One of my favorite taste medleys is the creaminess of brie next to the crispness of apples. Even though most people think a brie wrapped in phyllo or puff pastry is a great holiday appetizer, I think it takes the richness of the cheese too far. For a few years I played around with how best to pare the apple and the brie together and finally came up with a brie blossom. With only four ingredients and a sharp paring knife, you can create this great cheese presentation.
Although this is a simple presentation, details do count. Select apples that have a bright red skin- the contrast works best against the white of the brie. You need a 1 1/2" cookie cutter or a saucer with a 1 1/2" ridge. And you need a sharp knife- first to cut the apples and then to cut the cheese. I use a commercially available product called Natureseal- it is a powdered all natural product of citric acid to keep the apples from turning brown. You can get a similar result by slicing apples and soaking them in a water mixture with 2 Tbsp of Lemon juice. Let them sit for 5 minutes and the towel dry.
1 medium brie
2 Whole apples
1 tsp. nature seal (or 2 Tbsp lemon juice)
3 Cup cold water
Strawberries or grapes for center (optional)
- Unwrap brie and place on cutting board. With a 1 ½" round cookie cutter, score a circle in the center of the brie.With a sharp knife, cut the center out.Cut the small inside circle into 6-8 wedges. Set aside. Cut the remaining outer circle of the brie into thin wedges no more than ⅛" thick at the outside edge.
- Cut two apples in quarters and remove the core and seeds. Slice the apples into very thin wedges( the thinner the better).
- Combine the nature seal (or lemon juice) and water in a small bowl. Drop the apples in the water and soak for 5 minutes. Remove the slices and dry on paper towel.
- Place the outer ring of the brie on a platter and gently pull it apart leaving space for the apple slices. Wedge a slice of apple in between each piece of brie. As you go around the brie you will need to remove 8 cheese slices to make room for the apple. Do not discard ( or sample- my biggest challenge).
- In the center, replace the small circle of cheese and wedge the apples in the spaces between the slices. Add the extra wedges to the center and arrange to look like a flower. Tuck any extra apple slices in the center to form a center with height. Garnish with a strawberry or small cluster of grapes (optional).