I am convinced I have cheese in my veins. Not just because I love it, but because it’s been my BFF ever since I started eating. We’ve been through it all, me and cheese – breakups, holidays and fun times with family and friends. I used to snack on cheese with my Yiayia when we’d sit at her kitchen table during one of our late night talks, my Nonno and Nonna always bring me out an assortment of Italian cheese whenever I visit, and one of my best friends calls me “Ched” because she claims to have never met anyone who eats as much cheese as me.
It’s a part of every family gathering I’ve ever been to, whether it’s feta in a salad, saganaki at a restaurant or the $20 a pound Italian cheese my Nonno and Nonna have out every Christmas Eve. I owe a lot to cheese because of all of the happiness it’s brought to my life and what better way to pay my respects to the food I love most than by dressing it up with some fall flavors.
Andddddddd the perfect cheese to do that with is brie. Want to know why? Because it bakes so nicely and is such a creamy compliment to a crunchy, toasted slice of baguette bread. It’s pretty much perfection when warmed up. I topped this baked brie with sweet Gala apples, crispy pancetta and crunchy pecans. If you have a fall gathering coming up, this is the dish you need to make! It’s inviting, shareable and oh so warm and comforting.
If you end up making it, don’t forget to tag #marinamakeseats!
Baked Brie with Apples & Pancetta
Serves 4-6 as an appetizer
- 8 oz package of brie
- 5 oz of pancetta, diced into small pieces
- 1 cup of peeled and diced sweet apple (I used Gala, but other sweet versions will work as well. I’d also recommend Granny Smith)
- 1/3 cup of roughly chopped pecans
- French baguette, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
When the oven is set, place brie (with rind on – the rind will keep the cheese contained) on a baking dish with edges, and cook for 12-15 minutes until gooey on the inside. To check the consistency, stick a knife in the brie.
While the cheese is cooking, place diced pancetta in a medium frying pan and cook over medium-high heat until crispy (about 6-8 minutes). Lower the heat and add the diced apples, stirring to combine and cooking another minute or two. Set aside.
Once the Brie is melted, top with pancetta and apple mixture and chopped pecans. Place everything back in oven for another two minutes. When it’s done, take it out of the oven and serve immediately with sliced bread.