Lightly toasted baguettes topped with creamy brie, fresh pears and balsamic reduction. Finished with aromatic herbs, these pear and brie crostini are a quick and easy appetizer that will leave you reaching for more.
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This recipe was inspired by a dish I had last year at our local brewery.
Not only do they brews the best beer, but they make the most delicious food, and they do it all with amazing service. It is our favourite place to go for a weekend lunch and they are close enough to walk to, which is a bonus.
They have a few staple beers and an ever changing seasonal rotation and their food menu is much the same. They are the Land & Sea Brewing Co. and if you ever find yourself in the area, you really need to check them out.
The appetizer we had was pear and brie crostini and as soon as we got home from lunch I jotted down notes so I would remember the flavours and the textures.
These are so good. You will want to make a large platter if you are serving a crowd, they will disappear quickly.
Why this recipe works
The reason these work so well is the balance of flavours and textures.
The crispy bread is paired with creamy rich cheese, and that is balanced with fresh pears and acidic, but slightly sweet balsamic reduction.
The fresh aromatic herbs of rosemary and thyme finish them off perfectly.
They come together fairly quickly and can be served hot or cold, so they will work for any occasion.
What is the difference between crostini and bruschetta?
The truth is, they are really very similar. Both are toasted bread with an assortment of toppings.
The main difference between bruschetta and crostini is in the bread and the preparation of the toast.
Bruschetta is usually made with rustic bread or sourdough and is grilled or cooked over coals. Crostini, on the other hand, is usually made out of baguettes or finer crumb bread, brushed with olive oil and toasted in the oven.
Both are delicious and I honestly don’t care if you want to call these bruschetta or crostini. Regardless of what you call them, I just hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
The ingredients for this appetizer are simple and can be found at any grocery store.
Be sure to choose a nice, crusty baguette and ripe pears. A good quality brie will also make a difference.
When choosing fresh herbs, look for ones that have bright green leaves and a good aroma.
How to make pear and brie crostini
While these crostini look super fancy, they are actually really easy to make.
Begin by finely chopping the herbs and set them aside.
Next, slice the baguette into half-inch slices. I like to slice them on a slight diagonal so that I get more surface area to place my toppings.
After you have sliced the bread, cut the brie into thin slices with a sharp knife. The brie might stick a bit, but you can just carefully peel it off. Using a santoku knife can be helpful.
Then slice the pear into thin slices.
After you’ve sliced the bread, brie and pears, it is time to start assembling.
Gently crush one garlic clove and add it to the olive oil, then lightly brush the oil on each side of the baguette slices and place them on a baking tray.
Place the tray in the oven on broil for about 2 minutes. As soon as you see the top of the slices toasting, turn them over and broil for another 2 minutes, or until lightly golden.
When the bread is lightly toasted, remove it from the oven and top it with brie.
Now return the crostini to the oven until the cheese melts.
Next, you will add two pear slices to each baguette and add a sprinkle of herbs.
Return these to the oven one last time and heat just until you can smell the herbs, 2-3 minutes.
Remove the crostini from the oven, place them on a platter and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Add another sprinkle of herbs if you like to finish them off, and serve.
You can buy balsamic reduction at most grocery stores. Generally, it will be found with the vinegars and sometimes it can be found near the fresh cheese. It is also incredibly easy to make your own and if you’d like to give that a go, you should try this balsamic glaze reduction.
The fresh pears in this appetiser will oxidise and turn brown if made too far ahead. If you want to do some prep ahead of time I recommend toasting the bread and adding the brie and chopping the herbs. Closer to serving time, add the pears and herbs and heat until warm.
More Appetizer RecipesPull Apart Cheesy Bread from What’s Cookin’ Chicago Cranberry Goat Cheese Roll from Savory Experiments Loaded Cauliflower from Devour Dinner Caramelized Onion and Pear Bites from Chipa by the Dozen Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball from House of Nash Eats Old Fashioned Green Beans with Bacon and Brown Sugar from Rose Bakes Breakfast Charcuterie Board from Hoosier Homemade Hasselback Potato Gratin from The Flour Handprint Beef Wellington from Fresh Coast Eats
Pear and Brie Crostini
- 1 Baguette about 25 inches long
- 10 oz Brie
- 1 Anju pear
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 Clove Garlic crushed
- 2 tablespoon Fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon Fresh thyme finely chopped
- 2-3 tablespoon balsamic reduction
- Slice the baguette into slices on a slight diagonal about ½ inch thick.
- With a sharp knife, cut the brie into thin slices. Then cut the pear into thin slices.
- Crush the garlic and add it to the 2 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Lightly brush each side of the baguette slices with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet.
- Place the baguettes under the broiler for about 2 minutes, or until they begin to toast. Then flip and toast for another 2 minutes, just until they start to turn golden brown.
- Remove the baguettes from the oven and top each piece of bread with a slice of brie. Return to the oven and broil for about 2 minutes, just until brie starts to melt.
- Remove the bread from the oven and top each with 2 pear slices and a sprinkle of herbs.
- Return to the oven one last time and heat just until you begin to smell the herbs.
- Remove from the oven, place the crostini on a serving platter and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Finish with another sprinkle of herbs if desired.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
Monday 27th of March 2023
Made this for my book club to rave reviews!!! Quite easy, too! I made the crostini and cut my Brie slices in the morning, along with chopping up the herbs, then sliced the pears just before everyone came. So it was easy to assemble them and pop them under the broiler for the last two times. I bought a balsamic glaze at FredMeyer in the vinegar department, which also saved a lot of time. A really great appetizer!!
Tuesday 4th of April 2023
Thank you so much. Great idea to do all that prep ahead of time!
Monday 26th of December 2022
Please note that "Balsamic Reduction" is not on the ingredient list so it was a scramble to figure out at the last minute.
Tuesday 3rd of January 2023
Thank you! I have made the correction to the recipe card.
Thursday 19th of November 2020
Such a beautiful appetizer! I love pairing pears with cheese. Will add it to our menu for next week.
Monday 16th of November 2020
I love how impressive they look on the food table, but they were so easy!
Thursday 19th of December 2019
Ahh! These are some of my favorite things. Super excited to try this recipe. So simple too, I love. I also never knew the difference in crostini and bruschetta until now:)