As soon as it hits October I start planning my Thanksgiving dinner. This year, I started planning in September. I blame the covid quarantine. In case you're in the same boat, I've got the perfect dish for you: savory pear gratin with prosciutto gruyere breadcrumbs. Heck, even if you're not planning for the holidays just yet, this dish will make a great addition to the dinner table. It's definitely different but hits the sweet and savory notes perfectly. Oh, and did I mention? It's easy to make!
Savory Pear Gratin with Prosciutto Gruyere Breadcrumbs
- ½ cup butter
- 5 pears
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped
- salt and pepper
Prosciutto gruyere breadcrumbs
- 3 ounces prosciutto chopped
- 1 cup homemade breadcrumbs or panko
- ½ cup gruyere grated
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Melt ½ cup butter in a saute pan over medium heat and continue to gently simmer until browned, about 4-5 minutes. The butter should smell nutty when ready. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Core and cut the pears in half. Slice each half into 6 slices. Gently toss the pears with the sliced red onion, fresh thyme, rosemary, and half of the browned butter. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pears to a 9x13 inch baking dish and lay in one even layer. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the prosciutto gruyere breadcrumbs. Toss together the prosciutto, 1 cup breadcrumbs, ½ cup grated gruyere, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and the remaining browned butter together until well combined.
- Remove the pears from the oven and sprinkle the breadcrumbs in an even layer on top. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Ready to make this savory pear gratin with prosciutto gruyere breadcrumbs? Let's jump right in.
Before we can begin, we need to pick the right pears. I chose Anjou pears because they can withstand high temperatures and are incredibly juicy, making them the perfect candidate. However, you can also use Bosc pears which hold their shapes a little better when baked. Bartlett pears are also ideal but make sure they're not too ripe or they will become too mushy when cooked.
Make the pear filling by cooking butter until browned and nutty. I love brown butter and it just works so well with this dish.
Slice the pears into 12 slices per pear. You may need to adjust the slices if the pears are on the smaller side. You don't want them too thin or they will melt away and disappear when baked. Toss the sliced pears with the browned butter, red onion, and herbs. The red onion will add another touch of sweetness to the gratin while the herbs add a hint of savoriness.
Pop the pears into the oven, covering the pan, and bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, get the breadcrumbs ready.
I could eat these prosciutto gruyere breadcrumbs just by themselves it's so good. If possible, use fresh breadcrumbs for the best results. I like to make my own breadcrumbs and keep some of the crumbs a bit on the larger side to add more texture to the gratin. If that just seems like a hassle, panko breadcrumbs are a fine alternative.
Finish the gratin by sprinkling the breadcrumbs on top and baking until golden browned. Let it sit for 10 minutes before diving right in to let the gratin settle.
I love making new dishes for Thanksgiving and I already know this savory pear gratin is going to be a winner. In fact, I think I need to add this to the weekly dinner menus, it's so scrumptious.
For more side dish inspiration check out these brown butter roasted tomatoes!