Holiday Baked Brie + Why a Culinary Backup Plan is Always Necessary!
You may not know this about me, but I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Not when it comes to everything in my life though. My Type A tendencies only affect a small number of things -like the cleanliness and almost OCD status tidiness of my house, travel itineraries for any trip -big or small, wardrobe plans for said trips, and of course, anything I create in the kitchen.
Shamefully, I’m a perfectionist with all the things that don’t earn me a living. While I certainly do my job and do it mostly well, it’s just not something I’m obsessive over. Lack of passion? Perhaps.
But going back to the art of perfection in the kitchen. It’s something I always strive to achieve and those times I don’t - especially when there’s company in the mix, I really beat myself over it. Not this time though. Nope, this holiday Baked Brie fail was something I could only laugh at and a week later, ponder over since I literally timed the baking of it just right.
Yes, what you see here, is without question, a holiday recipe fail. Luckily, I was only baking it for my husband and myself and I must’ve known I’d screw up the first round because I had another much tastier round of Brie in the fridge as backup. Because I’ve learned culinary back up plans are so, so freaking necessary.
I really don’t know how this happened. I baked the damn cheese for 6 minutes at 350 degrees, checked on it and then, 1 minute later took it out of the oven when it appeared to still be firm on the outside. Literally 2 minutes after taking it out, the whole thing had burst open and was covering the bottom of the pan in one giant heap of ooey gooey cheese goodness.
But truthfully, the mini Brie I had on backup was much better anyways - It’s Montchevre Mini Cabrie - a Goat milk brie made in Wisconsin. Highly, highly recommend if you can find it.
I’ve loved Baked Brie ever since the first time I enjoyed it wrapped so beautifully in buttery pastry dough. But over the years, I’ve found that I love it best sans the carbs and with just a sweet topping to give it that extra zing. And while fig jam is near and dear to my heart, the holidays just call for cranberry everything. I happen to really enjoy my cranberry sauce recipe too, which I’ve also listed below. Add to it a crunch of some crumbled candied pecans, and a rosemary sprig just for garnish and you’ve got yourself one perfect holiday baked brie.
If you don’t over bake it. My recommendation? Start checking on it at 5 minutes, gently poke it with a fork to check on “squishiness” and absolutely take it out 1-2 minutes before you think it’s done. Varies with the type and size of Brie but I think 10 minutes would be sufficient for even the most dense variety.
Holiday Baked Brie With Cranberry Sauce and Candied Pecans
8-ounce round of Brie (or 2 mini 4-ounce rounds)
½ cup Cranberry sauce (recipe below)
½ cup candied pecans, crumbled (recipe here)
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
Rosemary sprig for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the cranberry sauce, brown sugar and orange zest. Place Brie in a cast iron pan or oiled baking pan. Peel the top rind off the Brie and then scoop a very shallow portion of cheese out from the top. Spoon the cranberry sauce mixture into the hallow and place in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
Remove from oven and spoon crumbled pecans on top along with a sprig of of Rosemary. Serve with your favorite crackers or sliced baguette.
Orange Cranberry Sauce
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons orange zest
½ cup water
Combine all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a light boil over medium heat. Stir constantly until most cranberries have bust and sauce is mostly smooth. Let cool.