I have always been absolutely in love with the holiday season. Ever since I was a little kid, the “holidays” started a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving and carried right on through New Year’s. Up until I was in college, we had family from Chicago visit for Thanksgiving, so it was always a huge event. Follow that up with all that surrounds Christmas, and I’m in total heaven for about two months of the year. Throw in a few good snowfalls, and it’s sheer utopia around these parts. I was lucky enough to marry someone that shares the same joy in everything and anything Christmas, as well as waking up, peeking outside, and seeing a foot of snow. We love the holidays, and we love having our family around.
When we were house hunting, the layout of the main floor was our first priority, wanting a big kitchen and an open floor plan. I obviously love spending time in the kitchen, but we had a feeling that we would be doing a lot of entertaining in our home and wanted it to be as conducive to that as possible. We are beyond blessed that our families get along as well as they do. Not only do they love spending time with us, but they love spending time with each other, as well. This makes get-togethers and holidays extremely easy!
Driscoll’s Berries is currently celebrating the idea of “Made with Love“; this sentiment is firmly embedded in me, as I come from a long line of people who like to feed others to express their love. I certainly inherited my grandma’s “feeding people is loving people” gene. Even if we’re just hanging out watching a football game, I like to make sure there is something to eat. Around the holidays, I’m especially mindful to have some things on hand that can be turned into an easy appetizer on a moment’s notice. One of my favorite options for years has been a wheel of brie and a jar of fresh apple butter, along with an assortment of crackers.
I wanted to put a new twist on my standby brie and thought that fresh berries would be not only delicious, but an unexpected treat in our little corner of the world at this time of year. I cooked down some Driscoll’s blackberries into a wonderful compote and spooned overtop of an oozy-gooey, fresh-from-the-oven wheel of brie.
This is a perfect (and super simple) appetizer to throw together when holiday company pops in. Nothing says love like feeding the people you hold near and dear with some of your favorite food!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the rind off the top of the brie, leaving a ½-inch border along the edges. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is beginning to melt.
Meanwhile, heat the water, sugar and lemon juice over medium heat in a small saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then allow the mixture to boil until it is reduced to about 2 tablespoons.
Pour the syrup into a blender with 1 cup of the blackberries and puree until smooth. Press the puree through a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl to remove the seeds. Stir the remaining blackberries into the sauce.
Using a large, flat metal spatula, transfer the brie to a serving platter and top with the blackberry compote. Serve with your favorite crackers or baguette slices.
Disclaimer: I have been selected by Dricoll’s Berries to develop a holiday recipe with their berries. While I have been compensated for my time, my opinions are my own, and I have not been paid to post positive comments. Be sure to enter the Made With Love Sweepstakes on the Driscoll’s Berries website; at the end of December, there will be a grand prize winner (KitchenAid Stand Mixer + Berries For a Year!) and two first place winners (Berries For a Year!). Be sure to get your name in before the contest closes on December 31st!