Twice a month we take a look at local restaurants, farms and farmers markets featured on episodes of UNC-TV’s Flavor, NC. This week, we highlight the fifth episode of season two, in which host Lisa Prince highlights Carolina Distillery and The Wine Cellar and Bistro in Lenoir.
Carolina Distillery started in 2009 when two friends combined a “family hobby” with a “passion for business.” The distillery produces a premium, hand-crafted single-barrel apple brandy with apples from Perry Lowe Orchards in Wilkes County. The distillery uses about 30,000 bushels a year. Each bushel produces about 3 gallons of brandy. At the distillery, Lisa follows the brandy-making process from apple mash to barrel aging to bottling.
After her trip to the distillery, Lisa visits with Chef Susan Collins of The Wine Cellar and Bistro to cook a couple of recipes using apple brandy. Below is a recipe for caramelized apple and goat cheese crostini. More recipes using apple brandy are available online.
Caramelized Apple and Goat Cheese Crostini
- 1 baguette French bread
- olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 green apples, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons apple brandy
- 1 teaspoon each chopped rosemary and thyme
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 cup softened goat cheese
Melt butter in saucepan, add chopped apples and cook until slightly softened. Remove from heat and add brandy, herbs and lemon zest. Continue cooking on low heat until soft and caramelized, add more butter if needed. Slice bread in thin slices, top with apple mixture. Top with small amount of softened goat cheese, melt under broiler until lightly browned, being careful not to burn.