Wisconsin Mascarpone Crostini and Tomato Conserve

Menu Part: 
Appetizer
Cuisine Type: 
Italian
Serves: 
12

Chef Rhys Lewis created this recipe which couples sweet and creamy Wisconsin Mascarpone with his mother’s beloved conserve.

Ingredients

Crostini:
1/2 cup clarified butter*
24 slices French baguette, thinly sliced

Conserve:
6 cups fresh tomatoes, blanched and peeled, in 1/2-inch dice
4 cups sugar
2 True Ceylon Cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon whole cloves
2 lemons, in 1/4-inch dice
1 orange, in 1/4-inch dice

Final Preparation:
1 pound (2 cups) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
12 small cilantro sprigs

Steps

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Warm the clarified butter and pour it onto a jelly roll pan. Dip the top side of each slice of the bread in the butter and place unbuttered side down on baking sheets. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Remove. Cool on racks.

For the conserve, combine the tomatoes, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, lemon and orange in a noncorosive saucepan. Simmer gently for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving juice.

Place the juice in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and reduce by half. Pour over the tomato mixture. Chill.

The conserve may be made in advance.

To serve, using a pallet knife, spread an equal portion of mascarpone cheese on each of the crostinis. Spoon equal portions of the Tomato Conserve on each one. Arrange two crostini on each of 12 plates and garnish each with a sprig of cilantro.

*To clarify the butter: Melt the butter over medium heat. Stir without allowing it to boil. The butter will form three layers: milk solids on top, clarified butter in the middle, and milk solids on the bottom. As the butter continues to warm, skim off the top layer and discard. Carefully pour off the clear melted butter into a separate container and discard any remaining milk solids.

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