Previously, I've gone over some of the great reasons why you should cook with tea, as well as some ideas for how to cook with tea. By popular request from those who are hungry for recipes to start your culinary tea journey, I'll be periodically sharing some of my favorite tea recipes to show you just how easy and delicious cooking with tea can be!
I wanted to start things off with this tas-tea twist on baked Brie (or "Brie en croute," if you want to get fancy), a popular favorite for fall and winter entertaining. Our caffeine-free Cranberry Apple fruit blend takes this appetizer from standard to outstanding with a tart, lightly sweet kick that cuts through the richness of the cheese. With just five steps and easy-to-find ingredients, anyone can add this beauty to their table!
Cran-Brie en Croute
1.5 tbsp. Cranberry Apple fruit blend
2 tbsp. hot water
1 8-14 oz. wheel of Brie or Camembert, rind removed if desired
1 sheet of puff pastry dough or 4-6 sheets of phyllo dough; thawed if frozen
(optional) 1/2-1 tsp. raw sugar or honey
(if using phyllo) 2 tbsp. melted butter
1) Soak the Cranberry Apple (and raw sugar or honey, if using) in hot water for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F.
2) Lay out dough on foiled or floured baking sheet. If using phyllo dough, lay out one sheet at a time, crossing over each other, brushing with melted butter in between.
3) Place Brie round in center of dough and top with tea mixture.
4) Fold pastry up to wrap around cheese and tea mixture, covering as completely as possible.
5) Bake for 20-25 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure pastry does not overbrown.
For larger gatherings, or in case your guests find this as addictive as we do, this recipe can be easily scaled up for a bigger wheel of cheese. Enjoy!
Variations: If you are looking for a sweeter fruit flavor, Lady Hannah's Whole Fruit is a great substitution for the Cranberry Apple, with real fruit pieces and a less tart flavor profile. For a more tropical twist, try our Piña Colada fruit blend. Bella Coola will add bright zesty notes to the dish.
Instead of macerating the tea and using it directly, you can also steep any tea of your choice in 2 tbsp. of hot water, then mix with ¼ cup of your favorite preserves or jam. Try Peaceful Pathways with pineapple preserves, Williamsburg Port with plum jam, Black and Blue Monk with grape or mixed berry compote, Strawberry Green with pepper jelly, Mulling Spice with orange marmalade…the possibili-teas are endless!