Apple & Brie With Cinnamon Syrup & Black Pepper

Servings 6-8
  • 24 Cracked Pepper Crisps
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1 crisp, tangy apple, such as Fuji, Honey Crisp or Golden Delicious
  • 1 small wheel (about 5 oz.) artisanal soft cheese, such as Brie or Camembert, at room temperature
  • Freshly-ground pepper

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water. Swirl pan gently to dissolve sugar, then bring to a boil for about 5 minutes. When sugar is thoroughly dissolved, remove pan from heat. Whisk in cinnamon and taste — cinnamon can be quite a strong flavor, so add more or less according to your preference. Set the syrup aside at room temperature to cool completely. Thinly slice both apple and cheese into small pieces. Place the crisps on a serving platter and layer each crisp with slices of apple and cheese. Just before serving, drizzle the platter lightly with the cooled cinnamon syrup and finish with a few good grinds of fresh pepper. Serve immediately.

Most cheeses are best served at room temperature instead of refrigerator- cold, so take the cheese out about forty-five minutes before you plan to serve it.