I’ve been teaching appetizer classes for fifteen years and what I look for in a recipe is always the same. It has to be exciting and a little different, it has to be really good, and it has to be easy. If it’s not easy, you probably won’t make it (at least more than once!). You might make a more difficult entrée, but you’re not going to have time for several involved appetizers.
This is the fourth recipe I featured in my first class fifteen years ago and it’s about as easy and quick as they come. It’s also very impressive and will definitely turn heads. Perfect for the holiday season, you’ll probably make this more than once.
A few notes. Don’t be afraid to melt sugar without adding water. Just keep stirring and it will eventually melt into a light golden amber. Use a light hand when drizzling your melted sugar over the brie or else it will be hard to break! And, feel free to use a smaller whole brie—just adjust the amount of the other ingredients.
Jeweled Brie with Fruits and Nuts
1 wheel (about 2 pounds) of ripe brie
2 cups white sugar
⅓ cup mixture of dried cranberries, dried currants, golden raisins, and
thinly sliced dried apricot
⅓ cup mixture of sliced almonds, raw pistachios and chopped pecans
Place brie on a white, heat resistant serving plate. Sprinkle fruits and nuts over brie, reserving a bit for later. Place sugar in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir constantly until sugar melts and starts to turn golden.
Immediately pour the caramel over the Brie being careful to pour in light streams across cheese. Immediately scatter the rest of the fruits and nuts over the caramel. Serve with table water crackers. May be prepared up to 3 hours before serving.