Vegan Brie with Cranberries and Candied Pecans

 Of all the cheeses I missed when we went vegan, brie was at the top of the list. Especially baked brie. This recipe is actually really simple and straightforward. It does not require sitting out for 48 hours like some other vegan brie recipes I’ve seen. It works perfectly for baking and makes a beautiful dish for entertaining. The sauerkraut in the recipe tends to throw people, but it helps give this brie that cheesy tang, so don’t skip that ingredient. If you don’t care for cranberries, you could always top it with any fruit compote or jam you like. No matter what you top this vegan brie with, it is creamy, dreamy, vegan cheese heaven.

Of all the cheeses I missed when we went vegan, brie was at the top of the list. Especially baked brie. This recipe is actually really simple and straightforward. It does not require sitting out for 48 hours like some other vegan brie recipes I’ve seen. It works perfectly for baking and makes a beautiful dish for entertaining. The sauerkraut in the recipe tends to throw people, but it helps give this brie that cheesy tang, so don’t skip that ingredient. If you don’t care for cranberries, you could always top it with any fruit compote or jam you like. No matter what you top this vegan brie with, it is creamy, dreamy, vegan cheese heaven.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted, unroasted cashews (plus water for soaking)

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/3 cup refined coconut oil

  • 1/3 cup sauerkraut, without the juice

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch

  • 2 teaspoons agar powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • cheese cloth

Cranberries:

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup water

Candied Pecans:

  • 1 cup peans

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • pinch of salt

  • salt

Instructions:

  1. For the Brie: Place cashews in a microwave safe container and cover in water. Microwave for 3 minutes. You can also cover in hot water, and let them soak for a few hours if you do not have a microwave.

  2. Drain cashews, and add them along with remaining ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor. Blend until COMPLETELY smooth. If you are using a food processor, add the nuts first and try to break them down a bit before adding everything else.

  3. Transfer mixture to a medium size sauce pan, over medium heat, and stir continuously until the mixture becomes thick and bubbly. This will only take a few minutes.

  4. Line a 6 inch cake pan, or similarly sized shallow bowl, with a piece of cheese cloth that is large enough that it hangs a good bit over the sides of the bowl. Pour the mixture into the bowl and cover with the excess cheese cloth that is hanging over the sides. Place in the refrigerate for at least 4 - 5 hours to allow cheese to firm up.

  5. For the Cranberries: Add cranberries, water, and sugar to a medium sized pot. Heat on medium heat, until the cranberries begin to burst. Lower the temp to low heat, and begin mashing the berries with the back of a wooden spoon, or a handheld potato masher. Let the mixture simmer, stirring regularly for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Set aside and let cool.

  6. For the candied pecans: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans, brown sugar, and maple syrup to the pan. Continuously move the nuts around the pan for about 5 minutes to allow all of the sugars to melt and caramelize. If you don’t keep the nuts moving, they will quickly burn. Pour finished nuts on a parchment lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with a little salt. Allow pecans to cool and harden.

  7. Brie baking instructions: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Carefully unwrap cheese from the cheese cloth. Place the brie in a pan or baking dish that you wish to serve it in. It will be too soft to transfer once it is baked. Top the brie with the cranberries sauce and bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Once the brie is out of the oven, garnish the top with candied pecans and some fresh rosemary. Serve with fresh bread, crackers, cut up veggies, or sliced fruit.

IMG_0334.jpg