Pepper Crème Fraîche & Tart Cherry Crostini

Tart Cherry Crostini Recipe | Dine X Design

Tart Cherry Crostini Recipe | Dine X Design

A few months back I had the delightful opportunity to visit my home state Michigan for the Traverse City Tart Cherry Harvest....I may be a long-term California gal now, but let's just say there's something magical happening out in those Mitten Sate orchards. Magical as in I need to get back there pronto, soon as the snow thaws.

What a gorgeous place to visit in the late summertime and how fortunate we can enjoy these precious little stone fruits year round. Let's just say I am a hardcore cherry convert this year - tart cherries to be exact. They can go savory like a champ and that opened up some year-round recipe ideas especially perfect for the holidays.

Now, no disrespect to you cranberries, but I'm tired of seeing you. So tart cherries it is! I want mounds of them... reduced into a shallot wine jam and topped over a peppercorn Crème Fraîche. Sounds good...doesn't it?

This recipe is so easy and quickly becoming an easy go-to appetizer for entertaining this year, so I thought I'd share it on a whim in case you're looking for something unique to dazzle guests with.

So let's not dilly dally and get to the deets...

Tart Cherry Crostini With Peppered Crème Fraîche

*makes 12 crostinis


1 1/2 cups dried Michigan tart cherries

1 bottle dry red wine (suggested: Spanish Tempranillo)

4 shallots, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

olive oil

micro greens or chives

black pepper corns

1 7.5 oz package of Crème Fraîche

french baguette

Tart Cherry Crostini | Ingredients | Dine X Design

Tart Cherry Crostini | Ingredients | Dine X Design


Add shallots, garlic and a dash of olive oil into a sauce pan or deep skillet, sauté on medium low until golden. Add tart cherries and continue to sauté for an additional 5 minutes or until cherries slightly soften. Add 1 cup of wine and continue to cook, reducing liquid on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add a second cup of wine and repeat reduction, stirring occasionally to keep sauce from sticking to pan. Reserve additional wine, as it may be needed to be repeated a third time to desired consistency.

With a pestle and mortar, crush a tablespoon of pepper corns. You can also set a pepper mill to coarsest setting. Fold pepper into Crème Fraîche and then spread on thinly sliced pieces of bread. Top with tart cherry compote and micro-greens. 

Tart Cherry Crostini | Dine X Design | Recipe

Tart Cherry Crostini | Dine X Design | Recipe

A tart and savory punch with a bit of jammy sweetness delivered on a creamy bread boat! It's perfect! In fact, this cherry wine-dunked compote would be good over pretty much anything - I'm thinking pork roast, a creamy lump of burrata... a cheesecake!?

Yikes, I should have made a double (make that triple) batch....

Looking for a few libations to add to the mix? I think that sounds like a GREAT idea...May I suggest one of the following?

Bourbon & Blueberry Shrub Cocktail with prosciutto garnish

Apple Cider Ice Cube Old Fashioned 

Big Batch Pineapple Cocktails (A punch, bubbles and warm spicy grog option!)