Grilled pear, goat’s cheese snow & gingerbread

Grilled pear, goat’s cheese snow & gingerbread

The New Nordic
Simon Bajada

This recipe walks the tightrope line between sweet and savoury that is so evident in many new Nordic dishes. The charring of the pears actually intensifies their flavour in the ice, and the gingerbread gives some crunch and necessary sweetness to counter the salty ‘snow’. If you’re not the biggest fan of goat’s cheese, I’d probably avoid this dish, but if you do like it, consider it a reinterpretation of the cheese platter.


Quantity Ingredient
200g goat’s cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons icing sugar
4 large firm, crisp pears


Quantity Ingredient
210g golden syrup
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons malt
180g graham flour
180g plain flour
200g raw sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
50g unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons linseeds


  1. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the goat’s cheese and icing sugar in a small bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in 125 ml water. Transfer to a shallow dish or container, cover, and freeze for at least 6 hours.
  2. Halve 2 of the pears and cook them on a dry cast-iron chargrill pan over medium heat for 15–20 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred and just softened. Allow to cool, then core and blend to a smooth purée. Transfer to a container and freeze for at least 6 hours, until completely solid. (It will keep for up to 1 week, as will the cheese mixture.)
  3. To make the gingerbread, gently warm the syrup, ginger and bicarbonate of soda in a saucepan. Stir gently for 2 minutes, or until you see the bicarbonate of soda foaming. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. In a bowl, use your fingertips to mix together the malt, flours, raw sugar and baking powder. Slowly add the warm syrup and use a wooden spoon to combine the mixture into a dough. It should be cool enough to handle by now, so shape into a ball. Allow to rest in the bowl at room temperature for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and brush with the melted butter. Roll out the dough on the prepared tray to a thickness of about 1–2 cm. Sprinkle over the linseeds and bake for 15 minutes, until brown at the edges. Be careful it doesn’t get too dark. Cool on the tray, then break into shards about 6 cm x 3 cm.
  6. Let the pear sorbet sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, core the 2 remaining pears and cut into 2 cm thick slices. Cook the pear slices on a dry cast-iron chargrill pan over a medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side, until charred. Divide the slices between four serving bowls. When the sorbet is soft enough to scoop, spoon on to the pear slices and top with gingerbread shards. Using a fork, scrape the frozen goat’s cheese mixture until it forms ‘snow’. Sprinkle over to your discretion, but go easy, as it is quite salty.
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