Baked Brie is a favorite special treat in our household.  I love it , my young kids love it, and it’s always a hit with guests.   My go-to recipe is the “Apricot Baked Brie” that appears in our cookbook, but I  haven’t yet met a variation of melted Brie that I haven’t liked.  I’ve had it topped with preserves (apricot and raspberry are my favorites), nuts, wrapped in puff pastry, topped with chutney or a sprinkle of curry powder, sweet or savory.  Served simply with crackers, crusty bread, or apple slices, it truly must be one of the world’s easiest and tastiest appetizers.

Trader Joe’s has a wonderful selection of soft and creamy Brie cheeses. This time of year they also have their Brie wheels in addition to their usual wedges. If you like the idea of brioche-wrapped Bries with near-zero-effort, Trader Joe’s has three variations ready to go: En Croute (plain); Cranberry, Apricot, Almond, & Brandy; and a savory Mushroom & Chive. Experimenting with your own baked Brie variations is almost as easy!

The featured recipe comes from one of our readers, Stephanie, and it has become one of our new favorites.  Stephanie says “It’s divine and a snap to put together! Sometimes my husband and I make this just for ourselves to enjoy with a chilled bottle of white wine or champagne.”

Thanks Stephanie!  My husband loved it as well. He commented that the lightness of the pear chunks was a terrific contract to the richness of the Brie. 

Cinnamon-Pear Baked Brie

Ingredients

  • 1 Brie wheel
  • 1 jar of pears in juice
  • 1 baguette or any crusty bread loaf from Trader Joe’s fresh baked bread section
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Hazelnuts or pecan bits (optional)

Instructions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Slice off the very top rind of the Brie and discard.  Place Brie inside oven-proof casserole dish or on top of a cookie sheet, face up.
  3. Cut up 3-4 pear halves into big chunks and scatter overtop of Brie.
  4. Sprinkle cinnamon over top of pears, and a couple hazelnuts or pecan bits if desired.
  5. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until Brie is starting to melt (ovens may vary).
  6. Remove and serve with sliced crusty bread.