French Brie de Meaux, dating to the 8th century, is considered one of the world's great cheeses. Authentic French Brie is made with raw or unpasteurized milk and, as such, can't be imported into the United States. You'll have to go to France to savor this delicacy.
If the label on your product says "Produced in France" and you purchased it in the U.S., then your Brie has been made with pasteurized milk. It is still an excellent-tasting cheese. Brie is formed into rounds and can range from 4-ounce minis to wheels that weigh 5 pounds and more. It's an expensive cheese, so expect to shell out some cash for the good stuff.
This recipe for baked Brie with a touch of amaretto is a decadent appetizer that should be served warm with crackers or baguette slices. Brie served warm as an appetizer has been the trendy thing to do since the '70s. It started with Brie en croûte (baked in a crust, usually puff pastry), then people discovered the merits of eating it plain with wine.
These days, people are eschewing the high-calorie puff pastry and just melting it slightly in a conventional oven or microwave. Be careful, though. Brie melts quickly and you might end up with a puddle on your plate. A very tasty puddle that is still edible, but not much in the presentation department.
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (ground)
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (ground)
- 1-ounce amaretto
- 1 round Brie cheese
- 1/4 cup almonds (sliced) or walnuts (chopped)
- Garnish: baguette slices, toast rounds, crackers, or sliced apples
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- In a heavy saucepan, heat brown sugar and butter over medium heat until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and amaretto. Mix well.
- Place Brie in an oven-safe casserole dish. Top with sauce and sprinkle with almonds or walnuts. Bake 10 to 15 minutes until Brie is soft. (Instead of baking, you may microwave Brie at 30-second intervals until soft and warm.)
- Serve with baguette slices, toast rounds, crostini, crackers, or sliced apples.