I love to make serve this as an appetizer, and it is wonderful to serve if you are hosting an open house, or even to bring to a gathering. It is such a visually appealing and impressive looking appetizer, but it is also delicious. It makes for a beautiful presentation and the combination of dried fruit, nuts and melted cheese is a winning combination. It’s a great thing to bring to someone’s house as par of a potluck. You can customize the brie by using extra pieces of puff pastry and shaping them into leaves, letters or designs. I use pie cutters or cookie cutters to add a seasonal touch to my brie. You can also experiment with a different combination of nuts, dried fruit and jam, but I love the tart and savory flavors of the cherry and pine nut.
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed according to package directions (I love Pepperidge Farm)
- 1 6″ round of brie cheese
- 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/2 cup apricot jam
- 1 egg yolk +1 tablespoon cream
Thaw puff pastry according to package directions. whisk together yolk and cream for egg wash. Lightly flour a clean, dry surface and roll out puff pastry so there are no seams. Slice the round of brie horizontally right down the middle, as if making a sandwich. Place half of the brie rind side down directly in the center of puff pastry. Spread jam on brie, then layer with dried fruit and pine nuts. Place the second side of brie on top of the first half so cut side down. Begin to wrap the pastry around the brie, bringing corners toward the center of cheese, making sure the edges adhere to one another, using a little bit of egg wash to seal the pastry and the tines of a fork to help insure the puff pastry adheres (this helps to prevent leakage during baking process). Once the round is covered, rub a bit more egg wash along the bottom, check for any holes along the edges, and reserve any excess pastry for designs on top of the pastry. Invert the prepared brie on a parchment- lined baking sheet and proceed to brush the entire exterior of the pastry with egg wash (this will give it a nice sheen during the baking process). If you are adding leaves, arrange on top of brie and again brush with a bit of egg wash. Preheat your oven to 425. Place the brie in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to several hours, if making ahead. Bake in oven for about 20- 25 minutes, or until pastry is golden. Remove from oven and allow to rest at least 10 minutes before cutting. If you cut right away, brie will be very runny. Transfer brie to serving platter. Serve with thinly sliced apple, grapes and crackers and enjoy!!!