Here is the final installment of my New Year’s Eve party suggestions. It is last but certainly not least. The brie oozes creaminess while the cranberries tang and the ginger zings. The bit of crème de cassis in the mix made it a marvelous match for the Kir Pétillant that was floating around our holiday party.
Note: If you halve the recipe for the cranberry topping you will have more than enough for the wheel of brie. However, I always make the full amount since the leftover (stored in an airtight container in the fridge) keeps for 2 weeks and is fantastic warm or cold drizzled over ice cream or served with roasted poultry or game.
- 1/2 cup crème de cassis
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1-1 inch piece of peeled fresh ginger
- 1-12 0z bag of fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries (optional)
- 1 large orange (optional) segmented, segments cut in half
- lemon juice to taste
- more sugar to taste
- 1-16 ounce wheel of brie or 2-8 ounce wheels of brie
Combine the following in a medium sauce pan: the crème de cassis, the water, the sugar and the ginger.
Bring to a boil over high heat.
Stir in the cranberries and dried blueberries (if using). Return the mixture to the boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat. Gently stir in the orange segments (if using).
Put some of the mixture on a teaspoon (make sure you’re getting a bit of everything on there). Taste it. If it is too tart, stir in up to 1/2 cup more sugar. If it isn’t very tangy or if it tastes a bit flat, add a few drops of lemon juice. Stir. One final assessment: Can you taste the ginger? If so, remove the piece of ginger. If not, leave the ginger in the pot as the mixture cools for at least 30 minutes. Then remove the ginger.
Store the cooled mixture for up to 2 weeks in the fridge in an airtight container.
One hour before serving: Remove the brie from the fridge, unwrap it and put it on a serving plate. Spoon on some of the cranberry mixture (you want it to fill the middle of the wheel and bit an inch or so high).
Note: Like in the picture above, I like the cranberry mixture to be juicy so that the drips can be soaked up by bits of bread or crackers. If you would prefer yours to have less liquid (unlike in the picture above) strain the amount of cranberry mixture you want to use through a fine sieve before spooning it onto the brie. My preference for juiciness aside, if I’m taking this dish to a potluck I always strain the topping to make the chance of scarlet cranberry stains on friends’ carpets less likely.
Serve the brie with water crackers, slices of baguette or walnut bread.
Check out my other recipes that were inspired by Fine Cooking’s Sweets and Sparklers menu: Salted Pineapple Pecan Angel Slice, Rosemary-Orange-Lemon-Curd Slice, White Chocolate Bark with Blueberries, Pine Nuts and a Zest of Lemon and Spicy Maple Cashews.
Also have a look at my reviews of some of the items from the Sweets and Sparklers menu: my review of Popcorn with Sweet Butter and Sea Salt, my review of Apple, Fennel and Cheddar Cheese Straws, my review of Bittersweet Chocolate Bark with Marcona Almonds).
Best wishes for a happy, hearty and yummy New Year’s Eve,