December 15, 2020
Holiday Baked Brie with Red Anjou Pears
Holiday time is officially here! Our senses are being stimulated with the dazzling lights, cheerful sounds, and the smells of our favorite holiday recipes and of course their accompanying tastes! And while the lights and seasonal colors are a treat for the eyes, let’s be honest the real holiday treats are in the tastes. What is it about this time of year that just feels like a month-long comfort food session? Maybe it’s the cold weather, maybe it’s being surrounded by family (even if not so much this year.)
It seems like the holiday months make us lose whatever hold on control we had before, especially when it comes to food. We go all year long trying to eat as “healthy as possible” (while definitely enjoying the cheat days along the way,) and then the last month just brings up an everything goes attitude!
As someone on the lifelong health journey, I’m always looking for tasty ways to squeeze in foods that add boosts of nutrients to my body without having to feel like I’m eating a mouth full of leaves (sorry raw kale.) My favorite way to do this is by loading up on fresh fruits, because they are sweet (which helps out that
one tooth many of us have,) filled with water, and quite frankly, superfoods! Just snacking on one pear, for example, gives your body fiber which promotes a healthy gut, vitamins C & K which help to boost the immune system and combat inflammation.
I am currently in love with USA Pear’s Green and Red Anjou varieties because they’re homegrown and taste so fresh this time of year. The pears are sweet, but not too sweet, super juicy, and even slightly tangy. And as I’ve been experimenting more in the kitchen, these pears are proving to be the pearfect addition in desserts and even more rich, savory dishes too. As with any recipe however, balance is always a primary ingredient, and this Baked Brie recipe achieves just that! The thick, decadent brie, along with the earthy thyme sprigs and refreshing USA Red Anjou Pears just complement one another amazingly.
Pears are a super versatile ingredient that pair well (had to!) with a variety of tastes. And depending on how you prepare them, fresh pears can be a wonderful appetizer, entree, or even dessert! Not to mention, they are really a guilt-free treat for the body! A medium-sized pear is only about 100 calories and offers 6g of fiber which is roughly 21% of the Daily Value. Now pear that with a delicious holiday brie that you can serve for those around you, and you are sneaking in nutrition without anyone even questioning. It’s a win, win!
Now let’s jump into this tasty Holiday Baked Brie recipe!
2 lbs Wheel brie cheese
2 Red Anjou Pears
½ cup Pomegranate seeds
10 Sprigs thyme
½ cup Honey
1. Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Set the brie out to warm to room temperature.
2. Add honey to a small bowl. Remove the leaves from the thyme stems and muddle them into the honey with a spoon. Note: if your honey is solidified, submerge in hot water until liquid, about 5 minutes.
3. Place the brie on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until liquid in the center.
4. While the brie is baking, slice pears into thin wedges, removing the seeds and core.
5. Remove brie from the oven and carefully transfer the brie onto a serving platter. Arrange the pear wedges on top of the brie, sprinkle the pomegranate seeds over the pears, and drizzle evenly with honey.
6. Enjoy right away by slicing wedges into the brie and dipping the pears into the melted brie or spooning the brie and toppings onto slices of baguette.
Special thanks to USA Pears for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.