Autumn is a wonderful time for snacking. Whether it’s watching games, gathering with friends to enjoy the weather, or hosting family holiday meals, people love together around small bites and chat.. And I love a baked wheel of soft cheese with a sweet, fruity topping. It’s easy and delicious and everyone will love it. I like to keep a wheel of brie or camembert around for impromptu entertaining and so I am often looking for ways to serve it that are a little special. I had a family dinner where I had the main course sorted, but realized last minute that I needed a little nibble to go with drinks before we sat down at the table. I had come wonderful honeycrisp apples on the counter and that camembert in the fridge and this is what I put together, to more raves than I imagined. It is now a staple fall starter, and I’ve gotten many requests for the recipe. This also males a stunning centerpiece to the ever popular cheese and charcuterie boards.
Sweet, honeyed apples are lightly browned then roasted to concentrate the flavors. Butter adds richness, while a sprinkle of salt cuts through it all for a perfect contrast. Camembert is slightly funkier than brie, in the best way, but you could certainly use brie. Cut the apples into small pieces so they can be scooped up with the oozing cheese onto a sturdy vehicle like lightly toasted baguette or hearty crackers. I love the sweetness and depth of honeycrisp and they hold their shape and snap well but other apples work, or even pears. Other variations on a them you will love are baked camembert with hazelnut and cranberry crumble or with cranberry, pear and walnut relish. Or try calvados and hazelnut camembert.
Honey Roasted Apples with Camembert
1 large honeycrisp apple
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 8-ounce wheel camembert
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Take the camembert out of the fridge to soften.
- Cut the apple into bite-sized chunks and toss in a bowl with the lemon juice. Heat the butter in a small oven-proof skillet until it begins to brown and smell slightly nutty. Add the apples and sauté for about 5 minutes until the edges just start to brown. Stir in the honey and salt and stir to coat all the apples. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 8 minutes until the apples are golden brown and caramelized. Place the whole camembert wheel on top of the apples and cook a further few minutes until the cheese is soft and melty. Serve warm with toasted baguettes or crackers.
- I use a cast iron skillet about 7 inches in diameter for this. If you do not have a small cast iron vessel, any oven safe skillet will do, or you can prepare the apples then transfer them to a baking dish, add the camembert and complete.