This Cranberry Brie Crostini is the perfect simple appetizer to serve during the holiday season! It’s made with golden brown baguette slices toasted with melted brie cheese and fresh cranberry compote. Serve warm for the perfect bite!
📋 About the Recipe
- Quick and easy: Preparing this impressive appetizer, complete with a homemade cranberry sauce and fresh garnishes takes just 45 minutes start to finish.
- Great for the holidays: The stunning color of the cranberry sauce makes this appetizer perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even Valentine’s day. This recipe is guaranteed to be one of your favorite go-tos for hosting! If you love this crostini, be sure to try my Apple and Brie Sweet Potato Crostini and Bacon Bourbon Pecan Brie Bites with Strawberries for more appetizers using brie cheese!
- Savory and sweet combination: The savory brie paired with the sweet and tart cranberry compote is the perfect combination of ingredients for a burst of flavor.
A few notes about the ingredients:
- Baguette - The best bread to look for is either a French baguette or a similar, long loaf bread. Use one as fresh as possible - the bread should be soft and easy to slice. I like buying mine in the bakery of my local grocery store.
- Cranberries - I used a 12 ounce bag of fresh, whole cranberries. This is equivalent to about 3 cups. Frozen cranberries work well too! For more delicious cranberry holiday recipes, make my cranberry orange shortbread cookies or cranberry gin cocktail!
- Apple - In order to balance the sweetness of the cranberry sauce, I recommend using a tart apple such as Granny Smith or Pink Lady. Make sure to peel the apples before adding them to the sauce for the best, smooth texture.
- Orange - Fresh orange juice and orange zest is the secret to making the best flavored cranberry sauce. Its sweetness and zesty citrus notes make the flavor pop.
- Brie cheese - For this easy appetizer, you’ll need an 8 ounce round of brie cheese. Check out these simple tips and tricks for choosing your brie wisely.
⁉️ Substitutions and Alterations
- Frozen cranberry substitute: It can be difficult to find fresh cranberries in stores, so feel free to substitute frozen cranberries. They work equally as well.
- Brie substitutes: Goat cheese or mozzarella would also be good choices! You can also make these without the brie too.
- Preheat and prep. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Make the cranberry sauce. Combine cranberries, apple, brown sugar, orange zest, water and cinnamon in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the apples soften, 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool and thicken.
- Season the baguette slices. Spread the baguette slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Toast the bread. Bake the baguette slices for 6 to 9 minutes, or until the bread is lightly toasted and golden on the edges.
- Add brie and cranberry sauce. Slice the brie into 18 small pieces, and place a slice of brie on each slice of baguette. Top with cranberry apple compote and bake another 2 minutes until brie melts slightly.
- Garnish and serve. Remove from the oven and serve warm with fresh thyme and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds.
❄️ How to Store
To store: The cranberry apple compote can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Wait to make the crostini until ready to serve or the bread will become soggy.
To freeze: I don’t recommend freezing premade crostini, but if you’d like to freeze leftover cranberry apple compote, feel free to! To freeze, allow the sauce to cool completely before transferring to a freezer-safe zip top bag or jar. Freeze for up to 3 months.
To reheat: This cranberry brie crostini is best served fresh, but if you have leftovers, it can be reheated in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 to 8 minutes or until warmed through again.
This is really personal preference, but I like to keep the rind on. It’s 100% edible and adds both texture and flavor to the crostini. If you prefer to eat brie without the rind, simply slice it off using a sharp, serrated knife before cutting into individual pieces for the baguette.
In order to prevent the crostini from getting soggy, it is important to toast it first and brush it with oil. The fat content in the oil creates a lipid barrier between the baguette and the cheese and cranberry compote, keeping it nice and crispy!
I recommend serving this cranberry brie crostini warm, but room temperature would also be just as delicious!
If your crostini are overly crispy and hard, you overcooked the baguette slices. For best results, toast only until the bread is crispy on the outside but still soft in the middle - like regular toast!
💭 One More Tip
When slicing the brie, I recommend slicing the entire round in half horizontally to create two, thinner rounds. This will prevent the slices of brie from being too thick on your crostini. This way, the brie will melt easier when added to the toasted baguette slices.
It is also helpful to slice the brie when cold right from the refrigerator, so it isn't as soft and creamy.
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Cranberry Brie Crostini
- 12 ounces (1 bag) fresh cranberries
- 1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest (from about 1 navel orange)
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 (10.5 ounce) french baguette, cut on a bias about ½-inch thick
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 8 ounces brie cheese
- fresh thyme for garnish
- pomegranate seeds for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
- Combine cranberries, apple, brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice, water, and cinnamon in a large saucepan. Set over medium heat and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the apples soften. Set aside to cool. The mixture will thicken as it cools.
- Lay baguette slices on the prepared baking sheet. Brush both sides with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place baking sheet in the oven and cook for 6 to 9 minutes, or until the bread becomes lightly toasted.
- Slice 18 small pieces of brie (*SEE NOTES) and place them on each slice of baguette. Top with cranberry apple compote, straining out additional liquid when scooping with a spoon, so the bread doesn't get soggy. Bake for another 2 minutes, or until brie melts slightly.
- Remove from the oven and serve warm with a garnish of fresh thyme and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds over top.
- *When slicing the brie, you may want to slice it horizontally first so it’s not as thick. Then, cut each disc into 9 equal-sized pieces.
- For easier slicing, slice brie while cold so it doesn't become soft and creamy.
- If you can't find fresh cranberries, frozen cranberries would work well too.
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