This Blue Cheese and Pear Compote Smørrebrød is aways a favorite and makes a fabulous and unexpected winter appetizer. Thin slices of rye bread topped with blue cheese, spiced pear compote and toasted hazelnuts....so simple and yet pleasantly complex in flavor. All you need is a steaming cup of glögg to go with these tasty little Nordic open sandwiches and you are in business.
Smørrebrød is usually served on a dense Danish rye bread known as rubgrød, and that is an excellent choice to use for the base of these sandwiches. But a toasted Swedish limpa or even homemade rye crispbread would also be delightful. No time to bake? No problem! Store bought rye crispbread or even a nice cracker would be delicious as well.
If you want to go all-in on the Scandi vibes, consider choosing a Danish blue cheese here. Personally, I really like the triple cream brie-style blue cheese, Cambozola, which is not Danish (it's from Germany....close by anyway). Rich and buttery, Cambozola is a perfect match with the spicy pears and toasty hazelnuts. If you find blue cheese to be a bit too pungent, feel free to substitute cream cheese for a more subtle but no less delicious combination.
The Roasted Pear Compote with Cardamom, Vanilla and Fresh Ginger is really the star of this deceptively simple smørrebrød. This one simple ingredient (which can be made up to a week ahead of time) brings a subtle sweetness and just a hint of cardamom, vanilla and ginger. It really adds complexity and makes this Nordic open sandwich something special.
Give these easy Blue Cheese and Pear Compote Smørrebrød a try at your next gathering! Your guests will be surprised and delighted by these tasty little Nordic open sandwiches.
Blue Cheese and Pear Compote Smørrebrød
- Toast the hazelnuts. Place nuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes or until fragrant and golden brown. Transfer nuts to a clean kitchen towel and wrap them inside allowing them to steam for a minute or so. Rub the nuts between the kitchen towel to remove the skins (don’t worry if all the skins come off). Chop nuts coarsely.
- Assemble the smørrebrød: Transfer slices of bread to a clean work surface. Cut each slice into 4 triangles. Top with blue cheese, a dollop of the Roasted Pear Compote and a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts. Serve.