Express Gourmet Canapés With Rose Apples and Locally Produced Cheese

Fruity canapes using jambu air and cheese. (JG Photos/Petty Elliott)

By : Jakarta Globe | on 10:13 AM November 09, 2014
Category : Life & Style, Food & Drink

Classic canape, served hot or cold, is a finger food with beautiful garnishes that make for a great way to get any party or gathering started.

They typically consist of slices of bread cut into various shapes, topped with hot or hot thinly sliced meat, fish or seafood, with flavored butter or mayonnaise, or simply with foie gras. You can find savory or sweet canapes at most parties these days. There are endless varieties of canapes from many different cuisines from around the world, from classical cooking methods to molecular gastronomy.

How about using fruits and vegetables for canapes? I really like this idea. There are endless varieties from mini skewers of tropical fruits and cherry tomatoes, feta and cucumber, to griddled pineapple and chicken skewers. We have an endless variety of tropical fruits in Indonesia, one of my favorites being jambu air, or rose apple.

Jambu air is a humble tropical fruit that is little-known outside of Southeast Asia. In addition to Indonesia, it is grown in Malaysia, Thailand and India. There are several types of this fruit with different colors, ranging from pearl white ti light green to the classic beautiful reddish pink.

The fruit is invariably shaped like a hollowed-out pear, or bell.

Despite its name, a ripe water apple only resembles an apple on the outside in color. It doesn’t have the same fragrance or texture of apple, and tastes nothing like it.

Its flavor is closer to that of a pear, without too much acidity. It has crunchy texture with a bit of a cotton-candy texture in the middle.

Jambu air is typically eaten in Indonesia as rujak, a salad of fresh sliced fruit with a spicy peanut and palm sugar paste for dipping.

The fruit is said to have a wide range of health benefits, from helping to rehydrate the body, to providing large concentrations of vitamins A and C.

I really like the flavor of jambu air, which is very delicate with a very light sweet taste that is perfect to match with many other ingredients, especially cheese.

They are many varieties of imported cheeses that we can buy in our local supermarket, from hard to soft, as long as you are willing to pay the price. I recently found a local cheese producer using local milk in the Kemang area. Rosalie cheese offers a selection of soft cheeses. I really like the flavor of their chevre and black-and-white cheeses.

Chevre is goat cheese that is aged for 21 days. It has distinctive goat fragrance, but not too strong. The black-and-white has the same texture as the chevre, but is made of cow milk. It has very fresh taste with a touch of earthy flavor from coconut ash, with a very high lactic acid flavor.

For this week’s recipe I have simple yet delicious canapes with local black-and-white cheese and jambu air. Enjoy!

Jambu air and local black-and-white soft cheese

There is no cooking process. You can prepare this instantly. You may replace the cheese with your own favorite cheese. The size of this canape is a little bit larger than a bite. The cheese doesn’t  crumble, so it should be OK for two or three bites. This has a wonderful crunchy texture, and the bloom of the jambu air makes it an eye-catching snack.

Serves 4-6


•12 jambu air at room temperature or slightly chilled; 100gr black-and-white cheese or any other soft cheese; Freshly ground black pepper (optional); Young mint leaves for garnish.


•Washed, dry and cut each of the jambu air into halves and remove the seeds and the brown part of the fruit.

•Add a generous teaspoon of the soft cheese in the middle.

•Garnish with the baby mint leaves and serve immediately.

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