For Serving: Crackers, Baguette Slices, Walnuts, Grapes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For the Cranberries: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, cook brandy and sugar, stirring occasionally. Bring to a boil. Add half of the cranberries and cook, stirring frequently, until the cranberries burst, about 5-6 minutes. Add in the remaining cranberries and bring to a boil. Immediately remove the pan from heat and stir in the orange zest and thyme. Season to taste with a pinch of salt. Set aside, uncovered, to cool to room temperature.
For the Baked Camembert: Score the top of the camembert in a crosshatch pattern with a paring knife. Transfer to a small baking dish. In a small bowl combine the brandy, oil and a pinch of salt. Pour mixture over cheese. Bake until cheese is very soft, about 15-20 minutes. Spoon any liquid over the cheese and let rest to firm up slightly, about 5 minutes.
To Serve: Spoon cranberry mixture over cheese and serve with crackers, baguette slices and optional cheese board garnishes.
1. If you can’t find, or simply don’t want to use camembert, you can substitute brie cheese.2. I baked the camembert right in its wooden box. You still need to place the box onto a baking dish though. Also, make sure you score the top of the cheese with a paring knife. I scored mine in a crosshatch pattern.3. I used fresh cranberries, but you can substitute frozen if that is what you have on hand.4. The cranberry compote can be made up to 5 days in advance. Simple cover and store in the refrigerator. When you are ready to use, bring the compote to room temperature before serving. Or, if you want a warm compote, place the compote in a small saucepan over low heat until desired temperature is achieved.