Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pear Compote with Brie in Phyllo Cups [Rhonda]

Tonight's New Year's Eve festivities will start with a glass of Veuve Clicquot and these easy-to-make pear and brie bites. This is the quick version. If you have the time, you can make your own phyllo shells. It's not difficult and they're a bit more dramatic in shape and lightness. Either way, this is a lovely opener.


(Makes 30)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
1 1/4 lbs. firm but ripe pears, peeled cored and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon cognac
2 boxes (15 count) frozen mini phyllo dough shells, thawed
1/2 lb. brie, rind removed

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in sugar and cinnamon, then add pears and mix well. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until pears are tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in cognac. Remove from heat and let cool.

Heat oven to 350 F. Arrange phyllo shells on baking sheet. Slice brie into small pieces. Spoon pear mixture into phyllo shells then top each shell with a piece of brie.

Bake 9 to 11 minutes, or until the brie melts. Serve hot.

If you want to make your own phyllo shells:

6 sheets phyllo dough, each trimmed to 12 by 16 inches and cut into 48 two-inch squares (stack the sheets and cut them all at once)
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Mold 3 phyllo squares into the bottom of a miniature (1 inch) muffin tin. Place 3 more phyllo squares at a 45-degree angle on top and press gently into the muffin cups. Brush lightly with melted butter. Cook until lightly golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Let cool. Place on a baking sheet and cover tightly with plastic wrap until ready to use.

Suggested soundtrack: J. S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 Allegro. Any version. It's all good. (I'm listening to Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra)

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