Blackberry Chèvre Appetizer

Recently, I was making a whole bunch of appetizers for my mom’s 60th birthday/New Year’s Eve party.  Since I was doing the lion’s share of the food prep, I needed to simplify where possible.  Here’s a perfect example.  It’s an adaptation of a recipe I found here at Yummy Mummy Kitchen. And let. me. tell. you. It was a big, big hit. And it looked beautiful.

The original recipe called for sanding sugar (something I don’t keep handy in my kitchen) and making each appetizer individually (which would, incidentally, be amazing, but I didn’t have the time and I was worried about the chèvre making the crackers soggy.) So I adapted the recipe to make it simpler and easier. And I’m really happy to report that it worked!

This is such an effortless little appetizer. There’s only one thing that’s a little bit time-consuming, and that’s making the blackberry coulis (seedless berry sauce) which can be done in advance. But if you wanted to simplify even more, I’m sure you could just substitute in some store-bought seedless blackberry jam.

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Blackberry Chèvre Appetizer
adapted from Yummy Mummy Kitchen

Ingredients:
8 to 12 oz. chèvre (soft goat cheese)
blackberry coulis (recipe below, or seedless blackberry jam)
1 to 2 half pint containers of blackberries
sugar
mint leaves (optional, for garnish)
Triscuits or other cracker for serving

Directions

  1. Line a small oval or circular dish, like a ramekin, with plastic wrap.
  2. Press enough goat cheese in to make it about a half inch to 3/4 inch thick. Press firmly so that the goat cheese all looks uniform, with no cracks, and takes on the shape of the ramekin. (This can be done ahead and stored with plastic wrap covering it in the refrigerator).
  3. Invert onto your serving dish and pull off the plastic wrap and wipe any rogue bits of goat cheese off the serving dish
  4. Spread the blackberry coulis on top, allowing to drip down the sides a little.
  5. Prepare the blackberries by rinsing them with water, then gently toweling them dry on a paper towel.  You want them to be mostly dry but retain enough moisture to have the sugar stick to it. Then toss the slightly moist blackberries in a bowl of regular old white sugar to coat.
  6. Arrange the sugared blackberries on the top. Garnish with mint leaves, then serve with Triscuits. Your guests will thank you! (want to get really fancy? Chop a few mint leaves really finely and sprinkle in between the sugared berries. Fresh mint leaves always complement berries super well!)

Blackberry Coulis:
This can be made in advance.

Ingredients
1 half-pint of blackberries
1 T. sugar
1 T. lemon juice (or just a nice squeeze from a fresh lemon half.)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottomed small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Heat for around 10 minutes, stirring and smooshing the berries until it gets a nice jammy consistency.
  3. Pour into a fine mesh strainer and use the back of a sturdy spoon to press the berry mixture through the strainer and into a glass container to store.   You may need to use a rubber spatula to get all the coulis off of the underside of the strainer. This is a bit of a patience tester.  Don’t toss the berry seeds until you’ve persisted and pressed as much coulis out of them as you can!
  4. Store in a sealed container until ready to use.

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