Apples on Horseback are a simple, elegant and clever appetizer recipe that’s big on flavor and impressive with presentation. Crisp sweet apples are skewered on stalks of rosemary, then paired with creamy cheese, wrapped in pancetta and then grilled. Perfectly fun holiday fare.
I hope everyone had a satisfying stuffed Thanksgiving and that you’re ready to take the leap into the Christmas festivities.
Holiday entertaining is on us and is all about family, friends and neighbors gathering around lots of food, drink and cheer.
I must let you know, right off the bat, that this pancetta appetizer is a holiday tradition for us. We usually start off the season, just the two of us with this pancetta appetizer and glass of Chambord Prosecco Cocktail. Yup, just the two of us. Let the holiday games begin. 🙂
And if you’re looking for apple appetizers, look no further. This is fun and absolutely festively dilicious.
Besides the formal sit-down prim and proper dinners, fun and casual cocktail and appetizer parties are my favorite way to bring folks together. Small bites, dips, spreads, chips and crackers are about all you need.
Something about the informality of eating with your hands, or from a skewer on a small plate alongside a glass of wine or cocktail is a great formula for comfortable conversation.
Today I’m posting a simple and delicious hors d’oeuvre that is made with sliced apples, cheese and pancetta, Apples on Horseback.
And don’t you just feel special when served an appetizer that been skewered on a stalk of fresh rosemary? Such an appealing presentation and intoxicating aroma.
But before we get started. I’m always confused about one thing and have to Google it to remind myself:
What’s the difference between Pancetta and Prosciutto?
It’s important, since one needs to be cooked and the other doesn’t.
Pancetta and prosciutto are often confused because they’re both Italian cured meat products.
Pancetta is seasoned salt cured pork belly. It must be cooked before eating. It’s usually cut into small chunks and sauteed to add intense flavor to soups and stews.
Prosciutto comes from the hind leg of the pig and is salt cured ham. It can be purchased in a chunk or thin sliced from the deli. Prosciutto is safe to eat without cooking. You’ll find prosciutto commonly on antipasto platters, or wrapped around fruit or vegetables. It can also be crisped and crumbled on salads.
Why Are Appetizers Called On Horseback?
“On Horseback.” There are lots of variations to this simple appetizer.
Angels on Horseback are oysters wrapped in bacon. Some recipes include dates wrapped in bacon and are baked.
Some recipes stuff a prune with mango chutney, cheese, almonds or smoked oysters. But all are wrapped in some sort of bacon and are riding on the stick of your choice. I always associate them with the Christmas season.
How To Make Apples On Horseback
Using an apple slicer, I sliced the apple into easy wedges. You can cut those wedges in half if you’d like them smaller.
Just place an apple wedge and a stick of cheese on a piece of pancetta.
Roll them up nice and snug, pulling the meat around the cheese and apple.
Secure each by spearing it with the stick end of a cleaned stalk of rosemary, making sure it goes through the cheese and apple.
Preheat a grill pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Saute the Apples on Horseback until the pancetta is slightly browned and the cheese is melting. Delicious and ready in thirty minutes, I adapted this from Food and Wine Magazine. Their recipe is below.
So here’s a toast to the season :::clink. What’s your favorite quick appetizer to serve at parties?e
Pink Lady Apples
This recipe calls for Pink Lady Apples. A crisp, gorgeous, perfectly round apple that’s hard to miss while browsing the apple section at the store.
The pink lady apple is a sweet tart apple with a crisp bite and firm texture. The pink lady is slow to oxidize (turn brown) so is a great selection for serving on a appetizer platter as apple wedges. This benefit also makes them a great apple choice for dicing into salads.
Pink Lady apples are my choice for this apple appetizer recipe, but if you can’t find them reach for any large round crisp red apple. Red delicious or honey crisp comes to mind.
Recipe for Apples On Horseback
I hope you give this holiday apple pancetta appetizer recipe a try. And if you do, please come back and give the recipe a star rating. And if you do, please come back and give the recipe a star rating.
And of you have a favorite apple appetizer recipe, let me know, I’d love to give it a try.
More Holiday Appetizer Recipes
- Jalapano Bacon Cheeseball Recipe, This Jalapeno Bacon Cheese Ball Recipe is hands down the best cheese ball appetizer we’ve ever served! Everyone’s favorite ingredients rolled into one tidy package.
- Stuffed Celery Appetizer, Stalks of celery are filled with cream cheese, chopped green olives and walnuts. A holiday appetizer family favorite that’s so easy to make and so satisfying with flavor.
- Whipped Goat Cheese with Raspberry Chili Jam, Super easy. Grab a sturdy cracker for this super easy Whipped Goat Cheese and Raspberry Red Chile Jam Appetizer. Salty, creamy, sweet and spicy it makes for an incredible flavor experience.
- Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Baked Brie, Brie is stuffed with a luscious mixture of sun dried tomato and basil. Sounds like a perfect appetizer for your next Italian Wine Tasting Party doesn’t it?
And if you’re looking for more appetizer recipes, don’t miss my Appetizer and Beverage Category, you’ll find a ton of ideas, including the most popular appetizer recipe on my site for Pear and Blue Cheese Crostini.
Apples On Horseback
- 16 thin slices pancetta
- 1 Pink Lady apple peeled and cut into 16 wedges
- 3 ounces Manchego cheese sliced 1/4 inch thick and cut into 2-by-1/2-inch sticks. Or cheddar cheese.
- 16 2-inch rosemary sprigs or toothpicks for skewers
- Preheat a grill pan. Arrange the pancetta slices on a work surface and place an apple wedge and a cheese stick in the center of each slice. Wrap the pancetta around the filling and secure with a rosemary sprig or toothpick.
- Grill the skewers until the pancetta is golden and crispy and the cheese is melted, 5 to 6 minutes. Serve hot.
Apples on Horseback …It’s what’s for a Holiday Apple Appetizer.
Why Trust These Recipes? Lea Ann Brown has lived, worked and played in Colorado for 45 years. She has immersed herself in the Colorado Culinary space, is a Culinary School Graduate and publishes her Colorado food Blog, Cooking On The Ranch.