Goat Cheese Rhubarb Beer Jam Crostinis with Fried Sage

You didn’t think we were gonna make it out of rhubarb week without a visit from my dear friend Beer, did you???

Five pounds of rhubarb and a week later, we find ourselves at the end of a lovely ode to that beautiful red, stalky summer veg.

This simple appetizer combines a fantastic beer jam, luscious, tangy and creamy goat cheese and zippy, earthy fried sage.

The jam is incredibly easy to throw together.  I used Unfiltered Wheat from Boulevard Brewing, it’s delicious.  The recipe claims to make 7 1/2 jars, but I was lucky to get 3.  Don’t know what the deal is there.

Fried sage crossed my radar at the amazing Spotted Pig in New York City.  It was simple, crunchy, fragrant, and delicious.  I knew I’d have to use it.

I’m a goat cheese fanatic and should I ever win the lottery I’ll immediately buy a farm, open a brew pub, and raise goats for their delicious milk, and eventual cheese.

Top of my goat cheese list… Mackenzie Creamery from Ohio.  They are a. mazaing!  If you ever see their products, snatch them immediately.  I used their Honey Chevre and it paired perfectly with the jam and sage.

This is just a blueprint for a crostini, use the cheese of your choosing and leave the sage out if it’s not your thing.

Goat Cheese Rhubarb Beer Jam Crostinis with Fried Sage

Ingredients:

1 French Baguette, sliced on the diagonal

1 log Goat Cheese

Rhubarb Beer Jam, recipe follows

Small bunch fresh Sage

1/4 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil + 2 tablespoons

Coarse salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place French Bread on unlined baking sheet.  Brush with 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Bake for 6 minutes until crisp and slightly brown.

In a small sauce pan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat.  Fry 6–8 sage leaves at a time until crisp, 2–3 seconds each side. Transfer with a fork to paper towels and sprinkle generously with coarse salt.

Top crostini with layer of goat cheese and beer jam.  Garnish with fried sage.  Enjoy!

Rhubarb Beer Jam

Ingredients:

3 pounds rhubarb, diced

3 cups wheat beer

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons lemon zest

Juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

In a wide, heavy-bottomed pot set over medium-high heat, combine all the ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Turn off heat and let mixture cool, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight or up to 5 days.

Strain mixture through a sieve into a wide, heavy-bottomed pot (save rhubarb for later).  Bring liquid to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reaches 215 degrees, about 12 minutes.  Return the rhubarb to pot and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until the jam lightly coats the back of a spoon and its temperature has returned to 215 degrees, 10 to 20 minutes.

In a large pot of simmering water, sterilize 3 1/2 pint jars.  Once the jam is finished, use tongs to remove jars from the pot and set upside down on a kitchen towel to drain.  Turn off the heat and soak the lids and bands in the hot water.  Turn the jars upright and pour the jam through a funnel to fill each jar with jam up to 1/2 inch from the rim.  Wipe the rims clean with a kitchen towel and seal with the lids.  Screw on the bands until snug.

Place a canning rack into the pot of hot water and return to a boil. Use tongs to lower the jam-filled jars into the pot, making sure there is enough water to cover the jars by 1 inch.  Boil the jars for 10 minutes and turn off the heat.  Leave the jars in the hot water for 5 minutes, then use tongs to remove them.  Cool completely before storing in a cool, dark, dry place.

Recipe adapted from Paul Virant’s The Preservation Kitchen, via Tasting Table.

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