Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Recipe: Baked Les Frères with Maple and Pears

This appetizer is perfect for Thanksgiving because it is full of fall flavors and simple to make.  Over the weekend, my family came to town and we made quite the feast.  We've selected four beer pairing options that work well with this dish.  I'm so thankful to have the best family and friends in my life! 
The Pairings:
K-9 Winter Ale has a rich malt backbone of caramel and roast, which matches up perfectly with the fruity and earthy notes in this artisanal cheese. The maple and pear sweetness are icing on the cake.

3 Stars Brewing Co., “Southern Belle”, Imperial Brown Ale (8.7% ABV)
This smooth and complex ale’s deep malt character will enhance the flavors of this dish, and the slightly effervescence with a hint of sweet malts and toasted pecan aroma will cut through the sweetness of the maple and pears.
Allagash Fluxus:   Fluxus is the anniversary beer.  To celebrate their 16th, they decided on a saison/wit hybrid with green and pink peppercorns. There are notes of pepper but it’s not too intense.   It’s bottle –conditioned which lends itself carbonation. The pepper as well as the bubbles slice nicely through the baked Les Frères.
This beer won the 2011 Great American Beer Festival® Gold Medal.  They used the same recipe as their standard Kӧlsch but with an unfiltered version served cellar style like a German Brewer might enjoy directly from the lager tank.

The Recipe:

One 8-ounce round of Crave Brothers Les Frères cheese
1 tablespoon Clear Creek Distillery pear brandy
1 tablespoon Tonewood pure maple syrup
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup chopped almonds, (or other nuts of your choice)
2 Bosc pears, cut into thin wedges
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 
Preheat the oven to 400°. Put the Crave Brothers Les Frères cheese in a small baking dish. Combine the brandy, maple syrup and salt and pour over the cheese. Sprinkle with almonds.  Bake for about 7 minutes, until the cheese is very soft. Toss the pears with the lemon juice and serve alongside the cheese. 

Special thank you to Crave Brothers Cheese, Clear Creek Distillery, Tonewood Maple, Flying Dog, Mad Fox, 3 Stars and Allagash for participating in our 2012 Thanksgiving Lamb Feast!

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