A sweet pear on creamy baked cheese will have guests coming back for more. Serve with sliced baguette, crisp breads or flatbreads.
1 round (8 oz/250 g) brie cheese
1 tbsp (15 mL) sliced hazelnuts or slivered almonds, toasted
2 tsp (10 mL) butter
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 pear, thinly sliced
Pinch each salt and pepper
1/4 cup (50 mL) pear or apple juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) brandy or pear juice
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp/2 mL dried)
1 tsp (5 mL) packed brown sugar
In nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat; fry shallot, pear, salt and pepper until shallot is softened, about 5 minutes.
Add pear juice, brandy, thyme and sugar; bring to boil. Boil, stirring occasionally, until no liquid remains and pear is softened, about 5 minutes. (Make-ahead: Let cool. Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 24 hours.)
Place brie on foil-lined pie plate or in small cake pan; top with pear mixture. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until cheese is softened, about 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with hazelnuts.