Baked Brie en Croûte with Honey, Dried Cherries, Rosemary & Pecans
I would like to think it’s my “engaging personality” that makes me popular at parties but, if I’m being honest, I know it’s really my baked Brie — a warm and creamy round of Brie topped with honey, dried cherries and nuts, all encased in golden puff pastry. People clamor for this stuff and are always sidling up to me to get the recipe. When I tell them how easy it is to make, they’re always surprised. How can such a fancy-looking appetizer be so simple? The secret is store bought frozen puff pastry and knowing how to use it.
Most baked Brie recipes fall short because they call for wrapping one large sheet of puff pastry around the cheese, which results in a thick and doughy bottom layer that doesn’t cook through. To avoid that, I sandwich the Brie between two smaller pieces of puff pastry and crimp the edges with a fork. This both seals in the cheese and creates even top and bottom layers, which puff up and become flaky, just as puff pastry should.
Begin by rolling each pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Trim the corners to make two circles.
Place one of the pastry circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cut off the top rind of the cheese and place on top of the pastry. Then drizzle with honey.
Top with the dried cherries, pecans and rosemary, then brush the exposed pastry with an egg wash.
Place the second pastry circle on top; press the pastry directly against the cheese and bottom pastry.
Trim the pastry, leaving a 1-inch border around the cheese.
Use a fork to firmly crimp the edges and seal in the cheese.
Brush with the egg wash.
Next, use the scraps to make decorations. Simply cut out leaves and use a sharp knife to make indentations for the ribs.
Decorate the top of the pastry with the leaves, and a berry or two, if you like, then brush the decorations with the egg wash.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Let the baked Brie sit for at least 45-50 minutes before serving, otherwise the cheese will ooze right out. I usually bake it right before a party, and then let it rest en route. When we arrive, it’s ready to serve with fruit and crackers — and so elegant looking.
Baked Brie en Croûte with Honey, Dried Cherries, Pecans & Rosemary
- 2 sheets frozen Puff Pastry, thawed (I use Pepperidge Farm)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/3 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 (16 oz.) Brie cheese round (about 6-inches in diameter)
- 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice off the top rind of the brie and discard.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll each pastry sheet out to a 12-inch square. Trim the corners of each sheet to form two circles. Set the scraps aside; you'll use those later for decorations. Put one of the pastry rounds on the prepared baking sheet. Cut off the top rind of the cheese and place the Brie on top of the pastry, rind side down. Drizzle the top of the cheese with the honey, and then top with the dried cherries, pecans and rosemary.
- Brush the exposed edges of the pastry with the egg mixture. Cover the Brie with the other pastry circle; press against the sides of the cheese and the bottom pastry to form a tight seal. Using a pizza cutter, cut off the excess dough, leaving a generous 1-inch border. Crimp the edges firmly with a fork to seal. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture. Set aside.
- Using a pizza cutter or cookie cutter, cut out nine leaves (about 2-inches long and 1-inch wide) from the scraps. Use a knife to draw the ribs on the leaves, pressing down but not cutting all the way through. Place the leaves on top of the pastry in the shape of a flower, overlapping them slightly and pressing them together in the center. Brush the leaves with the egg mixture. Roll up a 1/2-inch ball of dough and press it in the center; brush the ball with the egg mixture.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Let stand for 45 minutes, then serve with fruit and crackers.
- Note: You can prepare this appetizer ahead of time up until the baking step; refrigerate until ready to cook.
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