Pennsylvania Kitchen: Local Goat Cheese & Tomato Jam with Farmer/Cider Maker Ben Wenk

When you’ve got exquisite local products in your kitchen, you don’t need to do much to make them shine. Case in point: The tomato jam from Three Springs Fruit Farm packs a ton of rich, sweet tomato flavor into each spoonful. The recipe, which was developed by Philly-based food blogger and cook book author, Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars, is a huge fan favorite for its sticky, tangy flavor that makes an exceptional topping for burgers, or as a dipping sauce for roasted veggies.

And while we’re definitely not turning down a burger with this tomato jam, we prefer to let it really sing in a more minimalist presentation. When Ben Wenk, a seventh-generation farmer at Three Springs (and cider maker at Ploughman Cider, was a guest on our Pennsylvania Kitchen video series, he had the perfect idea: spread it atop some local soft goat cheese. He chose chevre from Linden Dale Farm, a seventh-generation farm (it was established in 1797!) based in Lancaster and with a stall in the Lancaster Central Market, owned and operated by Andrew and Mary Mellinger. Linden Dale Farm is solely devoted to making goat cheese from the milk from its herd of 135 goats, every one of whom has its own name. When the farmers name their goats, you know the cheese is going to be good!

And it is good: Creamy, tangy, sweet and fresh, it’s an incredible foil to the hearty flavor of the tomato jam. A crusty baguette from your local bakery is all you need to complete this beautiful, PA-proud plate.