This crostini recipe is a mouthwatering mesh of contrasting flavors and textures; crispy crostini, sweet an tart cranberry sauce, and creamy brie with a brûléed topping. Serve a platter of this delicious appetizer at your next gathering for a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
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With so many crostini recipes to choose from, the options can be overwhelming. But when in doubt, making cranberry and brûléed brie crostini is always a good choice. Sweet, tangy cranberry sauce and creamy, buttery brie are tasty crostini toppings and complement each other so well.
Why This Crostini Recipe Works
- Simple – Making crostini bread is as easy as toast because that’s essentially what it is. The assembly is a breeze too.
- Ultimate Party Appetizer – Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or ringing in the New Year, this is an upscale starter that’s perfect for any occasion.
- Versatile – The possibilities for crostini toppings are endless so you can easily swap this flavor combo for another.
What is Crostini?
Crostini is the Italian word for “little crusts,” and that’s exactly what they are; small toasted slices of bread. They’re drizzled with olive oil and then baked or grilled until perfectly crunchy. Add a jam, sauce, or spread, followed by cheese, veggies, fruit, or cured meat.
Crostini vs Bruschetta
So, what is the difference between bruschetta and crostini? While both are Italian appetizers featuring toasted bread, the choice of bread, toasting method, and toppings distinguish the two.
Bruschetta typically uses rustic, thick slices of grilled or toasted bread like ciabatta. It’s often topped with diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil. Alternatively, crostini features smaller, thinner slices of toasted baguette with a variety of toppings.
Tools You’ll Need
Ingredients You Will Need for Cranberry and Brûléed Brie Crostini
This layered treat has three components: homemade cranberry sauce, brûléed brie, and of course, the crostini.
- Fresh cranberries – These have a vibrant, tart flavor.
- Spices – Use a warm blend of ground nutmeg, cinnamon stick, and allspice.
- Water – This thins out the consistency of the sauce.
- Orange juice – The citrus taste complements the other flavors nad balances the tartness of the cranberries.
- Granulated sugar and light brown sugar – This balances out the acidity in the cranberries, for a more mellow taste. You need a bit more for the top of the brie.
- Pure vanilla extract – Go for the good stuff. I use Nielson Massey.
- Salted butter – This aids in the mouthfeel of the cranberry sauce.
- Kosher salt – I always opt for Diamond Crystal.
- Baguette sourdough – This thick, hearty bread is a sturdy base for a variety of toppings.
- Tripe creme brie wheel – Creamy, with a mild and buttery taste, this cheese pairs well with the tart sweetness of the cranberry sauce and the buttery brie.
- Quality olive oil – Drizzle this on the sliced bread so each piece gets perfectly brown as it bakes in the oven.
Best Bread for Crostini
Baguettes work best but any crusty bread will work for this recipe. Avoid soft breads like sliced white bread or brioche.
How To Make Crostini
We’ll start by making the cranberry sauce since the crostini cooks so quickly.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Add all cranberry sauce ingredients to a small saucepan and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly for 13-15 minutes or until all cranberries have popped and the sauce has slightly thickened. If you need to thin the sauce out a bit, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Set aside and cover until ready to assemble
- Drizzle a generous amount oil on the crostini then toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until crisp.
- Spread cranberry sauce on each slice of toasted baguette. Top each with a slice of brie like pictured. Carefully sprinkle tops with sugar, careful not to sprinkle sugar over cranberry sauce. Use a kitchen torch to carefully melt the sugar until it turns amber brown, moving your hand in circular motion to encourage even melting. Take care not to torch too close or you may burn the top. Repeat.
- 5. Leave to cool for 1 minute before eating. Enjoy!
Tips and Tricks
- This recipe works with day-old or stale bread. Because the bread dries out in the oven anyway, fresh bread isn’t necessary.
- Use a sharp serrated knife to slice the bread. It creates even slices without tearing the bread.
- Keep an eye on the bread as it toasts in the oven. It doesn’t take long to brown (within 10 minutes) and can burn easily.
- When handling the torch, move your hand in a circular motion to encourage even melting.
- Be careful not to torch too close or you may burn the top.
- Best enjoyed warm. After toasting the tops, enjoy immediately for best experience.
Crostinis are the perfect base for a variety of toppings because pretty much anything goes! Here are some more delicious crostini toppings:
How to Make Crostini Ahead of Time
Bake crostinis per the recipe instructions and then store them in an airtight container for up to 1 week. If they soften, just toss them back in the oven at 350°F for 5 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are crostinis made of?
Crostinis are made with a baguette loaf and olive oil. Then you can top them with your choice of sauce, cheese, or cured meats.
Is crostini Italian or French?
They are an Italian appetizer.
What bread is crostini made from?
Crostini is typically made from a baguette or similar types of bread, which are sliced into thin pieces and toasted or grilled to achieve a crispy texture.
Why are my crostini so hard?
If your crostini are too hard, they were probably overcooked. Cook at a high temperature for a shorter period rather than on low heat for longer.
Looking for More Appetizer Recipes
- Cheesy Garlic Bread
- Baked Brie Bread Bowl with Caramelized Onions
- Little Gem Wedge Salad with Miso Ranch
- Baked Brie with Honey Chili Oil
- Easy Honey Hot Wings
Loving this Crostini Recipe?
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Cranberry and Brûléed Brie Crostini
- Baking Sheet
- 10 ounces fresh cranberries
- ½ cup orange juice
- ⅓ cup water
- 1½ tablespoons salted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar, plus more for top of brie
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, Diamond Crystal
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 baguette sourdough, cut into ½-inch thick slices
- 8 ounce tripe creme brie wheel, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
- quality olive oil, for crostini
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Add all cranberry sauce ingredients to a small saucepan and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly for 13-15 minutes or until all cranberries have popped and the sauce has slightly thickened. If you need to thin the sauce out a bit, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Set aside and cover until ready to assemble. Keep in mind that the cranberry sauce consistency will be more loose when hot and thicken as it cools.
- Drizzle a generous amount oil on the crostini then toast in the oven for 6-8 minutes or until golden and crispy.
- Spread cranberry sauce on each slice of toasted baguette. Top each with a slice of brie like pictured. Carefully sprinkle tops of brie with sugar, careful not to sprinkle sugar over cranberry sauce. Use a kitchen torch to carefully melt the sugar until it turns amber brown, moving your hand in circular motion to encourage even melting. Take care not to torch too close or you may burn the top. Repeat until all crostini are made.
- Enjoy immediately.