Caramel Brie En Croûte

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We serve this with crackers, pieces of baguette, sliced fruit, really whatever else is around. Honestly, you could put it on a shoe and your guests would still love it.

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You’ll Need:

¼ cup brown sugar

¾ pecans

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 roll out pie crust

1 16 ounce wheel of brie

1 egg

1 cup sugar

½ cup water

6 tablespoons butter

½ cup heavy whipping cream

How To:

For the Brie:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the maple syrup, brown sugar, and ¼ cup of the pecans. Roll the pie crust out on a cutting board or other flat surface and pour the pecan mix onto the crust in a circle about the size of your brie. Place the brie on top and wrap the whole thing in the crust, smoothing out the edges and making sure the crust meets all the way around. Flip the brie pretty-side-up, brush with an egg wash made of egg white and a splash of water, and bake for approximately 25 minutes until golden brown. You’ve just made brie on croûte and could stop there but, oh, please don’t.

For the Sauce:

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk or stir until the mixture begins to boil, then stop stirring immediately. Once the sugar turns a light amber color (just a few minutes), add the butter. This may foam up briefly. When the butter is melted, take the pan off the heat and stir in the cream until smooth. Add the remaining pecans and pour on, over, under, or around, the brie.

Optional:

I love making food beautiful, so I can’t help but decorate this brie with the leftover pie crust. If you’d like to add a little flourish like I do, you can use cookie or pie cutters to cut out shapes or, my favorite, cut out a little leaf with a butter knife and add a little stem made from a piece of the crust rolled in your hand. Just stick them to the top before popping the brie in the oven. This step just adds a couple of minutes but makes this dish feel even more special for the holidays.

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Shout out: This is a variation on a recipe my mom gave me. Great find!

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Maple Cranberry Apple Pie

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I can’t imagine a better time to start writing about food than the week leading up to Thanksgiving! This is my favorite day of the year. It’s like the foodie Superbowl.

I keep running into tips and tricks online and in magazines on how to get around spending the whole day cooking, but in my household a whole day cooking is our idea of an awesome time. Now if only we could find some people to feed. It looks like it’s just going to be the two of us this year but that won’t stop us from making a turkey and all the sides while sipping cranberry mimosas and mulled wine all day (those recipes to come). We start planning our Thanksgiving recipe for the year some time around 8:00 the Thanksgiving before and never quite finish getting excited about what to make or how to switch things up. The one thing we can’t seem to avoid making is our Maple Cranberry Apple Pie. This recipe was a happy accident that happened when we decided to Vermontify a traditional apple pie recipe with some maple syrup while also realizing we didn’t have some of the traditional ingredients for apple pie and subbed in pumpkin pie spice. There, I said it, the secret ingredient to our apple pie is pumpkin pie spice!

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Recipe: Maple Cranberry Apple Pie

You’ll Need:

1 package of roll out pie crust – you can get fancy and do it yourself, but we cheat

8 sliced apples – a blend of baking apples and a couple of granny smiths works nicely

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

¼ flour

½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

½ teaspoon cinnamon – more to taste if you love cinnamon

A pinch of salt

1 egg

2 tablespoons of butter

How To:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice apples to a thickness you like, keeping in mind that thicker slices will likely to be firmer when the pie is cooked. We prefer to end up with soft apples so we do a fairly small slice. Mix together the apples, dried cranberries, sugar, maple syrup, flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.

To prepare the crust, roll it out and put one sheet into the pie pan. Dump the apple mix into the first pie crust and top with the other. This part can be as easy or as complicated as you like. You can simply put the other crust on top and cut slits to let out steam or go fancier and make a nice lattice or use cookie or pie crust cutters to cut out designs to throw on top. Once your top crust is in place, make an egg wash with one egg white and a splash of water and brush the crust to make it shiny. Dot the top of the pie with the butter. Pop the pie in the oven for around 40 minutes, checking on it periodically. It’s ready to take out once the filling begins to bubble up and the crust is golden brown. Enjoy!

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