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1 8-9 Oz. Wheel Brie Cheese
2 Anjou Pears, cored and cut into a large dice
1 Tbsp. Patricia and Paul’s Pear and Cinnamon Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt
2 Tbsp. Almond Slivers
1 Baguette, sliced
2 Tbsp. Patricia and Paul’s Butter Olive Oil
Flaky salt to finish (Maldon is a favorite)
1/2 Tsp. Fresh thyme leaves
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two baking sheets by covering them with parchment paper. Put to the side.
2) In a small skillet, add the balsamic vinegar, diced pears, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes until the fruit is soft and the vinegar is syrupy and mostly absorbed the the pears. Add one tablespoon of the almonds to the mix and stir. Keep on a low heat until ready to top the baked brie.
3) Place your wheel of brie cheese on the prepared baking sheet. Cut both diagonal and horizontal slits in the top of the cheese creating a diamond pattern. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until the cheese is warm and gooey.
4) While the brie is baking, cut your baguette into slices and brush with the butter flavored olive oil on both sides. Put them on one of the prepared backing sheets and toast them under the broiler until golden, then flip and toast the other side. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt when you remove them from the oven.
5) Remove the brie from the oven and plate on a large plate or cutting board. Top with the warm pears and nuts. Top with the remaining almond slivers, a pinch of flaky salt and the fresh thyme. Serve with the toasted baguette slices. Enjoy.
NOTES: Baked brie is a holiday “must-have” and how you choose to top it can vary from sweet and salty to spicy. This version is taking advantage of great artisanal products. The butter flavored olive oil is a game changer. As if olive oil isn’t great enough, now there is a butter flavored version that is off the charts. Partnered with balsamic vinegar flavored with cinnamon and pears, this baked brie is unlike any I’ve made before.
I amped up the pear and cinnamon flavors by using fresh pears and ground cinnamon in the topping. I added a little crunch with the slivered almonds and some freshness with the thyme. A couple of tips for upping the flavor on this dish:
. brush the saute pan with the butter olive oil then add your pears and balsamic vinegar. Fabulous. You need that pinch of salt to cut the fat and sweetness.
. Cut your pears into a decent size dice since when they are too small, they’ll kind of fall apart when cooked.
. Cutting the diamonds into the top of the brie will speed up the bake time so watch it carefully. Don’t worry if the edges start to sag or spread out. That is still all ooey-gooey goodness.
. I like almonds in this put pecans would work well too.
. While you don’t need to brush the bread with the butter olive oil, it really adds a richness you aren’t expecting so try it.
If you love this baked brie dish, be sure to try some of my other dishes like Mini Brie Bites and my Baked Brie with Walnuts, Brown Sugar, Honey & Momofuku. Loving cheese appetizers? Try my Goat Cheese, Pistachios & Hot Raspberry Preserves…so good!