Bacon, Cheddar and Pear Panini

bacon, cheddar and pear panini

I do not know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s just one of those things, like pancakes and French toast, that burns on the outside for me before it’s done on the inside. A little over a year ago, I found a solution to my French toast woes, but I’m still searching for the equivalent recipe for pancakes: Can you bake pancakes? That would be amazing.

In any case, I do know how to make a panini, which is to say that I know how to take out my Krups panini machine, plug it in, and let it do its magic on whatever assembled sandwich I place between its irons.

I love my panini machine. Its genius. Within minutes of getting to work, it perfectly brands both slices of bread with nice grill marks, thoroughly heating everything else in between while allowing just a touch of cheese to ooze out its side (for presentation purposes obviously… such a thoughtful gadget.) If you can afford the kitchen real estate for a rather large uni-purpose tool, I highly recommend adding one of these presses to your arsenal of equipment. And while I’ve never tried one of these cast iron models, I imagine they might be quite good? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Anywho, I mentioned this sandwich last week while posting about thyme-roasted grapes — so delicious. Both recipes appeared in this month’s Real Simple magazine, and both are fantastic, though I must note there is nothing novel about the combination here. A double pairing of sweet and salty — jam and bacon, cheddar and pear — makes every bite worth savoring. I find the combination irresistible and even served these at a little dinner party. Casual is the new cool, right? It was fun, and at the very least, a lovely way to welcome fall.

bacon, cheddar and pear panini

panini ingredients

Mmmmmm… bacon. I don’t know how you cook bacon, but I like to place mine on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast it at 400ºF for about 20 minutes. It cooks evenly and isn’t as messy as stove-top cooking.
cooked bacon

bacon, cheddar and pear panini

Bacon, Cheddar and Pear Panini
Adapted from Real Simple September 2011
Serves 1, (obviously, this recipe can be multiplied as necessary)

Note: For the original recipe, follow this link.

1 tablespoon jam, such as currant or fig or Ikea’s lingonberry (what I used)
2 slices of nice, bakery-style bread, from a multigrain or Italian boule for example
2 slices Cheddar
2 slices cooked bacon
1/4 small pear, thinly sliced

1. Heat a panini machine. (Note: If you want to make a grilled cheese, follow the directions on the RS website — link is above.) Spread the jam on 1 slice of the bread. Layer the pear, bacon and cheddar on top.

2. Press the sandwich in the panini machine until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes total depending on your machine.

bacon, pear and cheddar panini


  1. says

    German Oven Pancakes. Not traditional flat cakes but fun, easy and good – I have even made these on a monday morning before work.

    Can’t remember where i found the recipe – it’s been in a textedit file safe from flour and butter fingerprints for some time now…

    German Oven Pancakes

    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    1/3 cup milk
    25 grams butter, melted
    2 teaspoons sugar
    pinch o salt
    1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
    Preheat oven to 450F. 

    Lightly beat eggs in a large bowl. Stir in the milk, melted butter, salt and sugar. Gradually sift in flour to egg mixture. Make sure the flour is stirred through no lumps. You shouldn’t overmix but it’s pretty forgiving.

    Pour batter into the nonstick (or sprayed) skillet. Bake 12-15minutes, just until the edges are golden and it’s all puffed up. Check your pancake at the 12 minute mark. It puffs up! So neat! It’s a little like a thicker, puffed up crepe.

  2. says

    Love your blog and the bacon, pear, cheddar panini is making my stomach growl and it is only 7am!

    Also, hope that you are aware of a new food resource coming to town soon – the San Clemente Community Market! We are launching our membership drive to open the co-op in 2012 in downtown San Clemente and could use your help in getting the word out. I know that I am super excited about what this cooperative market can bring to our little town, in terms of delectable locally produced food goodies!

  3. says

    The solution to finding out how to make grilled cheese sandwiches? Mention that you don’t know how to do so. :-)

    Cut up some cheese to fit onto a slice of bread. Add another slice of bread. Scrape some margarine or butter onto the top slice of bread. Heat up a frying pan to medium or medium low heat (depends on the stovetop!) and flip the bread and cheese sandwich upside down so the buttered side hits the griddle. Add more butter to the now dry top of the sandwich. Check the grilling to make sure it doesn’t burn. When it gets nice and toasty, flip the entire sandwich over and fry until the bottom half of the sandwich matches the top half in done-ness level. The cheese should be lovely and melted-y.

    Honestly, though, since you are lucky enough to have a panini press, I’d just go ahead and use that. has a bunch of delicious looking grilled sandwiches.

    This looks delicious, though! Yum!

  4. says

    does it matter if the insides not done when there is bacon on the inside? hehe. I know exactly what you mean though, as I’m afflicted by the same problem. I went to make ricotta pancakes this weekend, and the dough looked beautiful, all fluffed with whipped egg whites, and then I went ahead and ruined it all and we eat burnt/raw pancakes. hmph. I did a bit of research and apparently you shouldn’t use butter, but rather vegetable oil as your fat. And then to test the heat you drop a droplet of water on the pan and if it evaporates the pan is too hot, but if it sort of hovers around the pan then it’s a good temp. Maybe if I make bacon pancakes it won’t matter…

    beautiful pics!

    • says

      Talley it’s so nice to hear that someone else shares my pancake-making woes! I have also tried making ricotta pancakes with no luck whatsoever. I always order them when I’m out because I can’t seem to recreate at home. How do they do it? I’ve heard the same thing about oil. Did you read Molly Weizenberg’s A Homemade Life? She swears by oil for French toast. I’m going to have to take another stab at pancakes sometime soon. Thanks for the tips!

  5. TF says

    I wonder if an electric griddle would help with the pancake woes? I cannot walk away from a pancake while it is cooking, and I have to get one of those huge spatulas at Home Goods or TJ Maxx to make flipping them easier because I always mess that up too.

    Ina Garten cooks her bacon on a parchment lined baking sheet but on a rack. Then all the grease falls down onto the paper. I haven’t tried it yet.

    This recipe looks great. I am having a house warming party for a bunch of foodies in the next couple weeks and this might be one of the attractions.

  6. Candace says

    Oh yeah, your’s sounds and looks so much better than the original. The bread quility makes all the difference. Can’t wait to try it.

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