How to Eat Brie Cheese

Barbara Rolek
Contributor: Karen Frazier
Brie cheese

For Brie lovers, simply burying your face in a wheel of this creamy cheese is the perfect way to eat it. For those not in the know, here are some suggestions.

The A-Brie-Cs of Eating This Cheese

Brie cheese has a soft, almost molten core and a harder, grayish outer rind. People often wonder if the rind is edible and the answer is a resounding "Yes!" It's meant to be eaten and actually adds to the flavor and character of Brie.

The basic information for how to eat this cheese includes:

  1. Store Brie cheese in its original container in the refrigerator. Once the seal has been broken and the cheese is cut, wrap it in parchment paper or waxed paper so the rind can continue to breathe and stay dry. Don't use plastic wrap (once it's been baked, plastic wrap is OK for leftovers).
  2. Prior to eating, remove the Brie from the refrigerator one hour before serving so it comes to room temperature and is at its best.
  3. Serve the entire wheel on a cheese board or plate and cut one or two pieces (but no more, because the cheese will dry out) to give guests an idea of the proper size to portion for themselves.
  4. Serve the Brie with crusty bread or plain-flavored crackers that won't compete with the taste of the cheese. This is not the time to pull out the nacho chips.
  5. Brie pairs well with fruits like apples, pears, grapes, and berries, and unsalted nuts like pecans, almonds, and walnuts.
  6. Classic wine pairings with Brie include acidic, herbaceous, dry whites like Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio) or Sauvignon Blanc. White wines made in the méthode champenoise (Champagne, Cava, sparkling whites) also pair well with Brie.

Eating Baked Brie

Baked Brie is a soft, warm, melty, and delicious way to enjoy this cheese. It can be baked as is or with toppings (see below) or wrapped in puff pastry (Brie en Croute) or phyllo dough.

Store baked Brie tightly wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator for no longer than three days. To reheat, remove plastic wrapping, place in a rimmed pan and bake at 350 F until soft, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Baked Brie With Cranberries

brie with cranberry

In this recipe, perfect for the fall and winter holidays, Brie is crowned with cooked cranberries, pecans and nutmeg.

Ingredients

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 (8-ounce) wheel Brie cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, cook cranberries, sugar, water, and orange zest until cranberries pop and sauce thickens, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Cool the cranberries in the refrigerator, tightly covered.
  3. Heat oven to 350 F.
  4. Place a round of Brie in an ovenproof, shallow dish (like a glass pie plate) and spread with the cooled cranberry mixture.
  5. Sprinkle chopped pecans and freshly grated nutmeg over the top.
  6. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes until the Brie is softened.
  7. Serve with slices of crusty bread.

Baked Brie With Roasted Garlic

brie and garlic

In this appetizer recipe, you can pop the Brie in the oven 10 minutes before the garlic is finished roasting for them to be ready at the same time.

Ingredients

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

  • 2 whole heads garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 (8-ounce) wheel Brie cheese
  • 1 loaf French or Italian bread, sliced

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Slice the top off garlic heads, exposing the cloves.
  3. Place the garlic with the exposed cloves facing up in a glass pan. Drizzle the garlic with olive oil and sprinkle it with sea salt. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour until the garlic is soft.
  4. Ten minutes before the garlic is finished roasting, place the Brie round in a shallow, ovenproof pan and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is soft. Remove Brie and garlic from oven.
  5. Serve the cheese with slices of baguette and the roasted garlic on a serving plate with small forks to facilitate removal and spreading of the garlic.
  6. To eat, remove a clove of garlic and spread it on the baguette. Top with the Brie cheese.

Toppings for Baked Brie

Consider the following toppings and preparations for baked Brie cheese.

  • Slivered almonds
  • Pecans cooked in butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Apricot preserves
  • Raspberry preserves
  • Caramelized pears
  • Caramelized apples

Ideas for Brie Beyond Baking

Brie is such a noble cheese, doing anything more to it than baking and eating it neat seems, well, indecent. But Brie can be used as the star in a variety of recipes. Simply swap out (or add in) Brie to your taste. For example:

How Brie Is Made

Brie is a soft cow's milk cheese that is named after the province in France in which it originated. It is made by adding rennet to raw milk, heating it to 98.6 F and then casting into molds, where it is drained for about 20 hours. After this process is complete, it is removed from the mold, salted and injected with cheese mold. Brie is then aged for five or six weeks.

Brie cheese should be mild and slightly sweet in flavor. If aged for several months to a year, the flavor becomes stronger. If over-ripened, the cheese takes on flavors of ammonia.

Brie Is an Equal Opportunity Cheese

Whether you're a cheese connoisseur or a neophyte, Brie's mild, creamy flavor lends itself to every palate. For the best flavor, it must be eaten at room temperature or baked into melty gooeyness. Other than that, dressing it up in pastry, taking it neat with a slice of apple, or using it as an ingredient in a recipe is entirely your call.

How to Eat Brie Cheese