Gruyere, Apple, and Fig Jam Panini

Dense bread, like bread from a rustic bakery loaf, holds together best in a panini press.

  • Prep time: 6 minutes
  • Cook time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 2 sandwiches


  • 2 Tbsp butter, at room temperature to make it easy to spread
  • 4 slices rustic whole-grain bread, sliced from a dense bakery loaf
  • 2 Tbsp fig jam
  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced


1 Heat the panini press to medium-high heat. (Or if not using a panini press, preheat a cast iron frying pan on medium high heat.)

2 Assemble sandwiches: For each sandwich, spread butter on two slices of bread. Turn the slices over and spread a layer of fig jam on the other side of each slice.

To one slice add a layer of sliced cheese, several apple slices, and a layer of more cheese. Top the sandwich with the other slice of bread, buttered side up.

3 Grill in panini press: Place up to two panini at a time in the preheated panini maker, and close the lid closed. Grill until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted, about 4 to 5 minutes.

If making a grilled cheese sandwich instead of a panini, place in heated cast iron pan, cook until one side is browned, use a metal spatula, carefully flip the sandwich over and toast on the other side until the cheese is melted. You may need to lower the heat on the pan to allow enough time for the cheese to melt without burning the bread.

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  • Jayne

    Oh yes! I just remembered about my brie. Have got to make this with the last of my fig jam soon. Thanks for reminding me about it!

  • momofnine

    This sounds like such a “fallish” panini. Can’t wait to try it with hardy homemade bread and apples from our old orchard. Thank you!

  • Katie H.

    We don’t have a panini press and also like using a cast iron pan, but what I’ve found really improves any grilled cheese is weighting the sandwich with whatever you’ve got- another, smaller cast iron, a bacon press, or when we grill our grilled cheeses in the summer, a brick wrapped in aluminum foil. For some reason, smooshing the sandwich makes it better.

  • beth

    what’s hilarious to me, looking at the recipe again this morning, is how i completely misread it. got home last night and had a grilled cheese – with balsamic fig jam, cheddar, and pear. :) quite tasty, and thanks for the inspiration!

  • Rachel @ Bakerita

    All the recipes from Kathy’s book look phenomenal, and this one is no exception! I’m kicking myself for forgetting my panini press at home so I can’t make all these lovely paninis at school! Yours looks beyond delicious.

  • Debbie

    This looks delicious. I love the combination of flavors. I have a favorite restaurant in Phoenix that serves bruschetta and they use a combination of ingredients like this. Now I look forward to trying this recipe. Thanks Elise. I also pinned this one.

  • Becki's Whole Life

    What a great twist on grilled cheese – particularly for fall! I think using a good bread – like the nice thick loaf from a good bakery is key to making a GC extra special. Love this recipe!

  • Liya ~ Culinary Connection

    Looks great! Thanks for the recipe for fig jam too! That’ll come in handy! Wondering how slightly cooked apples would taste. Hmm… maybe i’ll intersplice cooked granny smiths w/ uncooked ones just to see how it tastes. Like the idea of cooked apple and fig w/ gruyere but don’t want to miss out on the crunch factor.

  • Kathy - Panini Happy

    I’m so glad you liked it, Elise!!

  • Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate

    Apples, figs and cheese, what could be better? Nothing beats freshly harvested fall apples!

  • Lisa Ginns

    Looks wonderful! I do a similar version using bleu cheese, pear and fig jam on crusty bread.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Mmm fig jam and (various flavours of) cheese is such an awesome pair! I can’t wait to try them together in a sandwich!!