We are getting really close to that wonderful holiday where it is completely socially acceptable to have four different carbs on your plate at one time. Thanksgiving is an amazing product of commercialized American heritage, and I love every single part of it.
This is the time where everyone is telling you how to bake the very best mashed potatoes, that are undeniably different than any other recipe for mashed potatoes, and which turkey brine you simply have to use. (I highly recommend Alton Brown’s.) Unfortunately, with all this attention directed to the lavish array of side dishes and the iconic Norman Rockwellesc turkey, the prelude to the feast is often grossly overlooked. We must not let another year go by without reclaiming the first course and bringing it back to its full glory! Ready? Let’s get started.
Thanksgiving is a game of time. It requires strategic planning and precise execution, so the last thing we need is one more thing to take up a lot of preparation or oven time. This is why many choose to mitigate the homemade appetizers and settle for a boring crudites. I promise that with minimal effort, you can create an appetizer which is equally as tempting and delicious as your second course.
If I could only eat one cheese for the rest of my life I would unreservedly choose brie. It’s rich, creamy, and oh-so-versatile.
For this recipe we begin by caramelizing some apples with brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. You can caramelize your apples ahead of time and heat them up just before serving to save yourself some time.
The brie is baked for a few minutes, just to warm it up. The hot caramelized apples are poured directly over the brie along with a good sprinkling of sliced almonds.
I like to serve mine with crostini but you can certainly substitute crackers if you wish.
It takes me exactly 7.36 minutes to demolish 1/4 pound of brie.
Let’s make our first course as spectacular as our second this year. Happy Holiday!!
P.S. If brie is not your jam then you might want to try out this Balsamic-Roasted Grape Crostini.
Baked Brie with Caramelized Apples
serves 6 (or one very hungry lady)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 large apple, peeled and sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- pinch of kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 lb triple cream Brie
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl combine cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt. Sprinkle over apples and toss to coat.
In a small sauté pan melt butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted add apple mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-12 minutes or until the apples are soft and a thick caramel has formed. Remove from heat and reserve.
Place the Brie on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the Brie begins to melt.
Pour the caramelized apples over the baked Brie and serve immediately with crostini or crackers. Enjoy!!
For crostini: Set your oven to its broiler setting. Slice a baguette into slices 1/2 inch thick. Brush one side with olive oil and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
Bake for 2-4 minutes or until the toasts are golden brown. Can be made one day in advance.