Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon and Pear

Grilled cheese sandwich with French bread slices, bacon, pear, and sharp white cheddar cheese.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

A while ago I had the pleasure of accompanying Amy of Cooking with Amy and Chef Brett Emerson of Contigo Restaurant for a light bite to eat at the Arlequin deli in Hayes Valley, San Francisco.

Amy highly recommended the grilled cheese sandwich with bacon and pear, and it was, true to Amy’s suggestion, fabulous!

The sweet pear worked beautifully with the bacon and sharp cheddar. A great combination.

Bartlett pears are just now finally making a show at the markets and I made these sandwiches for the family this week.

We also tried them with ham, in place of the bacon. The bacon won.

There is a debate here as to whether gruyere would do well in place of the cheddar. “No, no, no, it would overwhelm the pear.” We haven’t tried that combo yet, but if you do, please let us know how it goes!

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon and Pear Recipe

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Ingredients

  • French or Italian loaf bread, sliced
  • Bacon, cooked
  • Bartlett pear
  • Sharp white cheddar cheese (high quality)
  • Butter, softened and spreadable

Method

1 Assemble the sandwiches: Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat. Layer your sandwich—bread slice, cheese, pear slices, bacon, bread slice. Spread butter over the top of the sandwich.

2 Toast on cast iron skillet:  Place the sandwich top side down (butter side down) on the hot pan. Butter the exposed side of the sandwich. Let cook for a minute and then use a metal spatula to turn the sandwich over to its other side.

3 Press down with spatula or second pan: While you are toasting the sandwich on the second side, press down on the sandwich with a spatula.

Alternatively, you can mimic a panini press (albeit without the ridges) by heating a smaller cast iron pan on a separate burner. Use the weight of this pan to press down on the sandwich from above.

The sandwich is done when the sides are toasted and the cheese is melted. Cut in half and serve.

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Showing 4 of 30 Comments

  • Melissa

    This was fantastic! I lightly toasted the bread before grilling and I only had laughing cow spreadable swiss cheese wedges on hand, but this was still the perfect mix of flavor and texture. Will make again!

  • Anthony

    This sandwich was tasty. You wouldn’t think pears, bacon, and cheese, but… if you get a chance… try it.

    We bought sharp cheddar, dubliner, Havarti and brie (just for kicks). We ended up settling on making ours with thinly sliced Havarti

    We used Maplewood Smoked Bacon which made it a bit sweeter than most and melted the butter in the bacon grease before dabbing the bread in it. We then used a panini press to toast the bread and melt the cheese. Mmm…

    The girl I was cooking with/for noted that it almost felt like she was eating a krispy kream donut, but then again she opted for hers to be made with smoked turkey and not bacon (she’s not a bacon fan).

    Anyway, thanks!

  • David

    Very tasty! I substituted apple slices since that’s what I had on hand, but this was one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I’ve made in a while.

  • elizabeth

    Thanks for the inspiring site! We often run a similar grilled cheese at my cafe in Glen Ellyn, IL, but we use brie cheese and saute the pears in a port-wine reduction. I came up with it because one of our best selling omelets is pear and brie, topped with a port wine reduction.

  • Margaret

    I just made this for lunch 10 minutes ago! I wanted to preview the sandwich myself before making it for the family dinner. This is the best sandwich ever! Fantastic! Thanks for the receipe!

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Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon and PearGrilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon and Pear