Everything is better with phyllo, even baked Brie which really seems hard to improve upon. For this recipe, I topped the cheese with my leftover cranberry compote from Thanksgiving. The combination yields a subtly sweet, tart, creamy and crunchy appetizer. It’s basically what dreams are made of.
If you’re looking for a shortcut on this recipe, you can swap out the homemade cranberry compote for store bought cranberry sauce or even raspberry preserves.
You can serve with whatever vessel you prefer to use to transfer the cheese from the dish to your mouth. I opted for artisanal crackers but you could use crostini or fresh baguette. I wouldn’t reach for veggies on this one unless you’re really desperate to achieve #balance.
This is a crowd-pleasing and filling appetizer – best employed throughout the upcoming holiday season when you expect guests to putting away more than a couple cocktails as you panic to get your shit together in the kitchen .
I love to host but it’s often a bit of a panic. Lately I seem to have really gotten my act together though (knock on wood). The secret is to meticulously plan your meal. Make sure you don’t have more stovetop recipes than you have burners, if more than one recipes needs time in the oven, try to ensure they need the same temperature or adapt the timing accordingly.
When I’m hosting, I like to have an appetizer set out in the living room (so they stay out of my way in the kitchen) and a pitcher cocktail ready to go when guests arrive. A co-host is a useful tool if you have one – put them to work chatting up guests so you can stay focused on the tasks at hand.
This is particularly helpful in my case because I’m incapable of carrying on a conversation and cooking at the same time. This will probably preclude me from having a food show any time soon. A skill to work on though.
When I’m cooking is very much like when I’m playing sports or working on a puzzle, my brow is deeply furrowed, occasionally you’ll catch my tongue sticking out ever so slightly. Not exactly made for TV. That being said, I’ve watched enough episodes of Martha Stewart to catch onto the magic of television, raw cookies go in one second, finished cookies come out a second later. So, all I need is a good production assistant. Wish me luck.
Phyllo-Wrapped Baked Brie with Cranberry Compote
- 6 phyllo sheets thawed
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 wheel Brie
- 1/4 cup cranberry compote, or storebought cranberry sauce
- Fresh cranberries for garnish
- Fresh thyme for garnish
- sliced baguette or crackers for serving
- ⅓ cup finely diced red onion
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 cups fresh cranberries divided
- ¾ cup dry red wine
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large apple or almost-ripe pear peeled
- and grated
- 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 cinnamon stick
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a lightly greased cast iron pan, place one sheet of phyllo pastry and brush with melted butter. Layer with remaining sheets of phyllo, brushing each with butter, and placing at different angles.
Place wheel of brie in the centre of the phyllo and cover evenly with the 1/4 cup of cranberry sauce/compote.
Fold in the phyllo to create a parcel of Brie. Brush phyllo with butter.
Place in preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Brie may seep out of the phyllo, not to worry, the cast iron pan will keep everything contained.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly before eating. Garnish with fresh cranberries and sprigs of thyme, as desired.
Serve with sliced fresh baguette, crostini or crackers.
For compote, combine onion and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile cut ½ cup of cranberries in half; set aside. Stir remaining cranberries, red wine, sugar, apple and ginger into onions. Add cinnamon stick.
Bring to a low boil, stirring frequently. Adjusting heat as needed, briskly simmer mixture, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Stir in reserved cranberry halves; simmer another 5 minutes. Cool, cover and refrigerate until needed. (Compote can be made 2 to 3 days ahead.)