Last weekend I had the pleasure of co-hosting with my husband a Halloween Housewarming gathering. The gathering was lovely despite the rain, sleet and snow from a much too soon Nor'easter. The menu, my favorite aspect to any gathering, was in the works for quite some time. Inspiration came from an annual gift from my parents, our New Orleans Calendar. What makes this calendar so wonderful is that it not only shows a beautiful scene from my favorite city each month but it also has a recipe to along with it. September's recipe for Autumn Brie was the most intriguing yet. Ever since catching a glimpse of that recipe, I knew it would be the perfect addition for the Halloween Housewarming.
When shopping for the party, inevitably there were a few ingredients that I could not locate or did not have the time to locate. I decided I would just wing it and make my recipes work with a few substitutes and some creativity. The original recipe called for apple cider but instead I used a crisp white wine in its place. I also replaced the golden raisins with dried cranberries. To make up for the lack of sweetness, I just used more brown sugar than the recipe called for. In cooking, a hobby that I adore, there is nothing more gratifying than creating a new recipe that is a hit with your friends or family. I never tried the original recipe but I am sure it is just as good as my interpretation. I highly suggest giving this heavenly recipe for Apple-Cranberry Baked Brie a try for your next gathering. Serve this hot and bubbly with fresh baked bread such as a buttery Challah or a simple baguette. As soon as your guests taste this, thoughts of icy, frigid weather will melt away.
(1) 4" Round Wheel of Brie Cheese
1-1/2 cups dry white wine such as a Pinot Grigio
1 Red Delicious apple, sliced thin into bite size triangles
(2) 2 oz. snack size boxes of Dried Cranberries
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, divided into two
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large circular baking dish, place the Brie wheel in the center. Allow to sit at room temperature for up to one hour before cooking.
2. In a saucepan, combine white wine, apples, dried cranberries, and a 1/4 cup of the dark brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes or until apples are slightly tender.
3. Set saucepan aside to cool down for about 5 minutes. Drain off only half of the liquid from the saucepan. Then pour apple-cranberry mixture over the Brie wheel. Arrange some fruit on top of the Brie as well as around the Brie for a beautiful presentation. Sprinkle the remaining dark brown sugar and another tiny pinch of salt all over the Brie and fruit mixture. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
4. Serve with hot bread or crackers and enjoy!
My guests and I loved this recipe so much that I cannot wait to make it again. I have faith that you will feel this way and be making Apple-Cranberry Baked Brie for your friends and family again and again. The weather might be getting colder but the bright side to that news is all of the warm and delightfully scrumptious recipes that you can savor this season. Get in the kitchen with your loved ones and a glass of red wine or a cup of steamy cider and get cooking.