Holiday Appetizers: Goat Cheese with Cherry Compote

Several years ago I bought a cranberry goat cheese log for a dinner party. It was good, but I prefer the flavor of cherries to cranberries, so one day I came up with this alternative for goat cheese. This is a colorful and delicious addition to any holiday party table. Make the compote the day before serving to allow the flavors to develop. This would work well for other cheeses such as warmed Brie or Camembert.

Goat Cheese with Cherry Compote
3 c. sour cherries with juice
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 (4 inch long) cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
generous pinch of ground ginger
1/2 c. plus sugar
1-1/2 tsp. orange zest
juice of 1/2 an orange
drop of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 (12 oz.) logs goat cheese

In a saucepan combine cherries, cornstarch, spices, sugar, orange zest, and juice. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened; it should take 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in extracts. Use an immersion blender to blend into a chunky sauce. Chill. When ready to serve, place goat cheese logs on cheese board or platter and spoon compote over logs, allowing some to drip down the sides. This recipe will cover 3 logs or serve 20 people.

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