There are some classic flavor combinations you just don’t mess with. Pear + cheese + honey is one of them. But for a unique spin on this classic appetizer, use quince instead of pear! Read on to learn more about how to make this easy, crowd-pleasing dish with pear or quince (aka my new favorite fruit). Perfect for the holiday season.
A few weeks ago, I collaborated with an awesome New York City-based farm-share company, Local Roots NYC, to create a few recipes using the fruit quince. Though I’m a serious produce lover, I had never tried quince before! But now that I have… obsessed is an understatement.
What Is Quince?
Quince is a fruit in the same family as apples and pears, but is pretty unique. The fruit itself resembles a pear, but the taste and smell are intense (in a good way) and almost tropical. Most quince varieties are a bit too hard and tart to be eaten raw, so recipes will usually call for them to be baked, poached, or sautéed before eating.
What If I Can’t Find Quince?
Quince season varies by location, but on the East Coast, you can often find quince October-December in gourmet or specialty grocery stores, like Whole Foods Market, or at farmers’ markets.
If you can’t find quince, no worries! This recipe is really good with pears too. I like Bosc or Comice pears because they’re flavorful and keep their shape when cooked instead of turning mushy.
Is This Crostini Gluten-Free?
To make this crostini gluten-free, simply use gluten-free bread in place of the baguette. If you can’t find a gluten-free baguette, sliced gluten-free dinner rolls work well. Alternatively, you could use your favorite gluten-free cracker in place of the bread.Print
Pear and goat cheese crostini! A classic appetizer with the option for a unique twist: use quince instead of pear. A crowd-pleasing, festive dish, full of flavor, and easily made gluten-free.
Cinnamon Sautéed Pear (or Quince)
- 1 Bosc or Comice pear (or 1 quince)
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 baguette, thinly sliced into 1/2-inch slices on a diagonal (about 20 slices, see notes for gluten-free)
- extra virgin olive oil
- 4 oz goat cheese, at room temperature
- honey, for drizzling
- fresh thyme and coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts for garnish, optional
Cinnamon Sautéed Pear (or Quince)
Wash, core, and thinly slice the pear or quince.
Melt 2 teaspoons coconut oil in a large cast-iron skillet or non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the quince slices and vanilla extract and sauté, gently stirring, until they just begin to soften.
Lower the heat, add a pinch of sea salt, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon of water (more if needed so that the slices don’t stick to the bottom of the pan). Continue stirring until softened and beginning to caramelize.
Add 2 teaspoons runny honey (or pure maple syrup), gently stir until all the quince slices are coated, and immediately remove from heat.
Crostini & Assembly
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly brush both sides of the baguette slices with extra virgin olive oil and arrange evenly on a baking sheet.
Bake 5-7 minutes, flip, and bake 5 minutes more or until just toasted.
Evenly spread goat cheese on each baguette round and top with a slice of cinnamon sautéed pear or quince.
Drizzle each crostini with a bit of honey and garnish with fresh thyme leaves and/or chopped hazelnuts, if desired.
To make this crostini gluten-free, simply use gluten-free bread in place of the baguette. If you can’t find a gluten-free baguette, sliced gluten-free dinner rolls work well. Alternatively, you could use your favorite gluten-free cracker in place of the bread.
Keywords: pear and goat cheese crostini, goat cheese crostini
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