Apparently it’s cheese week on this blog. (Resolution for 2018: make every week “cheese week.”) But it makes sense, because I’ve got parties on the brain right now, and what better party fare than cheese?
But while those parmesan-black pepper crisps are elegant and refined, this cranberry-topped baked brie is comfort food at its finest. It’s a gooey melty cheese hug, the kind of thing you want to eat in front of a fireplace while wearing your chunkiest sweater. But the the tart cranberry topping elevates things a bit, combining with the creamy brie to form a savory-sweet appetizer that is the star of any party.
Honestly, this is more of a guide than a recipe, since baked brie is infinitely adaptable. I made a quick cranberry sauce based on my favorite boozy version, but do you have a different recipe you want to use instead? Go right ahead. Don’t like cranberries? Use a raspberry or apricot jam instead. Want to sprinkle a handful of nuts on top? Yes please! Feeling something more savory? This fig-olive jam (or even a tapenade) would be delicious, but only if you invite me over.
Regardless of how you make it, you’ll end up with a puddle of glorious melted brie, and there ain’t no party like a baked brie party … if you’re willing to share.*
*Fact: originally, I was supposed to make this for a movie night with a friend. But then I got sick so she didn’t come over. However, I still had a wheel of brie and some cranberry sauce and … let’s just say, cranberry-topped baked brie is also perfect for parties of one.
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns, slightly crushed
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 2-3 whole cloves
- 1 8-ounce round of brie, slightly chilled
- assorted crackers or baguette slices
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, wine, sugar, peppercorns, cinnamon stick and cloves. Bring to a simmer, then cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, until the cranberries start to burst and the sauce thickens.
- Remove the brie from its packaging and place it on a pie plate or other baking dish. Pour the cranberry sauce on top.
- Bake for 8-12 minutes, until the cheese has softened and is gooey (but before it completely collapses). Let the brie sit for 5-10 minutes before serving with crackers and/or baguette slices.