These blogger events are really pushing my pace and creativity! This time it’s #FabulousFallBounty, where we celebrate some of autumn’s finest produce (including some I’d never seen before). I’m focusing on fun and easy recipes that pack a great autumn-y punch.
Many thanks to our sponsors: Silpat for a handy silicone mat; Le Creuset for a lovely serving platter; and Melissa’s Produce for providing us with a beautiful box of goodies. Scroll all the way down for more great recipes!
Also, where did November go? For that matter, what happened to October? I try not to listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, per time-honored family tradition (except for Pentatonix. I make all kinds of exceptions for Pentatonix). Except that this Friday was our work Thanksgiving Feast, which means that next week is actually Thanksgiving, which means that The Holidays are Upon Us. Aiya.
(Should you be slightly panicking, as I am, I recommend this illustrated guide to holiday planning, and this intriguing video on how to cook an entire Thanksgiving in 8 hours. I will add the caveat–PURCHASE THE **** TURKEY EARLY. There’s nothing worse than realizing your turkey is still mostly frozen and won’t be cooked until the Saturday following the big day.
Should you be definitely, very much panicking…I recommend delegating as much as possible. Do you have to host X, Y, and Z? What parties can you gracefully bow out of? What really quick but impressive dishes can you bring? [hint: this one, and these cookies!]. Is this the year you need to say No thank you? I’m serious: your sanity more important than your reputation. Ask your loved ones if you’re not sure.)
Baked Brie with Pears
My first offering for this event is a super simple appetizer, great for parties (and possibly also for dinner for two…not that I would know anything about that). It’s only three ingredients, takes about five minutes of prep, bakes in 20, AND can be prepped ahead of time. It’s essentially a perfect holiday dish.
I used Forelle pears (sent by Melissa’s Produce), which I had not seen before. They reminded me a bit of red pears, sweet and very juicy, with a really nice soft-yet-firm texture. The internet tells me that the word “forelle” comes from the German word for “trout,” due to the coloring (base green with red dots, not unlike fish scales), which I find hilarious. I gobbled the non-recipe-test ones for snacks, and I also think they would be amazing served with sharp cheese.
Is it obvious that I’m not a professional pastry chef? We’ll call the shape of this “rustic.” I baked mine on a Silpat, but because crescent roll dough is so buttery, you can bake this on pretty much any ovenproof surface, including right on your serving dish.
The main note that I have about this recipe is that I cut into mine right away for that amazing cheesy goosh–but it would probably be better to wait about 15 minutes. That way you get every element in each bite, rather than mostly cheese, then mostly dough.
The other note is that this is deliberately a very simple variation, with just a hint of sweet fruity flavor from the pears. Of course, you can do almost anything with baked brie. Want more color? Make a quick pear-cranberry relish. Want more crunch? Add nuts. Like your pastry flaky? Use puff pastry. As with all of my favorite recipes, the only limitation is what you have in the pantry.
(Also, see that pink platter? Because it’s Le Cruset, it can go in the oven! It’s good up to 500F. I didn’t do that here, but how useful is that?)
1 can refrigerated croissant dough
1 small wheel of brie
1 small sweet pear, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 350F.
Open the crescent roll dough. Use a rolling pin to smooth out the seams and to enlarge dough, if necessary.
Place the brie in the center of the dough and layer pear slices on top. Wrap with dough, making sure to cover the cheese completely.
Bake on an ungreased pan or ovenproof serving dish for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with crunchy crackers.
Click the links to see each day’s #FabulousFallBounty recipes!