These Apple Cheddar Crostini have toasted pumpernickel bread with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese and are topped with sweet cinnamon apples. This flavor combination is one that will have you coming back for just one more. This is a perfect appetizer to bring to a gathering to share with others. They taste amazing and look pretty too!
These Apple Cheddar Crostini are simple to make, yet they taste sort of fancy. I mean, the first time I ate cheese with fruit, I thought I was pretty fancy. It's such a great combination, I'm not sure why I don't eat it more often. I love the sweet cooked cinnamon apples with the salty, sharp cheese. These easy finger food snacks are sure to impress a few people at your next gathering!
I think these Apple Cheddar Crostini are best with toasted pumpernickel bread, but they are also just as good on any brown bread...or any toasted bread, really! You can cut a loaf of sliced pumpernickel down to the size you want your crostini to be or, if you are lucky, you might be able to find the little pumpernickel snack size toasts. I've come to realize these are hard to find and usually only around during the holidays!
Ingredients Needed for Apple Cheddar Crostini
- Pumpernickel bread - I've used this sliced bread and sliced it into rectangles. I have also made this bread when I wanted a certain color, shape, and size (like for these pictures!)
- Unsalted butter: Using unsalted butter allows you more control over how much salt is in the recipe.
- Apples - It's best to use an apple that holds up well during cooking. I would recommend Kanzi, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, or Pink Lady. These are apple varieties that won't turn to mush while they cook.
- Sharp cheddar cheese: You will really want to be sure you use a sharp cheddar for this. Even an extra-sharp cheddar. The sharpness of the cheese is really what makes this recipe!
- Flake salt
How to Make Cheddar Apple Crostini
Prepare the Bread
First, preheat your oven to 400°F. Slice your bread to the size and shape you prefer for snacking. If you are using a loaf of pumpernickel, you can slice it crosswise into four rectangles. If using a baguette, you can slice at a diagonal into ½-inch thick slices. The little snack sized pumpernickel bread is the perfect size, so you don't have to do anything if you are using those!
Place your cut bread on a baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 5 minutes. Flip each piece of bread over and bake for an additional 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Prepare the Apples
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat. Then add the apples, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Cook this over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid is almost absorbed. Remove from the heat and let cool. I think this is best served slightly warm or at room temperature. The apple mixture can be made up to a day in advance. I would let it come to room temperature or warm it up in the microwave for 30 seconds before spooning onto the crostini. I ended up having some of the cinnamon apple mixture leftover, so I gave it to my kids as "chunky applesauce" and now it's being requested often!
Assemble the Crostini
Place one slice of cheese on top of each piece of toasted bread. Next, top the cheese with about 1 tablespoon of the apple mixture. If there are juices left from cooking the apples, you could drizzle it over the tops. Sprinkle with flake salt, if desired. This is not necessary as the cheese is plenty salty. I liked the little extra saltiness added to the top and it looks neat too!
- Can I make these ahead of time? The cinnamon apples can be made up to a day ahead of time, but should be brought to room temperature or warmed in the microwave prior to assembling crostini. I do not advise assembling the crostini until you are ready to serve them because the bread will get soggy quickly.
- I don't really like pumpernickel bread. Could I use something else? Sure. The pumpernickel adds a great tangy flavor to this recipe, but you could replace the pumpernickel with a hearty baguette or loaf of bread of any kind. If you opt for something besides pumpernickel, I would be sure to use sharp or extra sharp cheddar for that extra flavor!
Using Leftover Ingredients
If you find that you've got some leftover sharp cheddar cheese and need some ideas for how to use it up, try these recipes:
Did you buy more than two apples and want to make another delicious apple treat? Try this recipe:
Apple Cheddar Crostini
- 4 slices pumpernickel bread
- 2 apples, chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
- flake salt
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Slice each piece of bread crosswise into 4 rectangular strips. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Flip and bake for an additional 3 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter on medium heat. Add apple, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Cook on medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Slice cheese to about ¼-inch thickness to match the size and shape of your slices of bread.
- To assemble crostini, place a slice of cheese on top of each piece of toasted bread. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of apple mixture on top of cheese. Sprinkle with flake salt, if desired.