Sunday Dinner

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Pancetta Cups with Goat Cheese and Pear

Simple Green Salad

Caramel deLite Chocolate Cake

This is a Sunday for celebration.  My youngest is turning one year old for the seventh time today. (Since she is my youngest, she is not allowed to grow up:)  This is her menu.  She absolutely adores pears, so the appetizer is the recipe I am sharing today.

I made these a few Sundays back and they went down with rave reviews, so they are on the menu again just for her.  The original recipe called for baking the pancetta as crisps, but I thought the "cups" would make for an easier pick up/delivery system, as well as making for a nice presentation.  I mix the goat cheese with just a touch of half-and-half so I can pipe it nicely into the cups.  Flavored with fresh thyme leaves and drizzled with good honey to balance the salt from the pancetta, these would make a wonderful hors d'oeuvre to pass or as an addition to any holiday table.

Sunday Dinner one year ago

Printable Recipes

Pancetta Cups with Goat Cheese and Pears
makes 16 cups

16 thin slices (about 1/2 pound) of pancetta (not paper thin)
1 large or 2 small pears, peeled, cored and diced (I like to use Comice pears)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
4 ounces mild goat cheese
1 Tablespoon half-and-half
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Honey to drizzle

Snuggly fit the slices of pancetta into the wells of a mini-muffin pan.  To help keep their shape while baking, ball up a small piece of aluminum foil and place into a pancetta cup.  Repeat with the remaining cups.  Place the pan into a cold oven and close the door.  Turn the oven to 400º F and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pancetta is browned and crisp.  Carefully remove the cups, discarding the foil ball, and place them on a paper towel-lined rack to cool.  The cups will continue to crisp as they cool.

Meanwhile, toss the pears with the lemon juice in a medium bowl; set aside.  In a separate bowl, stir together the goat cheese and half-and-half.

Transfer the pancetta cups to a serving plate.  FIll each cup with a spoonful of pears.  Pipe using a piping bag or place dollops of the cheese mixture onto the pears.  Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and drizzle with honey.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Bon Appétit, December 2004


  1. Sounds wonderful!! Wish we were there!

  2. I am drooling over these yummy delights! What a wonderful combination of flavors and a lovely presentation!

  3. This sounds fantastic! I just got some pears at the farmer's market and I think I have goat cheese in the fridge... may have to try it! What a great combo of flavors. :)

  4. Sara-
    I do hope you give it a try! It is a perfect balance of flavors and textures ranging sweet and salty to crisp and creamy.

  5. I have seen small cups made out of parm but not pancetta. What a cute idea and o the possibilities that you can fill it with--salad, figs, cheese, & more! Thanks for sharing.

    The Dinner Belle for Kimberlybelle.com

  6. Jaisa @ hardly housewivesDecember 14, 2011

    We featured you in Hardly Housewive's 2011 TOP TEN Favorite Holiday Appetizers: http://www.hardlyhousewives.com/2011/12/hardly-housewives-2011-top-ten-favorite.html

  7. I would love to make these for my next party! Can the pancetta cups be made in advance and how long do you think the pear mixture would stay ie could I make it earlier in the day and assemble right before the party? Thank you!

    1. I can't say for sure, but you could make the "cups" a few hours prior to your guests arriving and the pear mixture up to an hour. The lemon juice will help keep the pears from oxidizing. The goat cheese and half-and-half can also be kept at room temperature for up to an hour. They come together rather quickly. Enjoy!


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