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Feed your family for under a fiver #2 ...a pair of pears.

Cooking meals that your family will eat while keeping the cost down is not always easy! why not try the pay as you feel food market outside Canterbury Advice Centre on Tuesday Mornings. See Sheila Brett's posts on for more details.

This week we took advantage of a kind donation of pears from a neighbour to make pear and blue cheese tarts with salad followed by poached pears and cream. None of the group had tried blue cheese before, and all loved the sweet and salty combination of the cheese and pear,'proper bo' according to David!

. My advice is if you have never tried blue cheese before, don't smell it first. It will put you off for life, it smells rank!!

Lorraine said the meals looked 'too good to eat', but that didn't stop us!

Pear and blue cheese tarts (serves 6)

  • 500g pack puff pastry

  • 15g butter/marg

  • 1 small onion, sliced

  • 150g blue cheese cubed

  • 2 ripe pears, sliced

  • 2 tbsp from a small tub of double cream (use the rest of the cream to go with the poached pears)

  • 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs to garnish ( we used a pinch of mixed herbs)

  • 11/2 tbsp lemon juice ( the rind from the lemon gets used in the poached pears

  • Mixed salad

How we did it..

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6.

  2. Roll the pastry into a 30 x 20cm rectangle. Cut into 6 equal squares.

  3. Score a square inside each square of pastry, leaving a 1cm border.

  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

  5. Using a spoon, lift out and discard the inner square of pastry, and scoop out any uncooked pastry.

  6. Heat the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. When melted, fry the onion until slightly browned.

  7. Mix the onion, blue cheese, pear, cream, thyme and seasoning.

  8. Fill each pastry square with a generous tablespoon of the filling and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Serve with a mixed salad, dressed with a squeeze of lemon .

Poached pears

A classic made cheaper by using lemonade instead of red wine and sugar..

  • A couple of strips of lemon rind

  • 1-2 litres of sugarfree lemonade. (we used supermarket own brand)

  • 6 pears peeled.

How we did it.

  1. Put the peeled pears in a pan.

  2. Cover with lemonade and throw in the lemon rind.

  3. Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered until the pears are soft usally around an hour.

  4. Whip up your leftover cream and serve!

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