Grilled Gouda with Ham and Maple Poached Pears

April is National Grilled Cheese Month and it seems as though every blogger worth their salt is writing about it. Since we’re huge fans of warm, gooey sandwiches I couldn’t let the month go by without a grilled cheese post. And this one is good.

Not too long ago, we took a drive one weekend. My husband knew of some chocolate shop in Vermont that he wanted to show me and it was a gorgeous day for a drive, so we set out. We were having a nice drive, and there was a good opera playing on NPR and we weren’t really in a hurry to head back home, so we decided to go to the outlets in Manchester. By the time we got there, we were really hungry for lunch and we found the cutest little diner (I wish I remembered what it was called) where I had a sandwich of black forest ham, Gouda, and maple poached pears. I also got a cup of butternut squash soup, and the sandwich was served with potato chips and French Onion dip with I thought was genius.

It was a great lunch, and I knew immediately that I would have to make it at home and improve on it. I used maple ham (and I used less) and just lightly poached my pears so they still has a little bit of texture to them. I think my version was better than theirs. Next time I might use a little more cheese though- it looked like a ton when my sandwich was cold but once it melted down it didn’t seem like so much. It was still nice and gooey, but I would have liked more.

  • 1 pear, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 2 c water
  • 1/2 c maple syrup
  • 4 slices Italian bread
  • 4 slices honey ham
  • 1/4 pound gouda, shredded*
  • 1 T butter

In a small saucepan, bring water and syrup to a boil. Add pears and cook about 7 minutes, or until it begin to soften. Remove pears from syrup and set aide.

On each of two slices of bread, arrange pears, 2 slices of ham, and half the cheese. Top with remaining bread.

In a medium skillet, melt butter of medium heat. Once butter is an ice and hot, add your sandwiches. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn, but on medium heat it should take about 5 minutes for your first side to get nice and toasty. Don’t be tempted to turn the heat up and cook these faster- you’re bread will burn before your cheese melts! After 5 minutes or so, flip your sandwiches to toast the other side.  If your cheese isn’t melty enough, you can cover the pan with a lid at this point. After 2 or 3 minutes, your second side should be golden and your cheese should be melted and your grilled cheese will be ready to enjoy!

Serves 2.

*make sure you don’t get smoked gouda, which is more common. The flavor isn’t the same and it won’t melt as nicely.


This week, I want to try something new for my Meat-Free Fridays feature: in addition to my normal post, I want to do a round up! If you have a great, healthy meatless recipe (fish is ok!) that you would like to see included, leave me a comment and post a link to with a note that you are submitting it to Meat-Free Fridays. Deadline is Thursday, April 23.


  1. YUM!

  2. I guess its time I threw my hat in the grilled cheese ring….this pear concept is pretty good – I be the flavors were stunning.

  3. Sounds like a great combination! When I first saw the picture, I thought the pear slice was a huge mound of cheese…. that would be perfection in my book! :-)

  4. Yummylicious!!! Grilled cheese is a winner in my book. Easy comfort food with a twist.

  5. The pear combo is over the top! Total gooey yumminess!

  6. Natasha - 5 Star Foodie says:

    Grilled gouda, ham, and pears sound like an amazing combination! Excellent!

  7. These sandwiches sound amazing, I would have never thought to add pear!

  8. This looks great. I love that the pears are only ‘lightly’ poached – when i’m hungry i like to eat immediately (lack of patience can be a downfall…) thanks for sharing!

  9. Yum! I will definitely have to try this one!

  10. What a delicious combo! I love the pear on it!

  11. OMG. You’re making me hungry. And I JUST ate!
    I seriously HAVE to try this one, yummmm :)

  12. I am drooling in the airport. Drooling over your post.

    And stuck inhaling the Burger King that the woman next to me is eating :-( which destroys some of the potency of your post. :P

  13. I had no idea about the cheese month celebration– and now i know how to celebrate. Looks Gooooouda!! Haha too corny? Sorry. Looks gooood. :)

  14. this has got MY NAME ALL OVER IT!! you made this for me, yes you did! the cheese, and the sweet and savory combo…WOOW~

  15. Yum! This sounds like a great combination!

  16. Maple poached pears sound amazing and using them in a grilled cheese sandwich just takes the cake!

  17. to GoogleReader!

  18. Yum! Have you submitted this to the Grilled Cheese Academy yet?

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