Pancetta Crisps With Pear, Blue Cheese and Balsamic Syrup


4 oz. creamy blue cheese, at room temperature
1 Tbsp. heavy cream or whole milk
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 4-oz. pkg. sliced pancetta (such as Volpi)
1 small red or green firm, ripe Bartlett pear, thinly sliced
Prepared balsamic syrup (such as Blaze, found at most fine grocers)


• Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

• Mash the blue cheese, cream, thyme and pepper together to make a smooth mixture; set aside.

• Arrange the pancetta on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake about 12 minutes, or until browned and crisp. Remove from the oven and transfer slices to a paper towel to cool for 5 minutes.

• To serve, scoop cheese mixture with a melon baller, and place each ball on a pancetta slice.

• Press a pear slice, skin-side up, into the cheese. Drizzle with balsamic syrup. Pick each one and garnish with additional thyme leaves, if desired.