I created this concept for a holiday party I threw a few years ago and it was a huge hit. A chutney is usually made of fruit, vinegar and sugar, cooked down to a reduction, although the condiment can be prepared in a variety of ways. I find this chutney to be a grown-up version of a cranberry sauce we use as a friend to the turkey during Thanksgiving. Since cranberries are harvested in the Fall, this is still a perfect time of year to cook with them. Their bright red hue is inviting and the tartness of the berries creates a lovely symmetry to the soft ripeness of the French cheese.
Although an acquired taste, baked brie is a party staple that radiates just a little more love than a block of cheddar slapped to a cutting board. With only a slight amount of oven time, this creamy, rich sheep’s milk cheese becomes warm and gooey, and the perfect accompaniment to a cracker, piece of fresh bread or just hand delivered by your thumb and pointer. The rind serves as a wrapping paper to the wonderful gift revealed inside, while the luscious berries are the bow to tie it all together. Happy Holidays!
That’s So Jenn Tip: If you’d like to keep fresh cranberries on hand, they can be frozen up to nine months and used in recipes without thawing.
Adapted from a Tyler Florence recipe
1 wheel brie cheese (medium to large works best for this ratio of chutney)
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup full-body red wine
1/4 cup sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Add cranberries, red wine, sugar and pepper to a small saucepan and set over low-medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes until the cranberries re just cooked through and tender. You want them cooked through but not falling apart. That’s So Jenn Tip: When cooking with wine, always choose a bottle you would like to drink. If you would enjoy it in a glass, you will like it in your meal.
3. Bake brie at 350° for 15 minutes or until cheese is soft and warm. Top with warm compote and serve immediately with crackers. When guests leave, put on your pajamas, reheat and enjoy again…if there’s any leftover that is.