September 14, 2018

Toast to Apple + Pear Season

Posted in: Body

This cold front hit Texas just in time for pears and apples to make their debut at Dallas Farmer’s Market this weekend. And when I say cold front, I mean it got below 80 degrees. But nonetheless, I was rejoicing at the hint of crispness in the air. With featuring two of my favorite fruits, I had so many ideas of what I could make. I polled you guys, and the response was clear that you wanted something sweet. So then I also couldn’t decide between breakfast and dessert. But you know me, I’m not much of a baker, nor am I the type to make decadent food often. So with all these things swirling around in my head, I decided to go with something not too sweet, but not too healthy, and a dish that could wear all the hats of breakfast, dessert, and appetizer: toast!

If there’s anything we can all agree on, it’s that everyone loves a good cheese plate. And honestly, when I set out to make this recipe, I didn’t realize that all my ingredients would end up being the makings of one. But then I thought- this is such a fun party idea! There are plenty of ways to spin this recipe- leave all the ingredients out and let your guests nibble straight off the board, have the oven firing and let them build their own toasts, or assemble them beforehand and make a festive platter (my original idea). And you’ve got options- choose whichever toast suits your fancy, or make them both.

If you’ve never made one of my recipes before, this is the one to start with. It requires very little cooking, and as few as 5 ingredients (if you just choose one toast to make). But I’m telling you, this is one you can easily master and impress anyone. Toast is my go-to party trick- if you just get the right combination of textures and flavors, you have a delicious, filling, and fuss-free dish with very little prep time.

Let’s talk flavors- I am OBSESSED with apples and pears paired with cheese. The sweet, crisp fruit with the tangy, creamy cheese just hits all the right notes. Pair that with crusty, chewy sourdough bread, a drizzle of honey, and toppings like dried fruit, nuts, and herbs for that extra finesse… these are such a crowd pleaser, and you don’t have to break your budget. The best part is, you can find everything you need at the Dallas Farmer’s Market! I love their charcuterie shop, Scardello, for all things cheese and bread, and you can always count on finding an abundance of local honey. If you don’t live in Dallas, I guarantee you could find almost all of these ingredients at your local grocery store!

Toast Two Ways

Toast:

  • 1 loaf fresh baked bread (I used sourdough)
  • melted butter or ghee

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush toast with melted butter or ghee, and put in the oven about 7-8 minutes until crisp on the edges but still soft in the middle. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, but not completely.

Pear + Honey Goat Cheese:

  • 3 soft, ripe pears, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz. fresh goat cheese (not the crumbles)
  • 1-2 T. local honey, plus more for drizzling
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, plus more for dusting
  • 1 T. fresh thyme, roughly chopped to release oils
  • flaky sea salt, for topping

Mix the goat cheese, honey, and cinnamon together and fold together with a spoon until smooth. While the toast is still warm, spread on the goat cheese in a pretty thick layer. Top with sliced pears, a dusting of cinnamon, drizzle of honey, and sprinkle of thyme and sea salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Apple Brie:

  • 3 sweet red apples, thinly sliced
  • 1/8-1/4 lb. triple cream brie, thinly sliced
  • dried figs, sliced
  • salted almond, chopped

After the bread has toasted, top each with 2-3 slices of brie, followed by the apples. Put the toasts back in the oven for another 7-8 minutes, until the brie is melted and begins to bubble. Top with sliced figs and almonds.

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