With all of the holidays coming quickly upon us, I am always on the lookout for a delicious appetizer to start off the evening. This crostini is perfect because it has all the flavors and colors of fall, yet can be made in a matter of minutes and is inexpensive as well. At the same time it makes a beautiful presentation and is pure comfort food. That is quite a lot to accomplish for one little appetizer!
Basically, to make this recipe, you just have to toast thinly sliced Italian or french bread in the oven until nicely browned, caramelize slices of pears in the oven with honey,
and then top the bread with the pears and either mascarpone or goat cheese, whichever you like best. I have never been able to get on the goat cheese band wagon due to living next to goats at one point in our life. I still can’t get those smells out of my mind. They were very cute, but very smelly. I highly recommend mascarpone because of its creaminess. It reminds me of cream cheese in texture, but without the tanginess. It just melts in your mouth and wraps its arms around you like a cozy sweater. Basically, it is one of the best things I’ve ever tasted and proof that God loves us, along with butter, ice cream, and chocolate chip cookies. And that is why the flavors of honey, pears, and thyme combined with the creamy mascarpone make for one heavenly appetizer!
This recipe is from The Reluctant Entertainer. She has a great blog that encourages you to entertain and not worry about everything being perfect, but to focus on your guests and the relationships. Do you ever struggle with that? I know I do. Somehow having people over just brings out the perfectionist in me. That is why I have enjoyed reading her blog. It helps me keep perspective and reminds me what is really important. That is one reason I like this recipe, too. It is easy, yet flavorful, and will leave you more energy for visiting with your guests. And while you are making it, get the carton of mascarpone, grab a spoon, take a bite of it, and close your eyes. During the rush of the holiday season, it will be a little break for you and a great reminder of the fact that you are loved!:)
Caramelized Pear Crostini With Honey and Thyme
- 2 pears, red or green or both
- 4 Tbsp. honey, approximately
- 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
- salt and pepper
- 4 oz. mascarpone or goat cheese, approximately
- 1 loaf of crusty Italian or French bread or baguette (size depends on how big your pears are – you want the bread slices to be about the same size as the pear slices)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the bread into thin slices. Place on a baking sheet and toast for approximately 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.
- Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees.
- Thinly slice the pear, leaving the skin on (you can get 3 to 4 slices from each side), and discarding the center, stem, and seeds.
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lay pear slices on the parchment paper. Drizzle each slice with a spoonful of honey, spreading it evenly over each slice.
- Sprinkle each pear slice with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme.
- Bake for 15 to 35 minutes, depending on how thinly you sliced your pears (mine took 33 minutes).
- While pears are cooking, spread mascarpone or goat cheese on top of browned bread slices.
- When pears have cooled a little, place 1 slice on each slice of bread on top of the cheese.
- Serve immediately.
Recipe from Cook AZ I Do, originally created by The Reluctant Entertainer