Okay, I’ve got one more delicious drop for you before I take a few days off for Christmas. If there is one special thing you make for yourself this holiday season, let it be baked brie. There’s no appetizer or delicious treat that is easier than baked brie. It’s basically pure heaven. I topped my baked brie with caramelized apples and pecans, but I’ve got some other topping ideas for you below!
What is Brie?
Brie is a soft, ultra-creamy cow’s milk cheese that has a pillowy white outer rind and a soft and creamy beige-colored center. The cheese is soft and spreadable when room temperature, and it gets ultra melty and creamy when briefly baked. Brie is so ultra rich and creamy, that I definitely consider it a treat and perfect for special occasions, like Christmas.
You’ll usually find brie sold in small wheels or in wedge-shaped portions. For this recipe, you’ll want a whole 8oz. wheel so the melty cheese can stay contained in the rind as it melts into a near-liquid state.
Can You Eat the Rind?
Yes, the soft white rind on the wheel of brie is 100% edible. Some people don’t like the slightly musky flavor, but I love the contrast between the earthy outer layer and the creamy interior. If you don’t like the flavor of the rind or you’re just not sure yet, go ahead and slice the rind off the top of the wheel before topping and baking. That will allow you to scoop the cheese out of the center without getting any rind in your bite. Leave the sides and bottom rind intact to hold the melted cheese inside.
Buying Brie on a Budget
Brie can range in price quite a bit, but honestly, even lower level brie is just so creamy and delicious that I wouldn’t worry about buying a less expensive cheese. I was able to find one at Aldi for $2.99, and another on sale at Kroger for $3.49 (other brands can easily be 2-3 times this much). I usually see the more expensive brie cheese at the specialty cheese counter, while less expensive wheels are near the other pre-packaged refrigerated cheeses.
A good way to shop around without having to drive around from store to store is to check your local grocery stores’ websites. Search for “brie” on each one to see what their selection and prices look like before heading out the door.
What Kind of Baking Dish to Use
For baked brie, you’ll want to use an oven-safe dish that is close in size to your wheel of brie. If you’re adding something like the caramelized apples that I added below, you’ll want the dish to be slightly larger (maybe 1-inch wider in diameter) to allow room for the toppings to overflow.
Topping Ideas for Baked Brie
I topped my baked brie with caramelized apples and pecans (instructions included in the recipe below), but there are so many other options, some of which require nothing more than opening up a jar. Here are some other ways you can top your baked brie:
Easy Baked Brie with Apples
- 1 apple ($0.70)
- 2 Tbsp butter ($0.20)
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.09)
- 1 pinch cinnamon ($0.02)
- 8 oz. wheel of brie ($2.99)
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans ($0.52)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Peel and chop the apple into ½-inch pieces.
- Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the chopped apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Sauté the apples in the butter and brown sugar until they're softened and the brown sugar has reduced into a sticky caramel (about 10 minutes).
- Score the top of the wheel of brie in a hatch pattern (you can also remove the top layer of rind, or leave it whole). Place the brie in a small baking dish, then pour the caramelized apples over top. Sprinkle the chopped pecans on top.
- Bake the brie in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Enjoy the brie hot with crackers, bread, or apple slices.
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How to Make Baked Brie with Apples – Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Peel and chop one apple.
Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Once melted add the chopped apples, 3 Tbsp brown sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon.
Cook the apples in the butter and brown sugar over medium heat until the apples are softened and the brown sugar has turned into a thick caramel sauce (about 10 minutes). You can stir in the chopped pecans now (¼ cup) if you want them more like candied pecans, or add them later if you want them to have a more toasty flavor.
Place your wheel of brie in an oven-safe dish that is close in size to the wheel of cheese. If you don’t like the flavor of the rind, slice the rind off the top of the wheel. I like to simply score the top in a hatch pattern, which makes it easier to dip the crackers in without breaking. You can also leave the rind intact if you prefer.
Pour the caramelized apples over the wheel of brie and top with 1/4 cup chopped pecans. Bake in the preheated 350ºF oven for 15 minutes.
Dig in while it’s still hot! 🤤