This very well may be the most upscale thing I have done on the grill but it was absolutely delicious. After having a pear and prosciutto flatbread at a local wine bar over the weekend, I was determined to recreate that incredible flavor on the grill. This recipe involved quite a bit of experimentation to determine the best combination of flavors and cooking methods. I will go over all the options and then list which were deemed the best by the tasters I had sampling this appetizer…
1 pear, ripe
12 slices of prosciutto
12 slices or teaspoons of cheese (more on this in a moment)
24 walnuts or pecans (optional)
Makes 12 appetizers
The cheeses I used for this are feta, asiago, smoked gouda and blue. Use whatever you like here like a goat cheese or even a brie.
I cored the pear and lopped off the thin end of the slices, as they wouldn’t fit inside the prosciutto but you could let them stick out if you wish:
I prepared the Grill Manufacturer That Shall Not Be Named for two zone grilling as I wanted to try these both direct and indirect. I then grilled the pears quickly over the hot coals for only a minute or two to soften them up and caramelize the outside a bit:
That’s right, I cross hatched my pears!?! I couldn’t resist. I made these both with grilled and ungrilled pears. You could go either way. If the pear isn’t quite ripe, I recommend grilling the pears to soften them up.
After I put some nice grill marks on the pears it was time to roll up some appetizers. This is with a slice of smoked gouda:
And finally insert the skewer. These are optional, but they help to keep everything together as the prosciutto is usually really thin and can come apart easily:
I also made up a few with some pecans. This one was with feta and with pears I did not sear first:
Before you put anything on the grill other than the pears, I recommend giving it a good cleaning. I’m not talking about running the wire brush over it, that’s a given every time you spark up the grill. I’m talking really cleaning those grates as the prosciutto has very little fat and will easily stick to a dirty grill grate (pretty much negates my father from ever making these on any of his grills).
What’s the next level up of cleaning the grill? Take about 5-6 paper towels and fold down to the size of a cocktail napkin and then pour vegetable oil liberally in the middle:
Then fold in half so the oil is on the outside and rub it over the grill grates with your tongs:
Isn’t this yummy? Now hit it with the wire brush and that pad on the other side of most grill brushes:
Now for the cooking method, there are two options here. Direct and indirect. We’ll go with indirect first. Place the prosciutto pear skewers on the side with no coals in a hot grill of around 325-350 and close the lid for 10-12 minutes, depending on the heat of the grill:
And here’s what they look when ready to serve, all I was looking for was the cheese to melt and the prosciutto to be good and warm:
See how the ham darkened? Look for that and take a peak in the end of the skewer to see if the cheese has melted and then plate them:
The other option is direct grilling; putting the prosciutto pear skewers right over the coals for no more than 2-3 minutes on each side:
No cross hatch here, they don’t need to be on that long.
So what was the verdict? Which prosciutto pear skewers were the best? The ones done direct got a little rubbery on the outside and the prosciutto tended to tear and fall apart because there was no fat left in the meat. The indirect ones sort of melted in the mouth.
The pecans, a suggestion of my Mother in Law after we made a couple batches, really added something to the recipe which was a great combination of sweet from the pear, salty from the prosciutto, savory from the cheese and crunchy texture from the pecan.
The best cheese was the smoked gouda with the asiago being the worst. The harder asiago didn’t melt well inside the wrap and didn’t have that wonderful gooey feel the other cheeses had. And the smoked gouda added to the grilled flavor profile of this appetizer.
We also preferred the grilled to the ungrilled pears, but that could be because I grilled the thicker slices. I’ll get into that next.
Don’t overdo the cheese and don’t underdo the pear. I was worried that the pear would overpower the appetizer so I sliced some really thin. The thinner slices were overpowered easily by the cheese. My corer divides the fruit into 8 wedges and I divided those four times with my knife. That was too thin.
So if you’re scoring at home:
Thicker pear slices
Grilled rather than ungrilled pears
Add the nuts
Go with the smoked gouda and skip the asiago
Grilled indirect for 10-12 minutes rather than direct for 4-6
If you have any questions about this prosciutto pear skewers with cheese recipe, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.
If you would like other sides and appetizers, click here.
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- 1 pear, ripe
- 12 slices of prosciutto
- 12 slices smoked gouda
- 24 walnuts or pecans
- 12 skewers
- Core the pear and cut into slices
- Prepare the grill for two zone/indirect grilling with coals on one side and nothing on the other
- Grill the pear slices over the hot side of the fire till you get some nice grill marks on the fruit
- Remove the pear slices from the grill and let cool
- Place two pear slices on a slice of prosciutto with a slice of gouda, and two walnuts or pecans and roll up the prosciutto into a tight roll
- Spear each prosciutto roll with a skewer
- Place the skewered prosciutto rolls on the side with no heat and cook indirect for 10-12 minutes
- Remove from the grill and serve