to a spreadable consistency for the best results.
Jammy Gorgonzola and Pear Grilled Cheese
- 1 grill pan or panini maker
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter softened
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- pinch of flaky sea salt or Kosher salt
- 4 thick bread, such as sourdough about ½ thick
- 4 tablespoon fig jam
- 1 pear, peeled and sliced thin about 7-8 slices, ¼ inch thick
- 4 oz gorgonzola cheese sliced or crumbled
- In a small bowl, add the softened butter, thyme, and salt. Mix to combine and set aside. (If using salted butter, omit the additional salt).
- Heat a grill/saute pan or panini maker on medium-high heat.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of the fig jam onto one side of each slice of bread. Divide the pears and gorgonzola onto 2 slices of bread (on top of the fig jam). Top with the remaining slices of bread with the fig jam facing inward. Spread half of the thyme butter on the top of the sandwiches, and lay them down on the grill/saute pan. Cook, pressing down slightly until the bottoms are golden brown. Spread the remaining butter on the top of the sandwiches and flip, cooking them until they are golden and the cheese is nicely melted and bubbly (about 4 -5 minutes total).
- If using a panini maker, follow the manufacturer's directions and cook until golden brown and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.