In honor of National Dessert Day on October 14, Simple & Crisp and I joined forces to bring you dessert-worthy cheese pairings. I don’t often delve into the world of sweets on the blog, so I was so glad to have this chance!
With my tasting buddy and composer friend Winton, we found some sweet pairings using artisan cheese, extra toppings, and Simple & Crisp’s apple, pear, and orange crisps. These are all great alternatives to the usual cake and ice cream, and will even satisfy those who are gluten free.
Apple Crisp, Bellwether Farms Sheep Ricotta, Cinnamon, Sugar, Nutmeg. I was going for an apple pie profile, and found it with this simple, but heavenly, combination! Bellwether Farms, based in Valley Ford, California, makes my favorite ricotta, a hand-scooped sheep’s milk version that’s unbelievably fluffy and naturally a little sweet. I sprinkled on some sugar and cinnamon, added a light pinch of nutmeg, and that was it. The ricotta’s texture highlights the apple crisp’s flavor, and the cinnamon and sugar make the ensemble dessert. Want to go really crazy? Add a little pinch of Maldon sea salt on top.
Pear Crisp, Shepherd’s Way Farms’ Big Woods Blue, Blue Chair Fruit’s Lemon Marmalade with Cardamom. Winton and I wanted to try a blue cheese dessert pairing, and settled on Big Woods Blue from Minnesota. This ewe’s milk blue has a bright, almost grape flavor, along with notes of toasted almonds toward the finish. Pairing it with the heady Blue Chair Fruit lemon marmalade and pear crisp yielded a complex and harmonious parade of fruit flavors, balanced by the underlying umami in the cheese. I loved the slight bitterness toward the finish from the marmalade.
Orange Crisp, Redwood Hill Farms Fresh Chèvre, Dandelion Chocolate Buoto, Liberia Bar (70%). This is the perfect dessert pairing for folks who don’t love a lot of sugar. I love the light and airy texture and milky flavor of Redwood Hill Farm’s fresh chèvre, and thought it would provide a beautiful end to a meal. Dandelion Chocolate has become my new favorite indulgence, for their exquisite tastes (Hello European drinking chocolate!) and their local (SF) chocolate making operation. In the pairing, the chèvre coats the tongue in silky smoothness while exuding a bright tang before giving way to the chocolate, which imparts notes of caramel and cinnamon rolls. The orange crisp makes an appearance toward the finish, with its orange essence. It’s not very sweet, and complements the cheese and chocolate beautifully.
Thanks, Simple & Crisp for letting me try my hand at dessert cheese pairings! What are your favorite desserts? I want to know!! You can share your perfect pairings with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and email (vero [at] misscheesemonger [dot] com)!
If you’d like to get your hands on some of Simple & Crisp products, visit their online shop!