Creamy Brie, crisp pear and a bit of sweet heat make for a brilliant Brie Grilled Cheese! It’s a fun change-up from your usual and perfect summer fare.
Summer Eats & Cottage Life
As the weather turns, our eating habits shift from braised, roasted and stewed to fast, easy meals that don’t heat up the house – or the cook.
That’s when a couple of gourmet grilled cheese recipes come in handy. Satisfying lunch or easy dinner this Brie Grilled Cheese with Pear and Chili Honey better is a definite crowd-pleaser. Also a super easy make-it-in-one-pan, cookstove option while camping. Crank it up a notch from hot dogs.
Grilled cheese is often my go-to easy lunch on weekends and oftentimes fun party food, making two-bite sandwiches with slices of baguette. An easy make-ahead option reheated on a sheet pan in the oven.
The trick to a great grilled cheese, particularly with soft cheeses like Brie, is medium, even heat and a lid to cover, even partially. This helps to contain the heat so the cheese can melt.
Try to resist the urge to turn too early by checking the bottom for colour. To be honest I feel like this Brie Grilled Cheese could have done with a couple more minutes for better colour and melt.
Brie is such a tender cheese I wanted to ensure it wasn’t too runny in its close-up. So feel free to push it a bit more when you try this recipe at home.
The Joys Of Compound Butter
Butter is among my favourite ingredients. From great colour and flavour on a pan-fried steak to an amazing finish on sauces and vegetables, I am full-on butter, ALL THE TIME.
Compound Butter (beurre composé in French cuisine) is composed of butter and supplementary ingredients to add flavour to the butter to accent certain ingredients, the same as we would in a sauce.
There’s a whole world of fantastic butter to explore under the category of Compound Butter. A couple of my favourites: French Compound Butter (maître d’hôtel), Herb Garlic, and Red Wine Butter and Chipolte Butter.
Chili Honey Butter is just that, softened butter combined with honey and dried chilies. It’s an accent to both the cheese and the fruit in this recipe – used on the INSIDE of the bread, not the outside. The additional sugar in the honey would scorch if used on the outside of the sandwich. So we’re sticking to fresh butter there.
I made a double batch of the Chili Honey Butter because it’s fantastic with cornbread or savoury muffins. Also a great butter option for a good corn boil, particularly with early varieties like Peaches & Cream.
While the heat from the chilies is mild in this case, I’d omit the chili component for the kidlets or there would be tears. So let’s make that a more adult option for this Brie Grilled Cheese.
Creamy Brie, crisp pear and a bit of sweet heat make for a brilliant Brie Grilled Cheese! It’s a fun change-up from your usual and perfect summer fare for the cottage or glamping in style!
2 slices bread (thick-cut preferred)
3 slices of Brie, 1/2 inch thick
4 – 6 slices pear, fresh, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter, soft
2 tablespoons liquid honey
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
2 tablespoons butter, soft for cooking
Mix Chili Honey Butter: In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons of soft, room temperature butter, chili flakes and honey and combine with a spoon or spatula until well mixed and light. Don’t be afraid to give it a serious beating to get a light, creamy texture. If you find your butter too hard to work, melt it just a little bit in the microwave, combine and then fridge it to cool to a spreadable texture before using. Reserve until needed.
Spread the other two tablespoons of butter on the outside of your bread. Flip the bread slices and apply a generous layer of Chili Honey Butter on the inner face of the bread. Layer thinly sliced fresh pear slices on top of the Honey Chili Butter on one slice of the bread. Then layer in your brie slices, leaving a little space between the slices to allow for meltage Now top with the second slice of bread, with the Chili Honey Butter to the inside, against the cheese.
Pre-heat non-stick pan (or pan generously sprayed with non-stick spray) over medium to medium-low heat (see notes above). Carefully place Brie Grilled Cheese on the center of the now hot pan and cover with a lid (even if it’s partially covered) Cook, moving the pan as necessary to ensure even heat, instead of shifting the sandwich, until golden brown – to your taste (5 to 7 minutes per side). Flip the sandwich using a spatula (I like to use one finger to hold the top slice of bread in place, for an easy flip). Continue cooking until golden brown and melty. Consume immediately, OR, if you’re feeding a crowd, hold hot on a cooling rack, over a cookie sheet, in a 300°f (150°c) oven until ready to serve, then slice and EAT.
Cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer and recipe blogger. A Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and has been sharing all things delicious - right here - since 2010.