The idea of this recipe comes to me from my friend, Stephanie. She is the ultimate hostess, always showing up at parties with some homemade party appetizer baked brie or dessert she whipped up, or throwing delicious dinner parties. At a friend’s housewarming party, she brought along baked brie, and popped it in the oven to melt. I was intrigued, as I had never had it before, and let me tell you, it was out-of-this-world good. The presentation is impressive, especially when you pull it out of the oven right in front of your guests and let them dig in right away.
There are many variations to baked brie, and in the past I’ve had it baked with apples, honey and nuts, and a spicy peach jam I found at Trader Joe’s, which may be a seasonal item, as I haven’t seen it since last spring.
Party Appetizer Baked Brie Variations
You can bake the brie as-is, or wrap it in puff pastry sheets or crescent dough. You can top it with jam, fruit compote, nuts, or savory toppings, like fresh herbs or mushrooms. You can serve it a sliced baguette, crackers, or apple slices. The possibilities are endless, so go get creative, and share it with friends at your next gathering. It will be a hit!
One thing I learned recently about brie, is that if stored at a cold temperature or wrapped too tightly, it can take on an ‘ammonia-like’ smell. Apparently, this is the by-product of the bacteria that make the cheese in the first place. The cheese isn’t bad at this point, you should just let it air-out for about 30 minutes, unwrapped, so that the smell dissipates. Also, the rind is edible, so no need to cut that off before baking.