Dessert Cheese Platter

How to Assemble a Dessert Cheese Platter in Just 4 Simple Steps| platingsandpairings.com

Find out how to create this impressive dessert cheese platter in just four simple steps. Plus, tips on choosing the perfect wines to compliment those cheeses.

How to Assemble a Dessert Cheese Platter in Just 4 Simple Steps| platingsandpairings.com
Tart Plum & Cinnamon Jam - This small-batch tart jam combines plums and cinnamon for a delicious spreadable treat. Perfect for serving alongside a beautiful cheese platter, or simply spreading on toast. Cooks in just 30 minutes | platingsandpairings.com

How to Assemble a Dessert Cheese Platter | platingsandpairings.com

It’s always nice to have a impressive cheese platter to serve when you may have company coming over. I created this “gold themed” board to serve during this year’s award season. Honey, almonds, and a golden pear lend themselves to the theme, and I used a Wine Glass Writer to label the cheeses and homemade Tart Plum & Cinnamon Jam (recipe below).

You can make these platters as casual or elegant as you’d like. Plus, you can vary the cheeses and condiments to suit your personal tastes, or color theme. Use grapes, lavender, and plums to create a purple platter, swap in strawberries, jam and cherries for a Valentine’s day red-hued dish, or go all green with pistachios, green grapes and green apple. The possibilities are endless AND it’s easy to do in just four simple steps!

First, choose your cheeses:

I like to choose a maximum of three cheeses, each of a different milk variety, country of origin, style or age.

Examples include:

  • A sheep’s milk, goat’s milk, and cow’s milk cheese.
  • Italian Mozzarella di Bufala, Provolone and Asiago.
  • A hard cheese, a soft cheese, and a semi-soft cheese.
  • A young cheese, a moderately aged cheese, and a well aged cheese.

Remember that just about any fine cheese can be turned into a dessert course. Even stinky cheeses work well if you pair them with some sweeter elements.

Be sure to allow the cheeses to come to room temperature before serving. This allows the flavors to really blossom and show their true potential. I like to remove them from the refrigerator 30-60 minutes before serving.

How to Assemble a Dessert Cheese Platter | platingsandpairings.com

Second, choose your serving platter:

I like to use a slab of slate or a flat wooden board, being sure that it is large enough to hold the cheeses without crowding them. Arrange the cheeses with the cut sides facing out, and with a small cheese knife for each variety. I also like to label the cheeses so that guests know what they’re snacking on. The Wine Glass Writer is great for writing on slate, ceramic or glass platters. Alternatively, you can use these cheese labels to label the varieties.

To finish the platter, I like to add some greenery. Here, I used orange leaves. You can also check with your florist about other green leaf varieties that may work, or search in your garden. Just be sure that the leaves aren’t poisonous and free of pesticides. Fresh herbs work nicely as well.

How to Assemble a Dessert Cheese Platter | platingsandpairings.com

Third, choose your accompaniments:

  • Fruit:   Try fresh figs, grapes, pears, apples, and stone fruits like cherries, plums and apricots. Dried fruits also work well.
  • Nuts:   Marcona almonds, hazelnuts, and toasted pecans help to highlight the sweet and nutty qualities in cheese.
  • Honey:   Its sweetness can turn just about any cheese into dessert. It’s exceptionally tasty with blue cheese. You can serve different varieties of honey, just like the cheeses. Try a clover honey, a blackberry honey, and a wildflower honey.
  • Jam:   Apricot, raspberry and cherry jam are great choices. I served a Tart Plum & Cinnamon Jam alongside my cheeses (recipe below).

How to Assemble a Dessert Cheese Platter | platingsandpairings.com

Fourth, don’t forget the wine:

Different wines compliment different cheeses.

  • Light Cheeses (i.e. goat cheese, feta, young cheddar) go with an unoaked or lightly oaked white wine such as Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, or Chenin Blanc, or a light-bodied red wine, such as Pinot Noir.
  • Semi-Hard Cheeses (i.e. manchego, gouda, parmesan) can stand up to bigger-style red wines such as Merlot, Tempranillo, Zinfandel.
  • Pungent Cheeses (i.e. blue cheese, stilton, gorgonzola) pair nicely with sweet, dessert wines like Port, Sweet Riesling, Ice Wine, and Sherry.

How to Assemble a Dessert Cheese Platter | platingsandpairings.com

Can’t go wrong wine option:   If you’d like to select just a couple wines that go with a variety of cheeses, choose a light-bodied Pinot Noir as your red wine, and either a Riesling or unoaked Chardonnay as your white wine. I chose a Folie à Deux unoaked chardonnay, and it paired nicely with all three of the cheeses (blue cheese, havarti, chevre) on my platter.

How to Assemble a Dessert Cheese Platter in Just 4 Simple Steps| platingsandpairings.com

Dessert Cheese Platter - Tart Plum and Cinnamon Jam

Course: Jam
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 2 pints
Author: Platings & Pairings
This tart jam combines plums and cinnamon for a delicious spreadable treat. Perfect for serving alongside a beautiful cheese platter, or simply spreading on toast.
Print

Ingredients

  • 1 pound plums pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Add plums, honey, cinnamon stick, water, zest and lemon juice to a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Transfer to jars and let thicken at room temperature for an hour. Remove the cinnamon stick and refrigerate until ready to use.

How to Assemble a Dessert Cheese Platter | platingsandpairings.com

Looking for more cheese plate inspiration? Be sure to check out my Fall Harvest Cheese Platter too!

13 comments

  1. Rachel Lloyd

    I saw you post a picture from this post on instagram and I raced here to find out more!! I love love doing cheese plates and pairings when guests come over. I love the citrus addition here, I haven’t ever tried that but it looks stunning in presentation! Thanks for the great post. Super informational!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks so much Rachel! It’s fun to throw together cheese platters like this, they all turn out so unique!

      Reply

  2. Erin

    That jam sounds incredible! I am a huge fan of Fig Jam with soft cheeses (well really, most any cheese!) but this one you made sounds exquisite. I also really love the idea of color coordinating the cheese plate. Such a fun idea. Any particular place you really like getting your cheeses?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I love fig jam with cheeses too! So yummy! I’ve recently discovered that New Seasons sells “bits” of their cheeses. The remaining small pieces from a big chunk of cheese. This is a fun way to try lots of new variations!

      Reply

  3. Marlynn @ UrbanBlissLife

    This is styled so beautifully!! I really need to get a huge slate slab. It’s such a gorgeous backdrop for your cheese platter. And that jam recipe sounds amazing!!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks so much Marlynn! The slate slabs are fairly affordable, but a bit fragile. I love the color contrast though!

      Reply

  4. Renée ♥ The Good Hearted Woman

    This post is so inspiring – I feel like running out and buying cheeses Right Now! Everything looks bright, beautiful and delicious. I especially appreciate additions of the blood orange and plum jam. Beautiful!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks so much Renée. I love fruit and cheese together!

      Reply

  5. Rahul @ samosastreet

    Perfect platter.. mix of fresh, soft, crunchy and more

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Everything YUMMY Rahul!

      Reply

  6. Roberta Steiner

    Hi. I never made jam but i just made yours. You instruct to transfer to jars. I happen to have some old jars and Lids around that I have washed. I put the recipe in those. Does one need special jam jars? Please let me know ASAP. Thank you for your very interesting work.

    Reply

  7. Roberta

    Hi. I wrote a day ago to you about the plum jam. I asked if there are special jars needed. I just used old jars . I am concerned that you need special equipment for jarring. Please let me know.

    Also, although it tastes delicious, it is soupy. I thought it would thicken in the frige. Any tips on how to thicken it? I am going to try again and so would appreciate a prompt reply please.

    Thanks.
    Roberta

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Roberta – I’m sorry that I’m just now responding to you. We have been travelling out of the country. Yes – You can definitely use any jars that you have on hand. To ensure that the jam is the correct consistency, be sure that you reduce it enough on the stove before placing it into jars. It may take longer than 30 minutes. Hope this helps!

      Reply

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