Monday, January 4, 2010

Baked Brie with Pears

I have a fondness for brie, well for most cheeses actually, but I really like brie, a lot. Setting out a big wedge of brie with some crackers is perfectly acceptable not to mention delicious, but when you feel like dressing it up a bit this is the perfect thing. I made it for a Thanksgiving appetizer this year, and it vanished in minutes. It is, as usual, really easy to make, and can be made in advance (it doesn't matter if the pear starts to brown a little from being cut up ahead of time because it is going to get brown in the oven). Also, if you serve it with rice crackers, it is gluten free which is convenient if you happen to have an aunt or two who can't eat said gluten. It is also comforting to know that in case gluten intolerance runs in my family (it is one of my fears that one day I will wake up and be unable to eat bread anymore) I will be at least be able to eat all the brie I want.

Grab your ingredients, a little wheel of brie, a pear, brown sugar and pecans.

Remove the rind from the top of the brie. You could probably just cut it all it off in one thin slice with a sharp knife, however I didn't think of that and scraped and scooped it all off with a measuring spoon (the edge of it was surprisingly sharp).

Now slice up about half of the pear and arrange it in some sort of artful configuration on the now rindless top of the brie. You should have the brie in a brie baker at this point, or if you are not as obsessed with kitchen gadgets as I am, any oven proof dish will work just fine.

Chop up a small handful of pecans and sprinkle them over the pears. Next sprinkle a scant tablespoon of brown sugar over that. At this point you could pop it in the fridge until tomorrow or bake it right away at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melty and the pears have softened. Serve with crackers or bread, and a spoon as that is the easiest way to get it from the dish to your cracker.

Baked Brie with Pears
1 small wheel of brie
1/2 pear, sliced
Small handful pecans, chopped
Scant tablespoon brown sugar

Remove brie from packaging. Slice/scoop/scrape the rind from the top of it. Place in oven proof dish. Arrange sliced pear on top of the brie. Sprinkle with pecans and brown sugar. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or refrigerate until ready to use.

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