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Ham, Pear, and Cranberry Goat Cheese Appetizers are easy to whip up in no time. Use pre-made phyllo dough shells or puff pastry shapes! Perfect for parties!
Simple Goat Cheese Appetizers
This post is sponsored by Montchevre but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
I still remember the first time I tried goat cheese. We found this tiny pub in Aviemore, Scotland and we were starving. The menu was very eclectic and like menus in any foreign country, there was a wide array of foods I have never tried before. Now, truth be told, goat cheese is very easy to find in America, but I somehow had never discovered it.
Our group ordered an amazing goat cheese appetizer - a rustic tart - which went on to inspire this recipe for a Savory Caramelised Onion Tart With Goats Cheese that I posted a few years ago. It was in this little pub that I feel hard for goats cheese. Who would have thought?
What is Goat Cheese?
Goat cheese sounds like it's name- it's cheese made from goats milk. It gained popularity in the United States at a rapid pace in the 1980's. It has a strong distinctive tangy taste and is a like a cream cheese but more course and with crumbles. It originated in France, but Montchevre is the largest goat cheese producer in America. Montchevre Goat Cheese is made with fresh, high quality goat’s milk collected from local, independent family farm
It is a fermented cheese, and there are traditional methods that are followed. It's this traditional French cheese-making expertise that allows Montchevre to ensure the rich and smooth texture of their cheese, along with their fresh and mild flavor that chefs and consumers know and love. Goat cheese is a perfect alternative cheese for those with cow dairy allergies, as it contains less lactose for those sensitive to dairy. It is also high in protein, calcium, vitamin D, nutrients and vitamins
How should I serve goat cheese?
- simply spread on cracker, baked or cold as part of a cheese board
- in a pasta salad
- on a fresh garden salad
- added to sauces
- stuffed inside chicken breasts or other cuts of meat
- along side fruits and nuts
- Perfect combined with vegetable dishes like mashed potatoes or brussel sprouts
- Simply baked inside a puff pastry tart shell
- even as a dessert- it adds a wonderful flavor to cheesecakes
Here you can see the Montchevre cranberry cinnamon goat cheese log that I used for this recipe. Goat cheese is often sold in this log form, either plain or with a flavored outside coating. Montchevre doesn't disappoint, and offers these flavors for the 2018 holiday season:
- cranberry cinnamon
- blueberry vanilla
The ingredients for my goat cheese appetizer are simple, but they sure look elegant when finished. You don't have to be an expert chef to whip these out either! I've bake puff pastry squares, but you can buy the shells already pre-made, or use phyllo dough shells as well.
Basically I have smeared goat cheese onto a small slice of ham, add small lettuce leaves and a quarter of a pear and rolled the ham up to top the puff pastry. Seriously. That easy. I only baked the shells, but if you prefer to bake and serve them warm, I would bake the pastry shells, and then in the last 2 - 3 minutes add the ham slice minus the lettuce. After cooking, you could tuck the lettuce under the ham roll.
I've dusted mine with cinnamon for a dramatic flair and to play off the cranberry cinnamon flavor. The pear's sweetness really helps balance the strong taste of the cheese. Since I am gluten free, I simply omitted the puff pastry and it was absolutely delicious. It was a perfect snack on a busy day. Who would have thought ham and cheese would be so glamorous?
Still looking for more appetizers? You might enjoy these:
Easy Ham, Pear and Cranberry Goat Cheese Appetizer Recipe For Assembly:
Easy Ham, Pear, and Cranberry Goat Cheese Appetizers
- 2 oz goat cheese a log is 4 oz. I served mine on the side so others could add more or spread on fruit and/or crackers
- 4 slices ham
- 1 pear sliced into 12 thin slices
- ½ cup mixed lettuce leaves
- 12 puff pastry shells
- Bake the puff pastry shells as directed. If using a sheet of puff pastry, I allowed mine to thaw about 20-30 mins, and sliced into 12 squares. I then baked at 400 for 20 mins.
- Slice each slice of ham into 3 long slices, by making 2 cuts along the longest sides.
- Smear a little bit of your goat cheese onto the ham, add in 2 little lettuce leaves and a pear slice. Roll.
- Place on top of the puff pastry and serve this way.
- To serve heated: bake the pastry shells, and then in the last 2 - 3 minutes add the ham slice minus the lettuce. After cooking, you could tuck the lettuce under the ham roll.