An easy, elegant appetizer perfectly suited for holiday entertaining or sharing with a loved one. This Baked Brie with Cranberries and Bacon is a pull apart bread with Joan of Arc Brie and a cranberry bacon jam.
Cranberry Bacon Jam
4-5 slices of bacon, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
1/2 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. light brown sugar, gently packed
1 tsp brewed coffee
1/2 c. cranberries, fresh or frozen
2 TB maple syrup
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1 loaf round rustic bread, sourdough or Italian
1 wheel Joan of Arc Brie
Italian parsley, chopped
In a small saucepan set to medium heat, fry the chopped bacon until browned. Remove to drain on a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Reserve 1 TB of the bacon grease and discard the rest (or save for later).
Place the bacon grease back in the saucepan with the onions and garlic and saute for 2 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add the brown sugar, coffee, cranberries, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, walnuts and cooked bacon to the pot. Simmer over medium heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring often, until the cranberries pop and it thickens. Reduce heat to medium low if the sugars begin to burn.
Make this jam ahead of time and refrigerate or set aside for cooking shortly.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a sheet pan with parchment. Slice the dome off the top of the bread, leaving 3/4s of the bread on the bottom. Use the brie to measure the center of the bread and trace with a knife. Scoop out the bread and set aside.
Cut slices around the edge of the bread in 1-2″ sections, leaving the bottom intact. Drizzle the olive oil over the bread, including the bottom of the “lid” – the dome you sliced off the top. Slice off the top of the brie and discard the rind. Place it in the oiled, hollowed out bread, and top with the chopped Italian parsley.
Spoon the cranberry bacon jam over the top and then replace the top of the bread. Back for 20-25 minutes, until hot and melty. In the last 10 minutes of baking, add the chunks of bread scooped out to the sheet pan and bake if desired.
To serve, remove the top of the bread and encourage your guests to rip it to shreds! Slice the top of the bread into bite size pieces for dipping.