Goat Cheese and Fig Crostini Recipe
We were lucky enough to be able to pick a lot of figs in our garden this year. We had so many, I made several kinds of fig preserves. One of my favorite ways to use fig preserves is to pair it with goat cheese and it just so happened that I received delicious goat cheese from Cypress Grove Chevre today. I spread the two ingredients on crostini for a nice contrast of texture and flavor. I grilled day-old baguette and smeared a layer of goat cheese. The warmth from the bread let the goat cheese ooze and become creamier. The last layer was the fig preserves. I have to admit this easy appetizer is my favorite snack. I love them and could eat a ton!
I have a little story that might sound silly to you but Cypress Grove Chevre goat cheese is very dear to my heart. I remember when I first got married, my husband Lulu surprised me and took me on the 17-mile drive in Carmel, which I had never seen before. I remember he prepared the most romantic picnic on the beach and fed me wonderful Cypress Grove chevre. I had never heard of the company before that picnic but the cute packaging and beautiful scenery has since made it unforgettable to me. The cheese is rich and creamy and absolutely captures what I love about French chevre. It is one of the few American-made cheeses I’ve had that rival its French counterparts.
Cypress Grove Chevre will be a part of our December giveaways, so be sure to check back for your chance to win. Doesn't that sound awesome?
Yields: 8 servings1 1-day-old baguette, cut into ½-inch slices
1 pound fresh figs
10 ounces granulated sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 star anise
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup olive oil
3 sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra for garnish
12 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt (optional)
Making fig preserves:
Peel the figs and quarter them. Place them in a large mixing bowl. Add the granulated sugar. Let the fruit macerate for at least 3 hours. Add the orange juice, cinnamon and star anise. Stir well. Pour the mixture into a pot and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to make sure the ingredients don't stick to the bottom.
Add the butter. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for an additional 15 minutes until thickened and syrupy. Bring the preserves back to a rolling boil for the second time; your candy thermometer should read 220°F. Another test to see if the preserves are done is to place a drop of them on a cold plate. After it cools down (2 minutes), if you tilt the plate and it stays in place, it's ready.
You can either start canning the preserves or store in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
For the grilled baguette: Lightly drizzle the baguette slices with the olive oil. Place the pieces on the griddle. Place 3 sprigs of thyme onto a hot grill pan to let it release its nice aroma while grilling the bread. Cook until you get grill marks (about 2-3 minutes on each side) over medium heat. Remove from the pan. Discard the thyme.
Assembly time: As soon as the bread is grilled and golden, spread about 2 teaspoons of the creamy goat cheese onto each (still warm) baguette slice. Cover with 1 tablespoon fig preserves. Sprinkle with a little sea salt (if used).
Serve immediately or at room temperature.
If you host a dinner party, you can grill the crostini in advance. Store them in a zip-top bag and spread the topping about 30 minutes before you're ready to serve.
I used Cypress Grove Chevre brand "Ms. Natural" goat cheese. If you don't have goat cheese, a great substitute is Manchego or Gorgonzola cheese.
For more crunch, you could also garnish the crostini with slivered almonds.
You can flavor the fig preserves with almost anything. Rosemary and fig pair wonderfully together, as do black teas (instead of using plain water).
I made the fig preserves way back in September. I didn't want it to turn too dark so I peeled the figs. You can leave the skin on if it doesn't bother you.
To use a left-over baguette, if you don't want to go through the whole process of making crostini, you can always make garlic parmesan bread and pair it with soup. You can also make bread crumbs for a nice crunch on mac & cheese or croûtons for soups and salads.
The preserves will taste better if you let the sealed jar sit for at least a week before opening, so the flavors can develop.
Baguettes are best on the day they're made. It's best to store baguettes in a linen / cotton or paper bag. Do not store in a plastic bag or they'll lose all their crispiness. Also, do not store next to a heat source because the bread will get hard.
Published By: on November 9, 2011.