Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon and Pear

A few months ago I had the pleasure of accompanying Amy of Cooking with Amy and Brett of In Praise of Sardines 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

Ingredients

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

Method

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1. 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. 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.

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2 While you are toasting the sandwich on the remaining 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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29 Comments

  1. diamonddollfla

    The pictures got me. Eating it as I type and it was simple to make. Hardest part for me cutting the pear and keeping the cat out of the kitchen.

  2. Anonymous

    I’ve had apple and cheddar melts and it’s delicious so I figured I would try this sandwich and I just wasn’t pleased. I tried it again with gruyere cheese and without the bacon because I ran out and it turned out much better the second way! The gruyere’s smokey flavor really works with the pear,

  3. elizabeth

    I made this incredibly tasty sandwich for dinner last night. And then I went into a blissful, cholesterol-induced coma.

    A wonderful, indulgent departure from my usual hummus wrap. Thanks Elise.

  4. Zoe

    I made this yesterday for lunch and it was fabulous! I health-i-fied it, of course. I used Great Harvest low carb bread, Smart Balance for the butter, turkey bacon, and 2% milk cheddar cheese. Still wonderful.

  5. Angela

    This sounds like a great, quick dinner for a busy Autumn evening … and something my whole family will like. We do grilled cheese with muenster or smoked gouda, ham and/or apples, very similar, but I am sure the subtle flavor differences will be a welcome change. Thank you!

  6. voot

    This was delicious. Both bacon letuce tomato and grilled cheese sandwiches were a late summer treat while I was growing up, and it’s nice to capture a little of that in one tasty sandwich. I made them with thick smoked bacon, bartlet pairs, a good cheddar and a loaf of sourdough. They sucessfully cripple my friends with tasty tasty comfort food :)

  7. CJ McD

    I know this is a bit of a diversion, but a breakfast fave is raisin bread, spread with softened cream cheese, thin apple or pear slices and a small bit of grated aged cheddar, then grilled. Blue works in place of the cheddar very well–just very lightly. It’s delish!

  8. beyonduplication

    Just wanted you to know that I am making this for dinner tonight, and I’m out of cheddar. So we’ll see how the Gruyere works. Otherwise, I’ll stick to the recipe.
    Man, I love this site :)

  9. Marco

    My wife is HOOKED on these. I made one the other night and now she is asking for them all the time. (Try adding some arugula as well, yum!)

    Thanks for the great site!

  10. RK

    I’m so wary of mixing sweet and salty (I refuse to even use cranberry sauce at thanksgiving and instead mound mashed potatoes onto my turkey), but this just looks so tasty and has gotten such rave reviews I’m tempted to try it tonight. My favorite thing to do on grilled cheese is at the very last second, your sprinkle on top some parmesan cheese (from the green can) and then flip it over (flip fast or it’ll spray everywhere) and it only need a few seconds to melt that parmesan on top and it lends a delightful taste. This is now my favorite site!

  11. Stacia

    We just tried these sandwiches tonight with a big salad, and they were great! Because of the comments I did some with gruyere and some with sharp cheddar. I liked both but I think the cheddar won out. We’ll have more this weekend with some wine and a cold avocado soup. Grilled sandwiches have become some of my favorite foods this summer, since I’m trying to avoid using the oven.

  12. Christina

    I’m happy to say that the cheapo college student version is also very tasty – kraft singles, microwave bacon (i know, you didn’t think we could sink so low), whatever pears you can sneak out of the cafeteria, and a george forman minigrill. definitely tastier than nightly scrambled eggs. or anything they serve in the dining halls. thanks elise!

  13. bill

    yummy.need more napkins. The cheese smothers the pears just right. Then lay some bacon on it? mmmmmmmmmmm. Can’t miss with the french bread or italian bread in the cast iron pan. yummy, yummy, ahhhhhhh! yummy!

  14. logan

    Unbelievable! I tried your sandwich yesterday and it was awesome.You would never think that two things like bacon and pears would taste good together but this sandwich proved me wrong.If you enjoy sandwiches made using bacon then try my 3-cheese melt sandwich. Visit me at: http://www.ehow.com/members/logan.html

  15. Chanda

    I just got done eating this sandwich. It was so good. A very different and unique set of ingredients. My husband and I really enjoyed it especially with a little Dijon mustard. My son on the other hand could not appreciate the pear. Thanks again for a great recipe.

  16. Chanda

    I had made this sandwich this morning. It was really good. My husband and I really enjoyed it. A very unique set of ingredients especially with a dallop of Dijon mustard. My son could not get past the pear but he is eight and does not appreciate great food! Thanks again for a great recipe.

  17. Jill Marlowe

    This sandwich is simply delicious! My husband ate all that I made and still wanted more. We’re making them again tonigt! I used turkey bacon and it was wonderful with that too.

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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!

  22. Karena

    My favorite grilled cheese has, for years, been raisin bread with cheddar cheese. YUM! I now have to add this one to my list. Thank you.

  23. Tamara

    Love this combo! I use turkey bacon, but keep the rest as listed. If you don’t have a panini press, use a grill pan for the sandwich with a cast iron skillet on top for the press to get the stipes!

  24. Crystal

    YUMM! My favorite sandwich in the world is a prosciutto, brie and fig preserves grilled cheese because I can enjoy it with my absolute favorite sweet wine without waiting for dessert. HOWEVER, I bought a beautiful Anjou pear at Whole Foods and will definitly make this tomorrow night!

    Best Wine Ladies: Silvan Ridge, Early Muscat

    I am an Oregonian for a reason…WINE Country and BEERtopia. :)

  25. Michelle

    Hi all,

    I, being lazy, tried this without grilling(i know, what’s the point?), and although I’m sure the full version is better, let me assure you, if you don’t have the time, just the combo of bacon, cheddar and pear is amazing! Some fresh buttered toast might have been a bit better for the abbreviated version. I’ll try the grilled version some weekend. . .

  26. A-Man

    The combination of bacon and pears is fabulous. Salty bacon underlined with the sweet pear…
    In case you have the ingredients at home a delicate dish…

  27. Carol

    Oh, this sandwich is just heavenly. We had this last night alongside Elise’s gazpacho recipe. Made for a wonderful summer dinner.

  28. CWagg

    I am the worst at commenting on recipes whether I like them or not, but this one clearly made an impression. Family LOVED it… :)

    Only one addition toward the end of eating – a swipe of mustard on top. Grainy Dijon was awesome! Thanks for the keeper.

  29. Madeline

    Oooh looks delicious! Just tonight, I did a grilled cheese with golden delicious apple, prosciutto, and smoked Swiss…it was amazing! Sweet, salty, and creamy!

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