When you're heading to a party or you're the one hosting it, cheese is always a hit! I mean, really... who doesn't love a nice charcuterie board? While charcuterie boards are still a favorite, baked brie has definitely taken center stage recently and it has, dare I say it, taken the throne.
We specially love a baked brie with toppings that when you eat it, reminds you of the holidays. So with that, here's a recipe for you that we will be bringing to every holiday party we attend this year. We've taken our love for baked brie and have topped it with cranberries, apples, pecans and a few other things.
It's also super easy to make and fast! Great for when you're on a time crunch but want to impress.
Why We Love Brie, and You Should Too
Aside from its amazing creaminess, brie can also be described as being buttery and soft. Now pair that with baking, some bread and toppings and you have the perfect appetizer!
Brie is so creamy and buttery because it's made from cow's milk. It's soft ripened and has a white rind that is edible and yes, you should absolutely eat. I mean, it is a known delicacy after all and provides so much texture to the cheese.
Ingredients for the Best Baked Brie
So this baked brie recipe is simple but does include a few ingredients for the topping such as apple butter, honey, sage and few more. Trust me though, it's worth it! Here's your ingredient list:
Brie cheese: The type of Brie you choose to use does not make a huge difference, for the most part, but I like to use a double-cream brie. While it is good to have a creamy consistency, I tend to steer away from the bries labeled “creamy” or the ones with additional cream added. You want the brie to be creamy once it has been baked, but you don’t want it to lose all of its structural integrity and become a soup-like consistency.
Nuts: Pecans are by far my favorite nut to use in this recipe, but walnuts also work as a comparable substitute. The key in choosing your nut is to make sure it pairs well with your other toppings.
Dried Fruit: For me, no other dried fruit quite says the holidays like dried cranberries. That is why I always use dried cranberries when making this recipe during the holiday season. During the spring/summer months, I tend to use dried apricots, paired with fresh berries. Dried cherries are the perfect substitute for dried cranberries if you want to go another direction.
Fresh Fruit: Diced apples really bring the dish together. Their texture and flavor complete the dish and bring it to the next level. An easy substitute for apples is to use pears. I always like to use fruit that is in season, so in the warmer months, feel free to use fresh berries or figs.
Herb: Similar to the fresh fruit, I like to use whichever herb is in season during the time that I make the brie. If you are using a berry, mint or basil is a great option because sage has a tendency of being a little overpowering for berries.
Sweetener/Binder: The apple butter and honey not only add complementary sweetness to the topping, but they also bind everything together to create a compote-like consistency. Honey is my go to sweetener but if you are using another type of fruit, it is a good idea to use a jam or preserve made from that fruit. We also love making our own apple butter but you can certainly buy it from your favorite local market.
Citrus: The zest and juice of the citrus is added to break through the sweetness and add a fragrant burst to the dish. If you choose not to use lemon, orange or even grapefruit are solid substitutes.
Tips for Making Baked Brie
Keep the brie cold before baking: This may seem counterintuitive because of the fact that we are going to bake the brie, but it is important because we want the topping to be crisp and toasted without having the brie become a puddle of cheese in the oven.
Taste the topping and adjust accordingly before baking: The recipe is simply a guideline. Make sure you taste a bit of the filling and adjust accordingly before topping the cheese. If you want more nuts in the topping, add more nuts! The same can be said for any of the other ingredients. Don’t be afraid to adapt the recipe and make it your own. That’s what cooking is all about.
This is THE holiday appetizer this season! We know your family and friends will love it, and obviously so will you!
Cheers and eat well.
Baked Brie with Cranberries, Apples and Pecans
This baked brie recipe will become the star of any holiday party you bring it to and elevate your culinary standing amongst your friends and family. The best part? It couldn’t be easier to make!
Preheat your oven to 350 F and spray or line a sheet tray with parchment paper.
Prepare the topping by roughly chopping the pecans, dicing the apples into a small dice (about the size of your pinky nail), and picking and chopping the sage. Add those to a bowl and add the dried cranberries, the honey, the ground cinnamon, the apple butter, the salt, and the zest and juice of the lemon. Mix everything to combine and evenly distribute the honey and apple butter.
Remove the brie cheese from the fridge, take it out of its packaging and place it on your sprayed or parchment-lined sheet tray.
Put your prepared topping on top of the brie and bake at 350 F for about 12 minutes or until the brie softens slightly.
After 12 minutes, remove the brie from the oven and allow it to rest for 2-3 minutes.
Serve with bread, crackers, or the accompaniment of your choice.
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