These elegant toasts, featuring sweet poached cherries and tangy goat cheese, are the perfect pre-meal nibble for a summer dinner party. While the recipe sounds fancy, it’s super easy to prepare. You’re simply simmering fresh cherries in a poaching liquid made by mixing orange liqueur, water, and a few other ingredients.This enhances the stone fruit with sweet, zesty flavor and creates a stunning crimson-hued sauce, perfect for spooning over rich and tangy goat cheese. A toss with fresh herbs and a light sprinkle of black pepper brings mellow earthiness for full harmony in every bite.
1 pound fresh cherries, pitted and halved
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier)
1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
8 ounces goat cheese
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°.
In a large sauce pan bring water, sugar, and orange liqueur to a simmer. Add the cherries, orange zest, and almond extract; simmer for 10 minutes. Remove cherries and set aside to cool. Allow the remaining liquid to simmer for 10 minutes or until it has reduced by half. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Slice baguette in 1-inch-thick slices and arrange in a single layer on a sheet pan. Drizzle the bread with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake at 375° for 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.
Spread a thick layer of goat cheese and sprinkle a pinch of black pepper on each toast slice. Toss the thyme and mint with the poached cherries and spoon about 1 tablespoon of the cherry mixture onto each slice. Finish the crostini with a drizzle of the remaining reduced cherry liquid.