- A whole wheel of brie (or Camembert, they're practically the same)
- Blackberries (or raspberries or a combo of both, but any fruit jam-- like apricot-- would do quite well, too)
- 2 Tbs. fresh, chopped Tarragon (but fresh, chopped basil will work in a pinch)
- Salt & Pepper (for best results, use sea salt and corse ground pepper)
- Almond slivers (optional)
- Crackers (I recommend Triscuits since they're thick and tough) or a sliced, small crusty bread, like a French baguette (oh la la!)
- Granny Smith Apple wedges (I used three to serve four people)
- Preheat your oven or grill to 350º.
- After removing the brie from the package, using a knife, cut off the top rind from the cheese wheel. Make sure to leave the sides intact. This will prevent mega oozing while baking.
- Salt and pepper the surface of the now topless brie and place the wheel in a circular cake pan, lined with parchment paper. Don't have parchment paper? No problem. I ran out and had to use foil, and everything turned out okay.
- Give the seasoned top a generous spread of honey. No need to use a knife. I just squirted it directly on the cheese wheel in a long, tight zigzag pattern.
- Top with tarragon and the fruit and (optional) nuts of your choice.
- If you're serving your brie with apple slices, core and wedge the apples. Place the slices around the brie. I like my baked apple wedges salted. If you're like me, sprinkle some salt on 'em.
- Place the pan in the center of the oven or on the grill for exactly 12 minutes.
- Plate, serve and die happy.
However, baked brie is a whole new level of awesome. I don't know how many times I've been to an event or ladies' night and there's a wedge of room temperature brie sitting out for us to enjoy. Not bad, especially if it's nice brie, but I promise that if you have a few minutes to spare, popping your brie in the oven will make you go from a ho-hum hostess to mini-Martha Stewart.
Or just go get a can of Easy Cheese. Even the classiest woman won't be able to resist cheese from a can. Trust me. I know this from experience.