Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Improv Cooking Challenge: Burrata and Bartlett-Vanilla Bean Jam Crostini

Welcome to the November 2019 version of Improv Cooking Challenge. This group is headed up by Nichole of Cookaholic Wife. And I haven't been very good about participating, but I love the idea of the group, so I will try to be better in the coming months.

The idea behind Improv Cooking Challenge: we are assigned two ingredients and are challenged to create a recipe with those two things. This month's items: pears and dairy. Here's what the crew is sharing...
  • Sour Cream Pear Pie by Pandemonium Noshery
  • Pear Hand Pies by Cookaholic Wife
  • Pear and Port Cheese Spread by Palatable Pastime
  • Burrata and Bartlett-Vanilla Bean Jam Crostini by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
  • Poached Pears In Cinnamon & Red Wine With Ice Cream by Sneha's Recipe
  • Caramelized Pear and Brie Rolls by A Day in the Life on the Farm

    Burrata and Bartlett-Vanilla Bean Jam Crostini 
    When I was brainstorming at the table about what dairy would go well with pears, the boys voted for burrata which is always a family favorite!

    In case you are unfamiliar, burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella while the inside is a mixture of mozzarella and cream. In Italian burrata means "buttered."

Bartlett-Vanilla Bean Jam

I love making jam for its versatility in both sweet and savory applications. For a sweet, I would use this in a thumbprint cookie (such as this one, it doesn't have to be gluten-free!); for a savory, use it in a glaze over oven-roasted chicken thighs (similar to this one). Or this...burrata and bartlett-vanilla bean jam crostini is delicious!

Bartlett-Vanilla Bean Jam
  • 6 Bartlett pears, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 C organic granulated sugar
  • juice from 2 lemons, divided
  • zest from 2 lemons
  • 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
  • 1/4 C water

  • baguette slices, toasted
  • prosciutto di parma
  • burrata


Bartlett-Vanilla Bean Jam
Place all of the ingredients - except the juice from 1 of the lemons - in a large flat-bottom pan. Bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the pears are tender, approximately 15 minutes. Mash the fruit with a potato masher as the pears soften. Keep simmering until the liquid has thickened to the point where a path remains if you drag a spoon through the center. Stir in the last of the lemon juice. Remove the vanilla pod.

Place the jam in sterilized jars, leaving about a 1/2" gap to the top. Gently tap the bottom of each jar on the counter to release any air bubbles. Using a damp clean towel, wipe the rims of the jars and secure the lids and rings. Process in a water bath for 10-15 minutes. Remove the containers with tongs and let cool on the counter.

You’ll hear the sound of tops popping shortly—a sign that a secure seal has been made. Or, you can refrigerate the jar without processing and use it within three weeks.

For a playful appetizer, and to answer this month's Improv Cooking Challenge, I layered Prosciutto di Parma with creamy burrata on crisped slices of bread and spooned a dollop of bartlett-vanilla bean jam on top. Fantastic!


  1. Do you deliver? :) This looks delicious...and on the crostini with prosciutto?! ::heart eyes:: over here

  2. I love crostini, it is so versatile and this topping sounds amazing.


Share Buttons