Baked Brie with Caramelized Pears

This is the recipe for the appetizer I made Christmas Day. I really liked the combination of the pears and shallots baked with the brie, but it was difficult to eat in the hollowed loaf of bread. Next time I would bake the brie in a pie dish and simply serve the bread on the side.

1 T butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1/3 c. dry white wine
1/2 t brown sugar
1/2 t chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1 (8 ounce) round loaf sourdough bread
1 (8 ounce) round Brie cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallot; cook and stir for 1 minute to soften. Add thinly sliced pears; cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Pour in white wine, brown sugar, thyme, salt, and pepper; increase heat to medium-high and simmer until the liquid has evaporated, and the pears have lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Cut a Brie-sized hole in the top of the sourdough bread to within 1/2-inch of the bottom. Cut the removed bread into pieces for serving, set aside. Score the Brie around it’s edge, using a paring knife to cut 1/4-inch deep. Cut in half by looping an 18-inch piece of very thin string, or unflavored dental floss around the scored Brie and pulling the ends in opposite directions.
Place the bottom half of the Brie, cut-side-up, into the sourdough loaf. Top with 1/2 of the pear mixture. Place the remaining brie half on top and spread with remaining pear mixture. Place on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until soft and gooey. Serve with sliced sourdough bread and crackers.

-Adapted from allrecipes.com

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