Creamy Baked Brie with Red Pear

Nothing warms the holiday appetizer table like rich and creamy, ooey-gooey baked brie. A  classic staple in its own right, the first slice through this flakey crust and into the soft cheese is superbly satisfying. Topped with a little bit of cracked sea salt and sweet red pears, this dish is perfectly paired with a crisp white wine or bit of bubbly champagne.

Baked Brie with Pears

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe red pear
  • 1 7-8 oz. brie wheel
  • 1 orange
  • 1 package frozen fillo dough
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs. water
  • sea salt

1. Core and slice pear. Place into a small bowl, and squeeze the juice of the orange over slices. Cover with water and set aside.

 

2. Make egg wash by whisking 1 Tbs. water with the egg until frothy. Set aside.

3. Coat a baking sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray. Lay one sheet of fillo dough onto the pan. Brush with egg wash, and layer with another sheet of dough. Repeat this process for 8-10 layers of fillo dough.

4. Lay brie wheel in the center of the dough. Wrap dough around the brie, and flip over so that all dough seams are on the bottom of the cheese. Brush all over with egg wash.

5. Arrange pear slices on top of brie, and sprinkle with sea salt.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm with crackers, crostini, or fruit and veggie slices.

Brie, Pancetta and Berry Grilled Cheese

Add some glitz to an old favorite for a jazzed up week night dinner, OR slice these babies up into bite sized pieces for fancy schmancy appetizer for cocktail hour! This sandwich pairs great with my roasted beet and arugula salad for the whole she-bang.

Ingredients (for 6 sandwiches):

  • 1 loaf crusty bread, sliced (choose 12 slices)
  • 6-8 slices of pancetta
  • brie cheese at room temperature
  • 1 small jar of raspberry fruit spread
  • 1 package of fresh chives
  • 1 Tbs butter (cut from stick, keep in wrapper)

Method:

1. Spread cheese on both halves of the bread for each sandwich. Spread a dollop of the fruit spread atop the cheese one one side of each sandwich. Pile on a slice of pancetta and 3-4 chives. Top with 2nd piece of bread.

2. Spread a small amount of butter on top of each side of the sandwiches (You can actually just grab the stick of butter, cut 1 Tbs off while still in the wrapper, and rub the butter directly on the bread).

3. Heat a grill pan to medium high, and grill each side of the sandwiches for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown and cheese is melted.