[1] Baked Brie with cranberries and olives. The recipe is below (photo © DeLallo).


[2] Caramelized onion baked Brie (photo © Paul Binet | iStock).


[3] The simplest topping: jam or preserves. Add chopped nuts or snipped herbs (photo © Murray’s Cheese).


[4] Here, the honey and rosemary were added before the Brie was baked (photo © Urban Accents).


[5] Cranberry-pecan baked Brie. Here’s the recipe © Damn Delicious).


[6] A dessert Brie topped with caramel and pecans (photo © McCormick).

 

We have a certain warm anticipation to having guests in the fall and winter: Baked Brie.

We first discovered the concept in college, thanks to our friend Lesley.

She served us a plain baked brie with Triscuits. We had eaten many a slice of Brie with wine; but the simple act of briefly baking put the creamy, oozy cheese in a new light: a party light.

We have lots of ideas below, but let’s start with some tips.
 
 
BAKED BRIE TIPS

  • Brie is like chicken: It pairs well with many other flavors.
  • Some people like Brie en Croûte, wrapping the Brie in puff pastry prior to baking it. We find that it overkill: You’re already serving the Brie with bread or crackers.
  • Some people like to cut the rind off the top before baking. That’s one way to make it easy to scoop out the melted cheese, but we just happen to love the rind of a Brie.
  • Add some herbs onto any topping: sweet, savory or combination. At the least, add sprigs of fresh woody herbs—lavender, rosemary, sage or thyme—to garnish the plate.
  • Toast the nuts if you have time: They’ll taste better (here’s how to toast nuts).
  • Toss some apple slices, celery sticks or whole strawberries onto the plate for people who love cheese but avoid carbs.
  • If you know that some guests can’t have nuts, leave them off. You can add them to the side of the plate for people who want to scoop some up.
  • We prefer to serve Baked Brie with toasted baguette slices plus fruit-and-nut toasts like Raincoast Crisps; but everyone has his or her favorite (and budget).
  •  
    ANOTHER TIP, which we embrace: If you have the right size baking dish or ramekin, bake the Brie in it and serve it that way. It’s the non-messy solution: Nothing oozes all over a plate or platter.

    We’re starting with a recipe for a savory Baked Brie with olives, but we have 30 recipe combinations below, for:

  • Sweet Brie Toppings
  • Sweet & Savory Brie Toppings
  • Savory Brie Toppings
  • Dessert Brie Toppings

  •  
    RECIPE: BAKED BRIE WITH OLIVES & POMEGRANATE

    This recipe from DeLallo was originally made with fresh cranberries instead of pomegranate arils.

    We found the fresh cranberries to be too tart, so we substituted the arils. Alternatively, you can use dried cranberries, which sweetly offset the saltiness of the olives.
     
    Ingredients

  • 1 baby Brie cheese (8-ounce round)
  • 1/4 cup pitted mixed olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cranberries or whole arils or dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Bread and/or crackers to serve
  •  
     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350˚F. Place the Brie on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake until softened, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.

    2. TOP the Brie with the olives, walnuts and cranberries. Drizzle with honey. Serve with bread, crackers or toasts of choice.

     
    MORE BAKED BRIE TOPPINGS:

    SWEET BRIE TOPPINGS

    The best way to get the toppings to stay on the brie is to cover the top with a think spread of honey (regular or creamed) or jelly when it comes out of the oven.

    Then, quickly add the topping(s) and serve.

    Sticky toppings such as jam and similar textures don’t need any extra help.

  • Cherry preserves, balsamic vinegar and chopped toasted pecans.
  • Creamed honey, chopped honey-roasted peanuts, dried cherries.
  • Creamed honey, sliced strawberries, sliced almonds, chopped rosemary.
  • Fresh berries (optionally marinated in liqueur) with shredded basil.
  • Fresh figs and pistachios with a balsamic drizzle.
  • Grand Marnier-marinated berries.
  • Holiday Brie #1: cranberry and almonds, pecans or chopped pistachios, topped with orange zest. Here’s the recipe.
  • Holiday Brie #2: cranberry relish.
  • Holiday Brie #3: fig jam, dried cranberries, chopped toasted hazelnuts.
  • Honey Bun: mix chopped walnuts and raisins into regular or creamed honey.
  • Pumpkin pie filling and pecans (bake on top of the Brie).
  • Roasted grapes, multicolor, halved before roasting.
  • Spiced caramel with pepitas.
  • Toasted old-fashioned oats, toasted chopped walnuts, diced apples Brown sugar and cinnamon.
  •  
    When you have nothing else in the house but the Brie and the basics:

  • Fruit preserves, chutney or marmalade, with raisins and chopped nuts.
  • Honey and chopped dried fruit.
  • Honey and granola.
  •  
     
    SWEET-AND-SAVORY BRIE TOPPINGS

  • Bacon jam, with or without chopped herbs.
  • Orange marmalade with rosemary leaves.
  • Pepper jelly, with or without chopped herbs.
  • Mango chutney with chopped roasted peanuts.
  •  
    SAVORY BRIE TOPPINGS

    If you want only savory toppings, here are three of our favorites:

  • Caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms with thyme, fresh arugula, optional crumbled bacon.
  • Chopped sundried tomatoes in EVOO (drained) plus fresh, shredded baby arugula.
  • Chopped sundried tomatoes and artichokes.
  •  
     
    DESSERT BRIE TOPPINGS

    Some people like to turn baked Brie into a dessert cheese course, with caramel or spiced caramel sauce, toasted or candied pecans and other sweet toppings of choice.

    Serve a dessert brie with graham crackers, toasted raisin bread or wheatmeal biscuits.

  • Apple crisp baked Brie, with sauteed diced apples, raisins and streusel (substitute granola for the streusel).
  • Maple-Pecan pecans in maple syrup.
  • Pecan praline: Pecan halves in butterscotch sauce.
  • Raspberries With balsamic glaze.
  •  
    Consider adding a dessert wine: a sweet Muscat/Moscato, a sparkling red Italian Brachetto, or anything your wine store clerk recommends.

      


    THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food

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