This is one of the few recipes that takes two basic foods that foodies love -- bread and cheese -- and folds them together into a super yummy, elegant treat. As a warning, this is not for the health conscious. I figured after all my recent posts about Nicoise salad, kale chips and a green smoothie, I was long overdue for a rich, cheesy, gourmet recipe. Call it by its original French name, Brie en croute (or "Brie in pastry case"), if you like, but for your guests who will stare at you blankly, you can just call this baked brie in puff pastry. If you're in a time crunch and planning a party, this Brie en croute can be done in a snap. Save time with store-bought puff pastry, or read on to learn how to make your own.
Serves: 8-10 Prep time: 5 minutes (when using pre-made dough); or about 50 minutes (when making dough from scratch) Cook time: about 20-25 minutes
Ingredients: For the dough: Homemade puff pastry dough
1 store-bought puff pastry sheet 1 egg, beaten (for eggwash)
For the cheese filling: 2 4-ounce wheels of Brie cheese OR 1 8-ounce wheel of Brie cheese
For serving: Crackers (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap dough.
2. Roll out the finished or store-bought pastry puff dough to slightly more than 1/4" thickness. Using a ruler as a guide (if needed), cut two 5" squares, or one 10" square.
3. Place each wheel of Brie cheese onto the square(s). (The 5" squares get the two 4-ounce cheese wheels; the larger, 10" square gets the one 8-ounce cheese wheel.) Gently fold each corner/flap of the square onto the middle of the cheese wheel. Brush with eggwash. Flip over and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with eggwash all over.
4. Bake at 350 degrees until the puff pastry is golden brown all around, about 20-25 minutes. Every oven is different, though, so be sure to check on it at the 15 minute mark! When it's finished, allow to cool slightly before serving.
5. If desired, serve with crackers.
My Notes: Why use eggwash? The eggwash gives the pastry that lovely golden sheen. Plus, it acts as a sealing agent.
Why fold the dough 2-3 times? Puff pastry is a pretty complex dough, one that needs to be folded repeatedly in order to correctly (and beautifully) flake.