How to make a fall cheese platter featuring seasonal fruit and cheeses.
Whenever I’m composing a cheese and fruit platter, I first-and-foremost take into consideration the occasion at hand, followed by the time of year. In my experience, using seasonal ingredients makes for a more festive platter, and for the fall, I’ve found that apples and pears do nicely.
Jams and dried fruits also make wonderful additions to cheese platters, providing both a vibrance in flavor and a contrast in texture. For this platter, in particular, I pulled in quince paste and dried cranberries. If you aren’t down with quince, have no fear — an apple or pumpkin butter, or even a nice spiced pear jam, would make for a lovely substitution. And, regardless of the season, I just can’t seem to resist a scatter of purple grapes, as they pair well with almost all cheeses, and add a great deal of body and height to the platter.
So, we’ve considered the season, which lead us to our choices in fresh fruit, now let us consider what cheese will pair well with that fruit. A Gruyere, a nice sharp, aged Cheddar and Wensleydale with Cranberries would be absolute perfection alongside a fruit and cheese platter featuring apples and pears. If you can’t handle the idea of fruit in your cheese, nix the Wensleydale and head on over to a nice Gouda instead.
The last element to our platter is the crackers. Your crackers should allow the flavor of your selected cheeses to shine, not cover them up. This is not the time for heavily salted, crazy flavored crackers. Instead, choose an assortment of water or stone ground crackers, serve and enjoy.
- Dried Cranberries
- Quince Paste
- Aged White Cheddar
- Wensleydale with Cranberries
- Plain Water Crackers
- Stoneground Wheat Crackers
Would pair well with:
Buttery White Wine, such as Chardonnay
Light Red Wine, such as Pinot Noir