Bruschetta for dessert? Oh, YES! Just like traditional bruschetta, cherry bruschetta features a moist and delicious topping on a piece of toasted, crunchy bread. Like traditional bruschetta, cherry bruschetta is a mix of flavors and textures. And like traditional bruschetta, cherry bruschetta is absolutely delicious. Everything can be prepared ahead of time and assembled just before serving. I prefer it served with the topping cold from the fridge, but it would be delicious served warm as well.
I used a nice ciabatta that I sliced into 3/4" slices and toasted in the oven. I smeared a layer of goat cheese blend on to the bread and then topped with a cherry topping. I made the cherry topping with fresh cherries. It was worth all the work to pit them and steam them in a simple syrup with a splash of balsamic vinegar. It was delicious, but messy! You definitely want the bread to soak up the delicious cherry sauce. The color is gorgeous and the flavor is fresh and delicious. This recipe is one I will bring out every year during cherry season!
30 - 40 fresh cherries, pitted
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2- 3 T balsamic vinegar (to taste)
Goat Cheese Spread:
2 - 4 oz goat cheese
1 -2 oz cream cheese
1 T vanilla
1 heaping T brown sugar or honey
A dense bread like ciabatta or Tuscan bread, sliced in 1/2" - 3/4 " slices
Cherry Topping - In a medium saucepan, heat water and sugar until dissolved. When mixture boils, add cherries and boil for 7 minutes, until cherries give off juice and the mixture looks deep purple. Stir in balsamic vinegar and let cool. Store in a glass bowl or dish.
Goat Cheese Spread - Let goat cheese and cream cheese come to room temperature. Combine the two ingredients until smooth with a mixer or whisk. (For a creamy taste, add up to equal parts goat cheese and cream cheese. For a tangier taste use 2 parts Goat cheese to 1 part cream cheese.) Stir in vanilla and brown sugar or honey. You do not want the mixture to be sweet, just removing a little of the "bite" from the Goat Cheese. Place in fridge until ready to use.
Toast the bread slices on both sides. Let each slice cool for a couple of minutes.
Spread each slice with goat cheese spread.
Top with cherry topping mixture and additional spoonfuls of cherry juice.
Serve and enjoy!