Penarious Challenge – Rustic Gorgonzola and Fig Appetizers

Every once in a while I find a recipe that I must try. It’s usually one that conjures up the slightest bit of doubt that maybe everyone won’t like it, but I like to stretch my taste buds every now and then. How else does one discover the next phenomenal flavor combination? Sometimes these recipes are a huge hit…and other times they are rather disastrous. Either way, I mark it up as a Penarious Challenge and then begin my search for the next “must try”.

These appetizers are a fine example of a Penarious Challenge. I ran across the recipe on Epicurious for Fig and Bleu Cheese Savouries. It was so intriging to me, I put the ingredients on my shopping list and scribbled down the ingredients.  Few members of my family are fans of the “moldy cheeses”, but I finally tossed some Gorgonzola into the cart, thinking the milder flavor might win points over the traditional Bleu.


I didn’t have fig preserves at home and didn’t want to buy any either as I’m trying to cut down on processed sugar, so I chose dried figs instead and thought I’d make something similar with them. I love figs, don’t you?


  • 1 cup flour (I used 1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 white)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • about 4 tablespoons fig preserves

Toss the flour, butter, cheese and pepper into a food processor and pulse until a ball forms. Turn out onto a floured board. The original recipe suggested rolling out and cutting circles, but I rolled the dough into one big log and sliced it into 1/4 inch disks. You’ll have to shape them a bit this way, but it gives it a nice rustic look.

Place rounds on a parchment covered cookie sheet and make an indentation in the middle of each. Fill with 1/4 – 1/2 t. fig preserves.


I blended the dried figs with fresh orange juice and a tiny bit of organic sugar in place of the preserves. Let me tell you, it took some will power to not eat this up all by itself with a spoon! However, I think it was a bit too dry for the appetizers. Boiling it with more liquid would take care of that and yield a more traditional preserve, but I was going for fast and easy. Okay, I admit it, sometimes it doesn’t pay.
Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until the dough begins to brown. Cool before consuming.
My family is decidedly against Gorgonzola cheese, so next time I would try these with a sharp white cheddar. Maybe strawberry preserves on top? Who knows!
Would you try a recipe like this? If so, what cheese would you use?

9 thoughts on “Penarious Challenge – Rustic Gorgonzola and Fig Appetizers

  1. Looks…interesting. Bet it was good. But I admit..I am one who doesn’t like that mold flavor.

    I have to tell you, Sarah….I tried to do a balsamic reduction tonight and almost killed myself. Seriously. I was in pain. Maybe I didn’t read your post well enough…cause surely you said something like…”Be careful not to inhale when anywhere near the pan. It could kill you.”

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