Friendsgiving 2017! Maple Cream and Apple Baked Brie with the Ultimate Friendsgiving Crostini Bar.
OH MY GOSH! Welcome to Friendsgiving headquarters 2017.
I am so, so excited to share this spread with you over the next week or so. I can’t wait for you to see some of the delicious things I have in store! We have turkey and gravy, potatoes, slow cooker stuffing and dessert and cocktails of course.
As usual though, we had to start with an insane, over-the-top Thanksgiving cheese board. Or crostini board! Whatever you want to call it. As long as you have tons of bread and cheese, this is where it’s AT.
The star of the show here is a maple cream and apple butter baked brie. It is to DIE for.
Hilariously, even though I made this spread a few weeks ago, last night I ate some sliced brie on crackers because I’ve been in a crazy weird cheese and crackers mood. I almost actually warmed my brie up in the oven like a crazy person – I mean, just for MYSELF. Probably has something to do with being past my due date and going a little stir crazy at 9PM.
I don’t know?
(As a side note, thanks to Erin who helped me style this entire thing while I was nine months pregnant and who didn’t judge me when I almost sliced my bun off the top of my head on the ceiling fan while photographing.)
I usually prefer to wait a little longer to share Thanksgiving recipes, even though I know a ton (most?) of you plan in advance. But since I took on more of a Friendsgiving theme this year, I knew we had to get going. We only have a few weekends until Thanksgiving, so hopefully your menu can get set!
The difference between Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving for me is the menu.
For Thanksgiving, I want plain, boring, deliciously traditional. Like crazy traditional. I say this EVERY SINGLE year and most of you agree. I don’t want cheese in my potatoes and I want my stuffing to taste exactly like my mom’s does every year. My entire family agrees and you might remember that the one year I took this butternut squash lasagna to Thanksgiving (as a side dish, mind you! Not in place of anything else!) everyone had a heart attack and refused to eat it.
That’s just for the main Thanksgiving meal, you know? I’ll go crazy with leftovers and if I must (really, like it’s soooo difficult) eat some sort of secondary Thanksgiving meal, I’m okay with it being a little crazy. I love that Friendsgiving can be that opportunity to experiment with nontraditional, out-of-the-norm dishes that are still somewhat holiday-themed but might not fit on that table that you’ve been serving for 10 or 20 or 30 years. You know?
It alllll starts with this big cheese and crostini bar! I’ve shared enough of these on the blog by now that you probably know my train of thought: find whatever cheese, fruit, breads, crackers, spreads, briney things like olives and maaaaybe even some veggies and throw them all on a board. No rhyme or reason.
I’ve done my all-time favorite classic cheese board with a few different cheese balls!
And last year I even made a smaller holiday cheese board with a butternut squash cheese ball. Ooooh yes.
Plus, a spring and a summer version too, but those may or may not be applicable depending on where you live.
One of my other favorite things to do here is to add in some seasonal produce for decor. So pomegranates! Little pumpkins! Fresh cranberries! Whatever greens you can find and maybe some fun flowers or whatever. And you absolutely don’t have to set it up LIKE THIS. Last year, I set it up on my kitchen table, but we ate dinner in our more formal dining room.
In the past, I’ve even set up a card table with a tablecloth in the corner and built my cheese board right on there! Find that space you have and GO FOR IT.
As a little note, here is where a few of there items are from:
Slate cheese boards (I lined up two here)
And! Some of go-to cheeses that ALWAYS make my cheese boards. I adore the Sartori Montemoré, BellaVitano Gold and the Merlot BellaVitano. I find mine at Sam’s Club (in large quantities!), DeLallo Foods or my local Giant Eagle. Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog and Truffle Tremor are also up there and always on the board. Also love any form of Beemster cheese! All of these cheeses are pricy, so I don’t use ALL of them at once unless I’m making a huge board like this for a party. And when I do that, this tends to be the only appetizer and/or snack. Basically, this could be my dinner.
Long story long, I encourage you to make it your own and size it appropriately. If there is an appropriate size when it comes to CHEESE.
Maple Cream and Apple Butter Brie Cheese
maple cream and apple baked brie
- 1 16-ounce wheel of brie cheese (this is the larger size!)
- 1/3 cup apple butter
- 2 tablespoons maple cream or whipped maple butter plus more for drizzling
- 1 apple thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
cheese board basics
- holiday decor: whole and sliced pomegranates fresh cranberries, satsumas or clementines, mini pumpkins
- aged cheese: aged cheddar aged gouda
- hard cheese: merlot soaked parmesan asiago, parmigiano-reggiano
- goat/chevre cheese: truffled goat humboldt fog
- soft/semi-soft cheese: brie camembert
- blue cheese: smoked blue gorgonzola, buttermilk blue
- breads: sliced baguettes hard sesame breadsticks, whole wheat crackers, water crackers, crostini squares, flatbreads, bagel or pita chips
- charcuterie: paper thin prosciutto capocollo, hard salami sticks, pepperoni
- jams + chutneys: fig preserves quince paste, hot pepper jelly, sour cherry preserves, bacon marmalade, apple and berry chutneys, honey and honeycomb, hummus
- fruits + nuts: grapes dried and fresh figs, dried apricots and pears, shelled pistachios, marcona almonds, smoked almonds, pepitas
- tart + briney snacks: cornichons olive medleys, marinated artichoke hearts, pickled green beans, roasted red peppers, balsamic glaze, pickled jalapeño peppers, whole grain mustard, hot and sweet mustard
maple cream and apple baked brie
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a baking dish or pie plate with nonstick spray. I suggest using the dish you’d like to serve this in so you don’t have to transfer it.
- Spread the apple butter on top of the brie cheese. Gently spread the maple cream on next. Layer on the apple slices and sprinkle them with cinnamon, then drizzle with maple syrup.
- Bake the brie for 10 to 15 minutes, just until it almost bursts and the cheese is melty. Drizzle more maple cream or syrup on top right before serving. Serve with lots of crackers, crostini and breadsticks!
- I like to place my cheese on the board first and then add in bowls with spreads or nuts. After that, fill in your empty spaces with what else you have! It will all come together as you work at it.
Did you make this recipe?
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I appreciate you so much!
And now, stay tuned for ten days of Friendsgiving goodness!
52 Comments on “Friendsgiving 2017! Maple Cream and Apple Baked Brie with the Ultimate Friendsgiving Crostini Bar.”
These are some beautiful pictures!
thank you ben!
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This is gorgeous! And I agree; don’t mess with my traditional sides in the big day! Although, I will be trashing up my Brussels. :)
thanks so much cate! and yes, there is always room to trash up brussels!
just so you know, i’m sending this to everyone in my family right now a) as a reminder that we need a massive cheeseboard at thanksgiving and b) to tell them that if i die prematurely, my official final wish is to be buried under a massive cheeseboard such as this. it’s only appropriate. CHEESE FOR LIFE 🙌🏼😍 xo
yessss sounds like the best plan ever.
thank you :)
The table is AMAZIN! Thank yoi for sharing all the details!!
Are those roses in the white vase or shaped sausage slices?
ALSO, max’s little hand with the honey wand I JUST CANNOT. xo
I couldn’t not comment on how stunning that cheeseboard is. You nailed it. Big time.
thanks so much cat!
Gorgeous! and yum!
thank you terri!
This is quite literally THE most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life!! All of the cuss words flew out of my mouth at this beauty – in a good way. If I could pick one thing to eat for the rest of my life it would be this, hands down. Cheese boards for life!
This is GORGEOUS! So inspiring.
Maple Cream is a thing?! Oh my goodness I had no idea! I’m gonna have to try it out!! Also, amazing photos!
This is like superhero-level stuff! Amazing!
Just gorgeous! You are so talented! Also, I really want some brie now. 😋
I just want to dive into that melty brie!!!
These photos are amazing! The brie recipe…. CRAZY amazing! This brie will be presented at my weekend cocktail party on Saturday evening. YUM!!
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Wowsa. These are beautiful photos. The food arrangement is stunning. My mother is turning 100 the Saturday after Thanksgiving. My sister and I are throwing a birthday party for her. You just solved my menu. Since it is at the nursing home people will come and go, a cheese board really seems the way to go. And of course there will be cake.
Wishing you a healthy baby and easy delivery.
First I have to tell you that the photo is absolutely gorgeous and should be hung on the mantle. Now let me YELL AT YOU!! What were you doing up on a ladder at nine months+ pregnant, huh???? Oh. My. Heavens. If I’d been there you’d have given me a heart attack. Well, I’m glad all is well and that you got your beautiful table shot. My, I wouldn’t know where to start. Everything looks marvelous. Happy weekend and hopefully the little darling will be here soon.
This is EPIC! The photography is stunning Jessica – dying over those overhead shows. I’m trying to imagine how you did this while pregnant and I literally have no clue, ha! ;)
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This is creative and stunning. You have raised the bar.
Ahhhh!! This is incredible!! I’m so excited about this spread and all the recipes to follow!
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Please tell us what kind of muffins you have as part of your Thanksgiving spread, right next to the Turkey! Something cranberry-y??
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This baked brie is absolutely delicious! The apple butter/baked brie combo is perfection! My family loves it.
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I knew I had seen this cheeseboard before!