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Baked Brie with Cranberry, Walnut, and Basil

This appetizer looks and tastes stunning. A creamy flow of brie, topped by a tangy, ruby red pool of cranberry sauce and studded with crunchy walnuts. It begs to be scooped up with crackers or baguette slices. Best of all, it's simple to make. The cranberry topping can be made ahead, so it all comes together quickly to make your party special.

Ingredients

  • 7-ounce wheel of brie
  • 1/3 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
  • Cranberry topping (see recipe below)
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 277ºC (350ºF). Place brie on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes. You'll see the sides start to bow out slightly as the cheese melts.
  2. Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes.
  3. Using the parchment and with a wide spatula supporting underneath, transfer the brie to a serving dish.
  4. Top with a generous dollop of warm cranberry topping.
  5. Sprinkle walnuts on top and garnish with basil leaves.

Cranberry Topping

Ingredients

(Note: This will make more topping than you'll need. Save the rest for your next party, or use it anywhere you would use cranberry sauce.)

  • 1 1/2 cups Wild Coast Dried Whole Cranberries
  • 3/4 cup cranberry juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Directions

  1. Mix cranberries, cranberry juice, sugar, orange zest and juice, and salt in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes, to allow the cranberries to plump.
  2. Mix cornstarch and water to form a slurry. Slowly add the cornstarch slurry to the cranberry mixture, stirring constantly. 
  3. Simmer a few more minutes, until mixture thickens. (It will thicken more on standing.)
  4. Set aside to cool. Once cool, stir in chopped basil.

Serve with sturdy crackers or sliced baguette. Cut through the brie rind and let the molten cheese spill out to be scooped up with the tangy, slightly herbal cranberry topping and crunchy walnuts.


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