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Autumn Brie with Braided Bread Ring

adapted from Maine Ingredients cookbook, Portland, ME

Ingredients

  • 1 small apple I prefer McIntosh
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup apple cider mixed with ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 4-6 inch round of Brie
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries or Craisins
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • dash cayenne
  • 1 loaf frozen bread dough Rhodes, or 1 round Dicks Market scone dough
  • 1 beaten egg
  • sliced baguette or Carr Water crackers

Instructions

  1. About 2 hours before baking, thaw dough on counter.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Split the loaf into three equal pieces. Roll dough out into long rope so you end up with three long ropes of dough about 18-24 inches long. Starting at one end, place dough on counter and begin braiding. Press dough together and tuck ends under. Shape with hands so dough is even in width throughout braid. Unwrap the Brie from round paper carton, set aside. Cover the empty carton with foil and coat lightly with cooking spray around sides to prevent dough from sticking to carton. Form the braided dough around the foil covered carton on a foil or parchment covered cookie sheet or pizza pan without sides. Brush the dough lightly with a beaten egg. Let rise for about 20-30 minutes. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool and remove Brie carton.
  4. After the bread ring has cooled for about 10 minutes, unwrap the cheese, and place in center of the bread ring. Prepare the fruit and nut topping.
  5. Core and chop the apple. Place in a saucepan with raisins, cider, and ¼ cup sugar. Boil gently until the apples are tender, but not mushy (approx 5 minutes). Strain the liquid from the apples, mix in dried cherries or Craisins, and place on top of Brie. In a separate pan (preferably Teflon) , cook the pecans with ¼ cup sugar and cayenne over medium heat until the sugar caramelizes. Remove from pan, break up the nuts when cooled a bit and sprinkle on top of fruit mixture. Bake the braided bread and Brie with topping for about 10 minutes or until Brie is softened. Take care not to over cook. The Brie melts quickly when overheated. Slide the bread ring filled with Brie onto a serving platter. Serve immediately with baguette slices or crackers.

Recipe Notes

-I like to purchase the Brie at Costco. Usually found with the specialty cheeses.

-Carr brand crackers are my favorite (if I don't serve with a baguette) because they are big and substantial enough to hold the cheese and fruit mixture. "Water Table" crackers or sesame flavors are great because they are simple and won't compete with the flavors in the appetizer.