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Baked Brie Bloomin’ Apples

These apples are dressed to impress.

Some people think the Bloomin’ Onion is the appetizer to end all appetizers, but for me, it’s always been Baked Brie. But pssst, you don’t really have to choose. While this little starter doesn’t actually involve any onions, it uses the same “blooming” method on apples and pairs them with ooey-gooey melted brie and some honey-kissed walnuts. I could be wrong, but it just might be the only appetizer you’ll ever need.

These may look fancy, but they’re not all that tricky to make. The video above will show you exactly how, but basically, you’ll want to cut the top off of an apple and scoop out the core before making two circular slices around the core of the apple, trying to get down pretty deep. Once that’s done, flip the apple over and make vertical slits all over the apple. This creates a few rows of rectangular sections that will spread out a bit when baking, but more importantly make for easy pull-apart snacking.

It also creates a little hollow in the center, which is where you’ll nestle a few slices of brie. While the apples bake and get tantalizingly melty and soft, you’ll toast some walnuts in a pan (pecans work too) and drizzle them with honey and cinnamon until they’re almost candied. That little mixture goes on top to really give you the complete package.

You get tender sweet apples with molten centers of brie that oozes into all the crevices you created and a crunchy sticky-salty-sweet finisher to contrast the buttery nature of the cheese. I think it goes without saying that that’s far better than any onion could hope to be, bloomin’ or not.

Serves 6

15m prep time

40m cook time

Ingredients
  • 4 large firm fleshed apples
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
  • 8 oz brie cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Prepare apples by slicing off top quarter and scooping out the core. Make two circular cuts around the core as deep into the apple as you can. Turn apple upside down and make slits down the apple.
  3. Turn apples back over and place in baking dish. Brush with melted butter.
  4. Cut cheese and place in center of apples. Bake 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the nut topping:
  6. Heat a small pan over medium heat and add nuts, toasting until aromatic, 3 minutes or so. Add honey, salt, and cinnamon, and toss to coat.
  7. Remove apples from oven, top with nuts, and return to oven for 10-20 more minutes until apple is tender.
  8. Serve with crackers and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Cupcakes and Kale Chips.