Candied apples for grown-ups. For a larger group, buy a larger round of brie and multiply the sauce ingredients. If you'd like, substitute a pear for the apple.
One 4-inch round of Brie cheese
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. packed light brown sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
1 large tart apple, such as Granny Smith, cut into about 12 wedges
5 pecan halves
Preheat the oven to 275° F. Place the Brie on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until softened and warm.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low; add the brown sugar and stir occasionally until melted.
Make acidulated water by mixing the lemon juice into a small bowl of water. Dip the apple wedges in the water.
Place the warm cheese in a small serving bowl or on a small plate. Drizzle with the warm sauce. Garnish with the pecans in a pinwheel formation. Surround the cheese with the apple wedges.
Provide plates for your guests and small knives for spreading the cheese on the apples.
Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, freelance food writer, and the award-winning author of 13 cookbooks, is known internationally for her quick-to-prepare recipes with gourmet flair. Paulette's most recently published cookbook is "The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh." She is also the author of "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" and "The Spirited Vegetarian," which was voted "Best Book in the World on Cooking with Wine" at the 2005 Gourmand World Media Awards. Paulette says that international travel is her favorite source of culinary inspiration.