Recipe and Photo by Christine Carlson of @c.r.a.v.i.n.g.s
The secret to the best charcuterie spread is to be prepared with a range of perfect pairings for whatever is in your guests’ wine glasses. From Black Pepper Cherry Jam for Ribera del Duero Tempranillo and Vanilla Ginger Apricot Jam for Rueda Verdejo, this Summer Charcuterie Spread takes home the prize for the most epically delicious spread. Did we mention the Fried Goat Cheese Balls? Can’t get much better than this!
Black Pepper Cherry Jam
Yield: Approximately 1 ½ to 2 cups
- 1 pound plus 10 ounces fresh cherries, pitted
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper*
- 1 cup sugar**
- In a large pot over low heat, combine cherries and lemon juice. Cook over for 15-20 minutes until cherries soften and break down.
- Add pepper and sugar to pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring frequently. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t bubble over.
- Simmer on medium-low for 10-15 minutes or until jam thickens. Remove from heat.
- Allow jam to cool before transferring to a glass container with a lid. Refrigerate and use within 1-2 weeks.
*This amount of pepper gives the jam heat but is not overwhelming, you can omit entirely if you’d prefer.
**The amount of sugar here will depend on how sweet your cherries are and how sweet you like your jam.
Vanilla Ginger Apricot Jam
Yield: Makes about 1 ½ to 2 cups
- 1 pound plus 10 ounces apricots, pitted and quartered
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 3 teaspoons ginger, finely grated
- 1 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar***
- In a large pot over low heat, combine apricots and lemon juice. Cook for 15-20 minutes until apricots soften and break down. Stir occasionally while keeping an eye on it.
- Add in ginger, vanilla bean, and sugar. Bring to a boil stirring frequently. Keep an eye on jam so it doesn’t bubble over.
- Cook for about 3-5 minutes until jam thickens. Remove from heat.
- Allow jam to cool before transferring to a glass container with a lid. Refrigerate and consume within 1-2 weeks.
***The amount of sugar here will depend on how sweet your apricots are and how sweet you like your jam.
Fried Goat Cheese Balls
Yield: 18-20 goat cheese balls
- 11 ounces goat cheese
- 1 ½ tablespoons minced sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus more for serving
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more for serving
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Vegetable oil
- Honey, for serving
- In a small bowl, combine goat cheese with minced sage, ½ teaspoon sea salt, and 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Mix until well combined.
- Roll goat cheese mixture into 1 to 1 ½ inch balls.
- Place flour, egg, and panko into three separate bowls.
- Dip each goat cheese ball into the flour, followed by the egg mixture, then generously coat in breadcrumbs.
- Place goat cheese balls on a plate or tray and freeze at least 20-30 minutes before frying.
- Line a plate with paper towels. In a deep heavy bottomed pot, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Test the heat of the oil by frying one goat cheese ball—if it melts or disintegrates the oil is not hot enough.
- Fry goat cheese balls in batches until golden and hot inside. Turn them frequently when frying, allowing about 3-5 minutes of cook time.
- Place onto prepared plate to drain excess oil.
- Serve immediately with honey, more lemon zest, and a sprinkle of sea salt.
How to Build Your Summer Charcuterie Board
- Sweet: vanilla ginger apricot jam, black pepper cherry jam, cherries, strawberries, dried citrus, ripe cherry tomatoes, peaches, apricots, honey, fig and almond wedge
- Savory: panko fried goat cheese balls, salami, rosemary ham, varying selection of cheese
- Salty/Briny: cornichons, green olives marinated in olive oil, lemon, and black pepper
- Texture/Crunch: sweet and spicy pecans, salted almonds and cashews, cracker assortment
- Wine: Ribera Tempranillo for the Black Pepper Cherry Jam and Rueda Verdejo for the Vanilla Ginger Jam