I decided to go with the Honey Walnut Spread recipe to start, since I already had most of the ingredients.
Except for dried pears. I couldn't find dried pears anywhere, so I substituted a chopped up ripe pear. But the taste of fresh pear is too delicate. It was overwhelmed by all the other flavours as I suspected it would be, so I added three spoonfuls (probably too much) of St Dalfour's Pear William Deluxe Spread, to stand up to the citrus (but really it just added to the overall sweetness). The resulting recipe is ridiculously sweet, but what did I expect for a "honey spread." Today's lesson, embarrassingly obvious in retrospect: zest the orange before juicing it.
Here is the adapted recipe. To make up for the sweetness overload, be generous with the goat cheese. And serve with white wine, maybe a citrusy Gewürztraminer.
Honey-Pear Walnut & Goat Cheese Crostinis
2 cups walnuts
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup ripe pear, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 1/2 teaspoons pear preserves spread
2 teaspoons herbs de Provence
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt
twelve 1/2-inch thick baguette slices
4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) plain goat cheese
1. Preheat the broiler.
2. Chop 1 cup of the walnuts coarsely; chop the remaining cup of walnuts finely.
3. Place all the walnuts in a large bowl and add the honey, pears, herbs de Provence, coriander, orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice and salt. Beat vigorously until completed mixed. Set aside.
4. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet. Cut the goat cheese into pieces and divide among the baguette slices. Broil until cheese is just melted (this only takes a moment), then spread the cheese uniformly on each slice.
5. Top each slice with a spoonful of Honey-Pear Walnut Spread and serve immediately.
This is probably about all I'll be "cooking" this Thanksgiving. For dinner dinner, I went to C Restaurant: seared bacon-wrapped scallops with beet and foie gras purée; basted lobster with heirloom tomato jam, roasted tomato, foie gras croquette and pine mushroom tea.