Fresh Cherry Bruschetta with Mascarpone & Balsamic Syrup
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Don't you just love fresh cherries?  Me too, and I can be found shoving a handful in my mouth at any given time of the day when they are in season.  Here's an easy way to enjoy them that makes them even more delicious than they are fresh off the tree - just about.  As is the case in most of our recipes, all of the elements of this one can be made in advance and put together right before serving.  Great for an outdoor barbecue, or just all by yourself, munching away in the kitchen without a care in the world.
Ingredients
  • 1 crusty baguette
  • Olive oil for basting bruschetta
  • ½ cup cherry balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup (or honey)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces mascarpone, softened
  • Approximately 20 sweet, dark cherries
  • 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of Cherry Liqueur (optional, but if you use it, we love Clear Creek brand)
  • Mint, finely slivered for garnishing
Instructions
  1. Begin by pitting cherries and slicing them into quarters. Toss cherries with liqueur and let stand an hour or more. Note: Marinating the cherries is optional if liqueur is not on your meal plan. If you do not marinate the cherries, you may want to drizzle them with balsamic syrup when serving.
  2. To make the balsamic syrup, heat balsamic vinegar and agave in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking until reduced to ¼ cup. Chill until completely cold. If your mixture boils too hard while cooking (rather than simmering) your syrup may become too thick once chilled. If this occurs, carefully add more balsamic syrup to achieve the desired consistency.
  3. Preheat oven to 350, and prepare bruschetta by slicing baguette into 1 ½ inch slices, cut on the bias. Baste each piece of bread on both sides with olive oil. Place on cookie sheet, bake for 7 minutes, then turn pieces over and bake another 5 minutes. The edges of the bruschetta should be golden, but not burnt. If you bake them too long, your bruschetta will be too brittle.
  4. Prepare the cheese mixture by bringing the cheeses to room temperature and blending with a hand mixture or food processor.
  5. To assemble: once everything is cool and the cheese mixture is room temperature, begin by spreading the cheese on the bruschetta. Next drizzle cherry balsamic syrup across the bruschetta, top with cherry pieces and sprinkle lightly with mint. (The mint is actually important and we encourage you not to skip this step.) Serve cold or at room temperature.
  6. (Makes approximately 12 servings)
Recipe by Bird's Nest Bites at https://birdsnestbites.com/bruschetta-with-cherries-mascarpone-balsamic-syrup/