My first real job out of college was at Sansum Medical Clinic, in Santa Barbara. This might have seemed like a step down after I quit my Nursing Program, to some. But it was a step up to me- even though it was just at the new patient check-in desk.
I was newly married, and excited not only for a new direction in life, but also that my office was only 12 blocks from our new apartment, so I could walk to work every day (rolling my eyes now, partly irritated that I was so motivated back then. And even more irritated that my proverbial butt mark in the couch is getting deeper and deeper by the day, some 20+ years later).
Yes, I had a car, and even though I came to find out pretty quickly that patient care wasn't my thing (way too sensitive... and kind of have a thing with germs, and egos), I still tried to live in health. And also be my best as I checked in patients who were stressed, scared, and probably wondering just how much their insurance would be paying, since we had some of the best Doctors in the world.
Yes, apples. Every day we had big boxes of beautiful red apples delivered, and placed in gorgeous baskets around the Clinic... free for the taking. For those who forgot to have breakfast. And for those on the way out, who had fasted all night and after all that blood work, couldn't ignore the growling of their tummies a minute more.
And today, my tummy was growling, too. And I felt like something sweet, but I didn't want all that dessert guilt.
So this super simple recipe, using apples, and my favorite- brie, was born. Kind of a gourmet twist on apple pie and cheddar (which I still don't really get). This version is great for a quick snack, party hor d'oeuvres, or even an elegant dessert- that gets you out of the kitchen and back to the party in no time, since you can make almost all of it ahead of time.
Somewhere in between a healthy Sansum Medical Clinic apple, and a decadent apple pie, either way, I'm going with...
this apple, today, will surely help keep the Doctor away!
Apple Pie & Brie Bruschetta
Sliced french bread (I made about 10)
A chunk of brie, cut into pieces
2 apples, (I used Granny Smith) one peeled and cut in chunks, and one peeled and cut into slices
1/3 c. water
1/2 c. sugar (you can replace some with honey, I did 1/4 c. sugar, 1/4 c. honey)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Mint and orange zest to garnish as desired
Cut the french bread into slices and place on cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until nicely browned and crisp.
In the meantime, add the apples, and the rest of the ingredients through the corn starch, to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat to simmer about 10 minutes or until thickened.
To assemble, top the warm french bread with a slice of brie. Top with apple pie mixture. Drizzle with honey if desired and garnish with fresh mint. You can also pour leftover sauce onto the bruschetta, but I didn't want mine to get soggy. This sauce would be good on vanilla ice cream... or drizzled on oatmeal!
Note: Another nice option would be to add some fresh orange zest on top... I didn't have any for the photo, but used some on round 2, and it was fantastic!