Notes: Up to 3 days ahead, make, cover, and chill candied cranberries. Up to 2 days ahead, crisp lettuce. Up to 1 day ahead, slice, cover, and chill cheese; make crusts, cool, and store airtight at room temperature.
2 cups cranberries, fresh or thawed frozen
About 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon mixed whole pickling spice
1 baguette (8 oz.)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon kosher salt
About 1/2 pound cheddar cheese
30 to 36 inner butter lettuce leaves, rinsed and crisped
6 glacéed chestnuts, cut into quarters (optional)
How to Make It
Sort cranberries and discard any soft or decayed fruit. Rinse berries. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan, combine cranberries, 3/4 cup sugar, and pickling spice. Cover and set over low heat. Stir occasionally until cranberries are translucent, sugar dissolves, and a syrup forms, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover, and let stand until cranberries are warm or cool.
Meanwhile, cut baguette diagonally into 30 to 36 slices. Lightly brush 1 side of each slice with butter. Set slices, buttered side up, in a 10- by 15-inch pan. Mix salt with 1 teaspoon sugar and lightly sprinkle over bread.
Bake baguette slices in a 325° oven until bread is dry and golden at edges, about 20 minutes. Use warm or cool.
With a cheese spade or vegetable slicer, cut cheese into thin slices and mound lightly in a dish. Put cranberries, lettuce, and chestnuts in separate small bowls. Arrange baguette slices in a basket.
To eat, set a baked baguette slice on a lettuce leaf and top with a slice of cheese, candied cranberries, and a chestnut piece.
This is one of my all time favorite go to recipes for Thanksgiving appetizers!! Have made this almost every year since it first came out!! Can let guest assemble themselves for faster prep, or set them all out on tray ready to devour!!
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