For the first time in over a year, it is finally okay to celebrate holidays with your vaccinated loved ones. For our hosts of the summer, this means planning... planning...and some more planning. So let's start with the major holiday of the summer: the fourth. Every Fourth of July has the stars, the stripes, and the balloons colored red white, and blue, so if you want your party to be special, it comes down to the details.
Now, in my mind, it’s not a proper get together without a fabulous charcuterie board, so that’s where we’ll focus. You might be wondering how charcuterie can be made into a festive Fourth of July decoration. The simple and most obvious answer I can give to you is that it is almost always in the cheese. Your charcuterie will of course be filled with fresh artisan pickles, crackers and maybe some of our Last of Seven carrots, but for this holiday's pop of color, we want to focus mostly on the cheese.
For good reason, brie is one of the most popular cheeses to have on a board: it’s creamy, it’s tasty and it can be paired with some of the most delicious foods. We’re going to use the brie to incorporate pops of red, white, and blue onto your charcuterie. The technique we're going to be using involves cookie cutters, preferably stars for the holiday, and two jams.
To start, you want to purchase 3 circles of brie (circles work better than a wedge for this technique) and two different jams, which I will explain further later. You first want to allow your brie to harden in the fridge for an hour or so. Once the brie is less creamy than firm, you will grab your star cookie cutter and press into the rind around the cheese. Press down into the rind until you hit the actual cheese. Once you're pressed through the rind, carefully remove the cutter from the rind, then remove the rind with a knife. You should be left with a beautiful cut out in the shape of the star cookie cutter. Try your best not to cut too deep into the rind, this way you have brie to stop the jam from running. Once you’ve removed the rind, grab your jam.
Since the ultimate goal is to make brie into a decorative holiday detail, we want to use red and blue jams. The flavor is up to you, however, we prefer making homemade blueberry jam for the color blue, and using Rare Bird Preserves in the flavor of Cranberry Clementine for the red. Once you’ve filled each star cut-out with jam, you’ll be left with beautiful red and blue stars for your board. The third and final circle of cheese can be left white, this way you get all the colors for the holiday spread across your board!