Sweet & Spicy Chèvre Gratin

  • 1 small red onion, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp whole mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 lb chèvre, softened
  • 1 cup stone fruit preserves (plum, cherry, etc.)
  • 8 Peppadew peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 habañero pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider or sweet cherry juice

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Bring vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seeds, and peppercorns to a boil in a small saucepot.  Cook until sugar dissolves and then transfer to a bowl.  Add onion slices and stir to cover.  Allow onion to pickle in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.  Spread chèvre evenly in gratin or small casserole dish.  In medium bowl, combine preserves with Peppadews, habañero, and apple cider or sweet cherry juice.  Remove pickled onion from fridge, drain, and chop fine.  Stir into preserves mixture.  Spread mixture over goat cheese and bake in oven for about 10 minutes, or until warm.  Turn on broiler and broil for about 2-4 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned.  Serve hot with toasted baguette slices.