The leaves are falling and the air is getting crisp: fall has arrived. The oven calls us like a siren, conjuring visions of comfort food. What better way to cave in than with a warm, gooey baked brie?
Here are a few of our favorite brie-style cheeses to bake up this fall and beyond.
1) Le Pommier Brie
Hailing from Normandy, Le Pommier Brie embodies tradition, quality, and straight up deliciousness! Normande cows are a hearty breed whose rich milk is perfect for butter and cheese production. The high-fat content lends buttery, cream of mushroom soup notes, making Le Pommier a prime cheese for baking. If you’re feeling extra, follow this recipe and wrap your brie in puff pastry. Break out your favorite snuggy and slippers before devouring this velvety curd.
2) Vermont Creamery St. Albans
This little brie-style cheese is an ideal single serving (you could stretch it to two, but why share?). This little nugget may be small, but it has the power to propel you to a gooey state of nirvana. St. Albans is the first 100% cow’s milk cheese and comes in a crock that you can reuse for future sinful endeavors. Top leftover cheese with an egg and pop in the oven for an “egg-cellent” brekkie. Send your taste buds to the moon and back by pairing with Granny Smith apples or potato chips.
3) Goat Brie
For an alternative to the traditional cow milk cheese, try Cabrie by Montchevre or Woolwich, a Canadian triple-creme that is small batch, affordable, and damn delicious. The paste is snow white instead of buttery yellow, with notes of tangy citrus, hay, and fresh cream. Bake at 350°F for 5-8 minutes, and add 2-3 minutes for that extra ooze factor. Try with bourbon fig jam and Serrano ham chips or rev your engines by adding spiced tomato jam and chorizo slices.
4) Cambozola Black Label
Dare I suggest a blue cheese? To be fair, this mild “Level 1” of a moldy blue cheese from Germany is a double agent. This lightly blue-veined, creamy Kase is actually 72% butterfat, making it a legit triple-cream brie. A fun and delicious way to introduce blue cheese to an unsuspecting “blue hater.” Bake for 5-7 minutes at 350°F to soften the paste. Sprinkle with maple-glazed bacon bits and fig cake for the ultimate mouth party.
I couldn’t resist mentioning one of my all-time favorites: Jasper Hill Farm’s Harbison from Vermont. This soft-ripened masterpiece is known for its ability to blow customers’ minds and make seasoned mongers swoon. The pillowy rind protected by spruce bark dares you to rest your cheek upon it, while its shiny, luscious interior begs for a large spoon. Notes of roasted cauliflower, peanuts, and bacon fat simultaneously conjure images of walking in the woods barefoot like a forest nymph. After scoring or removing the rind, broil for 30 seconds or bake at 350°F for 3-4 minutes. Dip roasted potatoes or your favorite root vegetable fondue-style, and enjoy Harbison in all its woodsy glory.
6) Cremeux de Citreux aux Truffes
La piece de reistance! This incredible triple creme is topped by a layer of authentic French truffle shavings. Created by master fromager/affineur Rodolph Le Meunier, the fluffy texture is reminiscent of whipped butter, with notes of sweet cream and hints of limestone, black garlic, and preserved lemon. Cremeux de Citreux aux Truffes is the ultimate, sexy treat-yo-self choice.
It’s the rarest cheese on the list, so check with your local specialty cheese shop. Cremeux doesn’t require baking by any means, but my mind was altered after I came across The Restaurant at Meadowood. Known simply as “The Candle,” their take on baked brie is paired simply with honeycomb and bread for dipping. A simple alternative is to create a bread bowl and place in the oven at 350°F for 5 minutes, or until desired consistency. Drizzle with honey and add sliced marinated walnuts for some added extravagance.