Tiny Grilled Brie and Apple Panini

By “panini,” as you’ll see from the photo below, I mean the American usage (any toasted or grilled sandwich) rather than the Italian original (referring specifically to a small bread roll, the panino).  (At least if you believe what Wikipedia has to say, which, of course, I do.)  And by “grilled brie and apple panini” I mean sweet and salty, gooey and crisp, crunchy, savory, wow, that’s good.  Go ahead, have another.  They’re tiny.You could make this sandwich full-sized, of course–a local cafe makes them on their excellent croissants and oh, boy–but I love the idea of making a tray full of these for a party. You could assemble them in advance and wedge them all onto a griddle or into a couple of big pans, serving them hot with a glass of champagne as guests arrive.  (Note that I’m saying that “you” could, not that “I” could, since it’s usually all I can do to put out a bowl of olives and wash the magic marker off the baby’s face when we have people over.  But I know that you are not like me, and I admire you for it.)

Or, what the heck, do as I did and make a few of these for dinner to use up a little nubbin of brie that’s left over in the cheese bin.  Serve with a crisp green salad, of course.

Tiny Grilled Brie and Apple Panini: Slice a baguette crosswise into very thin slices.  Spread each slice thinly with butter.  Cut thin slices of brie and even thinner slices of a sweet, crisp apple.  Heat a griddle or wide pan over medium heat, then build your sandwiches right on the pan (unless you’re making a lot of them, in which case I’d prepare them in advance and keep them on waxed paper).  Place a baguette round butter-side-down on the pan, then a slice of brie, then a few slices of apple, then the top piece of bread butter-side-up.  Cook until the underside is golden, then use a thin spatula and/or tongs to flip and cook the second side.  If your cheese is not as melted as you’d like when the bread is nice and toasty, return to the first side for a minute until the cheese reaches oozy perfection.

If you assembled the sandwiches in advance, I still recommend cooking them with the cheese layer closest to the grill first, so that when you flip them the apple joins the bread in supporting the now-softened cheese.  This will let you use even a good baguette with a nice open crumb structure.  Once both sides are golden, you can flip the sandwich cheese side down for a moment to let some of the cheese seep through and brown if you’d like.

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28 thoughts on “Tiny Grilled Brie and Apple Panini

  1. chelle@wakingupinitaly

    Love it! Can’t wait to try this out with my new press!! I’ll let you know how they turn out when I do. :)

    Reply
    1. emmycooks Post author

      Oh, that recipe looks good–I didn’t have leftover cranberry sauce this year and I think I’m going to have to make some. But tomorrow for breakfast I believe I’ll be having your sweet soft-boiled eggs instead. :)

      Reply
  2. A Table in the Sun

    I loved grilled sandwiches with apple. Another awesome choice for cheese is goat gouda……..mmmmmmmm. Give it a whirl and tell me what you think.

    Reply
  3. ieatthepeach

    My favorite cafe when I was in college did something similar to this, with apricot jam instead of apples. It was by far my favorite sandwich. You’ve inspired me to try and recreate it at home this week!

    Reply
    1. emmycooks Post author

      Shoot, I don’t think I have any apricot jam left! But I always love an excuse to buy jam, and this sounds like an excellent one. :) I lived in Denmark for a year in high school and always loved the cheese-and-jam sandwich combination, it’s definitely a favorite snack of mine and I love finding good new combinations. Thanks for the tip!

      Reply
  4. StefanGourmet

    I love ‘panini’ (apart from the faulty Italian, glad to notice you are aware of that!) but have never tried apple and brie. Have you tried brie and roasted bell pepper? Really good…

    Reply
    1. emmycooks Post author

      I was thinking of you when I clarified, I’m glad you don’t seem too put out. :) I have NOT tried brie and roasted red pepper but I certainly will soon. As crostini, I assume? Melted? With basil?

      Reply
      1. StefanGourmet

        Yes as crostini and melted with a dash of freshly ground black pepper. I’ve never added herbs yet, but I expect fresh basil (after the oven) or dried oregano will work. A drop of your best syrupy balsamic won’t be bad either. Well that and smoked chicken breast if you’re serving them to a carnivore ;-)

  5. musingmar

    Oh, these are brilliant! They would be lovely with champagne, wouldn’t they (although, really, what wouldn’t?). It’s so nice to have a repertoire of simple yet elegant things to serve when people come over.

    Reply

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