The popularity of hard ciders can’t be denied; for someone like myself who is not a died in the wool beer drinker; it’s a most enjoyable quaff when the menu calls for something simple and more rustic than I would normally serve. Sales of hard cider are nothing to laugh at… from 2011-2012 they totaled $90 million. While this is a small percentage of total beer sales, companies have seen seen huge increases and it looks like hard cider is here to stay!
I’ve had the desire to create a sandwich with grilled brie for some time and it seemed that pairing it with a hard cider would be the perfect. Brie and apples are almost a perfect pairing by themselves; adding a bit of mayonnaise with cranberries, whole grain mustard and honey as a condiment fit beautifully. I made this sandwich for my daughter’s foray into fantasy football; she had a team and doggone it she was going to watch some football! Served simply with chips on the side it was easy and yet just a bit elegant; perfect food for football when your most important team is a Fantasy!
I expected hard cider to pair well with the tang of brie and the tart sweetness of apples. While a cold tray of cheese and fruits would have likely sufficed, I wanted something hearty and more warming with the advent of football season (trying hard to ignore that the actual outside temperature was over 90 degrees!). Today would have been a more perfect day as Denver is finally moving into Fall mode. The beauty of this sandwich is really that’s it’s just so easy. Mixing some cranberries and whole grain mustard with mayonnaise and a touch of honey makes for the final touch. The real planning comes in trying to remember to make that spread a bit of ahead of time to let the flavors meld; other than that it’s just a quick time in a frying pan and an end result you will love.
Have you tried a hard cider you enjoy? Would love to hear which one; we’re on a journey now to find our favorite! And make this sandwich…it’s rich and warm and satisfying and will guarantee your team a win (just kidding!).
Brie is grilled on Ciabatta bread with apple slices and a cranberry, whole grain mustard and honey flavored mayonnaise.
For the Cranberry, Mustard and Mayonnaise Spread
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp whole grain mustard
- 1 tsp honey
To Prepare the Sandwich
- 2 Ciabatta bread rolls
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 8-10 oz Brie Cheese
- 2 apples, sliced
To Make the Spread:
- Chop the cranberries and then mix them together with the mayonnaise, mustard and honey.
To Prepare the Sandwich:
- Slice the Ciabetta roll in half horizontally
- Melt 1 1/2 tsp of butter in a large skillet; place the top side of the roll face down and flatten with another pan or skillet if necessary.
Layer in this order on top of that bread in skillet:
- Mayonnaise spread
- Brie slices
- Apple Slices
- Spread the bottom half with more mayonnaise spread and place on top of the other ingredients.
- Lift the roll out of the pan when it has nicely browned and the cheese is starting to soften. Melt another 1 1/2 tsp of butter in pan and flip the sandwich over and place in the butter. Cook until the bottom is brown.
- Remove from pan, flip over so that top of sandwich is again on top and slice in half diagonally. Serve with potato chips and Stella Artois Cidre!