I firmly believe the cheese course is sadly underutilized. A nice cheese course, a little nutty, a little creamy, a little salty after a meal just sounds right to me. Sure dessert is nice too, but who doesn’t like cheese? Why is this not more prevalent? Why not mix it up? These crostinis would make a really excellent addition to a cheese course; they have the rich, salty, tangy blue cheese, the bright crisp green apple and the hint of sweetness from the honey. Sure these could also be used as an appetizer but what makes them so well suited for after the meal is how well they pair with Port.
If you have yet to check out the post that went up earlier this week on Port and how its made you really should because it is an interesting wine with an interesting history. To sum it up entirely too generally Port is a fortified wine with a good amount of residual sugar and about 20% alcohol. Meaning when it comes to pairing it with food you need to pay attention to two different factors, the sweetness and the high alcohol. The sugar level in the wine means you need to pair it with something that has some sweetness in it as well, otherwise everything is going to taste off balance. But that alcohol level, and the fact that this is fortified with grape spirits, means that this is a big, rich, powerful and fruit forward wine. So even though the sweetness of this wine tends to move it into the dessert category, in fact chocolate is an excellent pairing to Port, but blue cheese, or more specifically Stilton cheese, is also a classic pairing with Port. And for very good reason, the rich, creamy, slightly saltiness of the cheese not only matches well with the weight of the wine and the heft of the alcohol, but that little bit of tangy, saltiness all helps cut through some of the richness of the wine.
- 1 baguette, sliced thin
- 4 ounces blue cheese, Stilton if you want to be properly British
- 1 green apple, sliced thin
- Honey for drizzling
Toast the baguette slices lightly until just starting to brown but still soft in the middle. Spread the slices evenly with the blue cheese and then top with one or two slices of apple. Arrange the crostini on a platter and then drizzle everything with honey.