You’ll love how simple and easy it is to make this Baked Brie with Chutney! It’s gorgeously gooey, overflowing with flavor, and just one of several recipes in my party food and wine series for TheCookful!
Mostly when I think of baked brie, I think of something encased in pastry. And don’t get me wrong, that’s delicious.
But it’s also sort of a pain in the you-know-what to make, what with the pastry and the wrapping and all.
So you can imagine how happy I was to discover that baked brie without pastry is 99% as good. It’s simply because the best part of baked brie is oozy, gooey cheese! And you don’t need pastry for that. All you need is brie and an oven.
Making The Baked Brie
It’s important to start with a round or a wheel of brie. The rind around the cheese (which is entirely edible by the way) helps the cheese hold its form while it’s in the oven. If you used a wedge of brie, with cut edges, it’d just become a puddle.
A typical round is eight ounces. But at my store, there’s a brand that comes in a 13.2-ounce size which is a little better for four to six people, so look for that. And if you can’t find it, use two eight-ounce rounds.
After an initial bake, the brie is topped with chutney, sliced almonds, and a sprinkle of curry powder, then popped back into the oven to finish softening the cheese, warm the chutney, and toast the almonds. The toppings give the brie a delicious twist, plus make the recipe a perfect pairing for off-dry white wines (more on that in the next section).
What Is Chutney?
If you’ve never had chutney, you’re in for a treat. It’s an East Indian condiment made with fruit (typically mango), vinegar, sugar, and spices. So it’s sweet, tangy, and tantalizing all at the same time. It’s typically enjoyed with curries, but is also great as a bread spread or with cheese (a smear on a grilled cheese sandwich is divine). Look for it in the Asian or International section of your supermarket.
Matching Wine with Baked Brie
As you can imagine, this brie is good no matter what you drink with it. But for a really perfect pairing, serve it with an off-dry white wine like Riesling or Gewürztraminer.
The main reason the combination works is because the recipe—with its fruity chutney—is slightly sweet. And it’s best to serve a slightly sweet food with a slightly sweet, also known as off-dry, wine. If you serve a sweet food with a not-sweet, or dry, wine, you run the risk of the sweet food making your wine taste sour.
There’s more going on with this pairing, though. The combination of Baked Brie with Chutney and off-dry Riesling or Gewürztraminer also works because the chutney is not only sweet, it’s tangy and bright. As are the wines.
Finally, Gewürztraminer is an especially good choice here because the wine often has a softly spicy quality (gewürz is German for “spice”). But it’s not chile spicy—it’s spicy like cinnamon and allspice. Baking spices. Which are, again, mirrored in the chutney.
For more about what works in food and wine pairing, read my Guide to Pairing Party Foods and Wines.
A quick note about off-dry. Most varieties of wine that are made in off-dry styles are also made in other sweetness levels, from dry to dessert-sweet. So how do you identify one that’s somewhere in the middle? In my experience, if a bottle of one of those varieties, Riesling for example, is dry, it’ll say so on the label because that’s somewhat atypical for Riesling. Also there might be a graphic on the label to indicate sweetness, sort of like you sometimes see on a salsa jar to indicate the heat level.
But nothing beats a knowledgeable retailer—if you’re looking for something specific, visit one and ask!
Other Pairing Possibilities
Even though this Baked Brie with Chutney is designed to pair perfectly with an off-dry wine, it would also be good with an off-dry sparkling wine.
If you omitted the chutney—although I don’t recommend it because it’s so yummy with the brie!—and just topped the cheese with almonds and curry powder, it’d be great with a big white wine like Chardonnay or Viognier. In case you want to combine recipes, Rosemary Chicken Skewers with Garlic Aioli is another recipe in this series that would also be good with those wines.
And if you switched the round of brie to a round of Cambozola, which is sort of like a cross between brie and blue cheese, the recipe would be good with a white dessert wine. (The salty, funky quality of blue cheese is great with very sweet wine.)Print
- 1 (13.2-oz.) round brie cheese (see notes)
- ⅓ cup chutney*
- 2 Tbsp. sliced almonds
- ¼ tsp. curry powder
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place the cheese on an ovenproof serving dish and bake until softened at the edges, about 10 minutes.
- Top with the chutney, almonds, and curry powder and continue baking until the cheese is soft, the chutney is warm, and the almonds are toasted, about 5 minutes.
- Serve with baguette slices, crostini, toasts, or crackers.
Notes: If you can’t find a 13.2-ounce round of brie, use 2 8-ounce rounds.
*Chutney is an East Indian condiment made with fruit, vinegar, sugar, and spices. Look for it in the Asian or International section of your supermarket.