Cranberry pomegranate baked brie with lightly toasted pecans and fresh rosemary – the ultimate festive, delicious, and easy holiday appetizer!
I honestly don’t think there’s a lot I can add beyond the basic description of what’s happening here: warm, melty baked brie. A delectably sweet-tart sauce made up of juicy cranberries, pomegranate juice, and pomegranate seeds. (Which I believe are packed with antioxidants and other very good for you things, right? So this appetizer is cancer-fighting, too!)
Add some pecans for crunch, a little fresh rosemary for garnish, and all the crackers or other brie-delivery vehicles your heart desires, and you, my friend, are in party food heaven.
That said, I will freely confess that I did not make or eat this for a party. We didn’t even share with anyone else. (Oh, the gall!) My husband and I ate it by ourselves. For dinner! And I regret nothing.
The other phenomenal thing about this appetizer is how low-maintenance it is. The only part that requires any attention whatsoever is preparing the sauce, and even that is basically just a matter of stirring ingredients together. Plus, the sauce can easily be made several days in advance, so all you would need to do before guests arrive is plop the brie on your baking dish, bake, spoon over some sauce, garnish, and dig in!
Brie Rind: To Keep or To Cut?
After spending far too much time reading about this on the Internet – there are really quite an outrageous number of websites devoted to the ideal manner of eating brie, especially if you search in both English and French – I came to the following earth-shattering conclusion: it really doesn’t matter.
The thick, white rind is completely edible, and, predictably, keeps the brie tidy as it bakes, restricting all the melted goodness to the interior, at least until the moment you decide to cut in.
But, if you don’t personally like the rind, and don’t care to simply eat around it, you can slice off the top before baking. This would be easiest when the brie is very cold. And, for reasons that may be obvious, don’t remove the sides of the wheel – unless you want melted cheese to run everywhere!
How to get the seeds (arils) out of pomegranate?
Now my last tip – how to get the seeds out of pomegranate! I have, I admit, always been intimidated by pomegranate. I think we cracked one open in school once, talked about what a mess they can be, and I was scared off!
But this post from The Café Sucre Farine changed all that. The de-seeding technique they describe is so simple, and worked like a charm. Now I want to add pomegranate to all the things, all winter long!
More Appetizer and Entertaining Ideas:
- Turkey Gouda Party Rolls with Honey Mustard Glaze
- Skinny Crockpot Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Stuffed Mushrooms
- White Bean Sun-Dried Tomato Dip
- Roasted Garlic and Sage Pumpkin Hummus
But back to the main event here. This simple cranberry pomegranate baked brie checks so many boxes – impressive, pretty, delicious, and easy to make for a crowd.
Now what are you waiting for? Grab a cracker and dig in before all this good stuff melts away! Enjoy! ♥
Cranberry Pomegranate Baked Brie
- 6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
- 1 (8 ounce) wheel of brie
- 1/3 cup pecans
- honey, for drizzling
- fresh rosemary, for garnish
- crackers, for serving
- To make the sauce, combine cranberries, pomegranate juice, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until most of the cranberries pop and the mixture thickens slightly. Taste and add more sugar, if desired.
- Stir in the pomegranate arils, then set sauce aside to cool.
- To assemble, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the wheel of brie on a cast-iron skillet or oven-proof serving dish. Bake for about 7 minutes, just until the cheese softens.
- Remove brie from the oven and top with a drizzle of honey and generous spoonfuls of the cranberry pomegranate sauce. Sprinkle pecans over the sauce and around the wheel, as desired.
- Return everything to the oven for 2-3 minutes. Remove and garnish with rosemary, if desired. Serve warm with crackers.