Friday, May 1, 2009

Camembert and Kumquat Chutney Toasts Won't Disappoint


There are some products, where the name really does matter. For me, Ile de France cheese is one of them.

I have been buying their products for years now and have never been disappointed, which is why I enthusiastically accepted their offer to review their Camembert cheese. Ile de France's Camembert is a soft-ripened cheese with a luxuriously creamy texture and mild, nutty flavor. It's ideal for cheese platters when paired with olives, fruit, crackers, and toasts.

kumquats 2

Today's recipe for Camembert and Kumquat Chutney Toasts contrasts the pleasantly mild cheese with a tart, tangy fruit and spice chutney. I have served this appetizer for dinner parties twice now to rave reviews. To save time, both the chutney and the toasts can be made ahead of time. Then just before your guests arrive, assemble the toasts with the cheese, and you're good to go. Serve them with some chilled Riesling, and trust me, they won't be disappointed.

kumquat chutney

Camembert and Kumquat Chutney Toasts

Makes 2 cups
Print recipe only here.

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon aniseed
1 1/2 cups of sliced, de-seeded kumquats (about 8 ounces)
1 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/4 cups freshly squeezed navel orange juice (prepared juice may be substituted)
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 loaf of bread such as sourdough, country white, or multi-grain
1 wheel of Ile de France Camberbert cheese

In a small, dry skillet over medium heat, toast mustard seeds and aniseed. Gently shake the pan in a back-and-forth motion until seeds are aromatic and lightly toasted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a heavy, small saucepan with remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the chutney thickens and the kumquats become translucent, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer chutney to a bowl and let cool before serving. Chutney can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Bring to room temperature or reheat on the stove top before serving.

Note: To de-seed kumquats, slice the fruit into rounds with a sharp paring knife. Using the tip of the knife, gently pluck the tiny seeds from the slices.

Using a round cookie cutter or the top of a glass, cut as many circles of bread as you need. Place on a large baking sheet, and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until crisp and golden. (These can be made several hours ahead and left uncovered on the counter top.) Top each bread round with two thin slices of Camembert and a spoonful of chutney. Place on a serving platter. Serve immediately.

You might also like these appetizers:

Fava Bean and Dill Crostini

Roasted Pepper, Olive, and Brie Bruschetta

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