If you make the pain d’épices, what best way to use it up than making these very festive and extremely easy canapés? These come from Elle à table, a French magazine I bought on my last trip to Paris. And they were called “calissons”, in honour of the almond-shaped traditional French candies. Truth is, however, that you can make them in different shapes. For instance, I chose holly leaves.
The combination of gingerbread and blue cheese, I will admit it, is a weird one. When served at my Christmas party, only one of my friends swore by these canapés, while most of the other ones said they were nice but not their cup of tea. The tang of the blue cheese marries well with the sweetness of the dried fruit on top, while the gingerbread at the base provides a more earthy note and a cake-like consistency. I won’t take it personally if you decide not to try these, as they are a bit of an acquired taste.
- 150g St. Agur or soft blue cheese (Gorgonzola, just to name one)
- 3 tbsp mascarpone cheese
- 10 slices of pain d’épices
- 6 dried apricots
- 3 dried figs
- Start by using the chosen cookie cutter to cut shapes in the gingerbread slices. Set them aside. In a bowl, beat the mascarpone and the cream cheese until soft, then set that aside. Finely chop the dried fruit and combine them in another bowl.
- Now start assembling. Place your cookie cutter back on the gingerbread slice, then dollop about 1 1/2 tsp of the cheese mixture on and use a teaspoon to spread it inside the cutter. Push slightly on the cheese mixture and hold the cookie cutter to ease the contents out, then arrange on a serving platter and sprinkle some of the chopped dried fruit on top. Repeat with the rest of the gingerbread and the blue cheese.