The Pairing: Miticana De Oveja + Caramelized Pear Butter

The Cheese: Miticana De Oveja (Sheep, Spain)

This sheep’s milk cheese is a little less known, but is similar to Bucheron, from France. It is a bloomy rind cheese with a bit of a chalky center. Because this is a fresh sheep’s milk cheese, it’s a fatty and spreadable. It’s a bit tangy, and a little “sheepy”, as Christina likes to say. (She hates sheep’s milk cheeses.) It reminds me of citrus and a little butter. It’s aged for a mere 21 days, and is a great example of a soft-ripened cheese. Friendly for most palettes. 

The Accompaniment: Caramelized Pear Butter. As the season is getting colder, I crave cooked fruits. It’s no longer really summer, and regardless of my attempt to wear tank tops, it is obviously fall. The recipe below is for jam. I cut this recipe in 1/4 and made just enough to serve. Feel free to make this into jam, though! Imagine this jam on a flatbread with blue cheese and arugula. Delicious…

You Will Need:

  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 7 pounds ripe Bartlett pears
  • 3 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt


1. Combine apple juice and 4 tablespoons lemon juice in heavy large deep pot. Peel, core, and cut pears, 1 at a time, into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces; mix pears into juice mixture in pot as soon as pears are cut, to prevent browning.

2. Cook over medium heat until pears release enough juice for mixture to boil, stirring frequently, about 16 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until pears are very tender, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes (mixture will splatter). Remove pot from heat.

3. Press pear mixture through fine plate of food mill into large bowl. Return pear puree to same pot. (I just kind of mushed mine up — I like my accompaniments a little chunky.)

4. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice, brown sugar, nutmeg, and 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until pear butter thickens and is reduced to 8 cups, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent scorching, about 1 hour

5. Ladle pear butter into 8 hot clean 1/2-pint glass canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch space at top of jars. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar threads and rims with clean damp cloth.

6. Cover with hot lids; apply screw bands. Process jars in pot of boiling water 10 minutes. Cool completely. Store in cool dark place up to 1 year.

Why this Pairing Works: The cheese is smooth and a tiny bit tart. This sweet tart accompaniment really balances out the chalkiness, and the slightly chunky texture of the pears works with the smooth texture of the cheese.

Wine Reco: Fruity, high acid white wine, like an Albariño or a Pinot Grigio, to balance the acid in the cheese. Yum!