Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baked Brie en croute with Fig Jam

If you're looking to impress with an effortless appetizer, you've found your recipe. This is a recipe which has Brie (a mild, creamy cheese) paired with fig jam and baked in a puff pastry crust (hence the very French, "en croute" which means "in a crust"). Pretty straightforward, right? It's also really fun to use the leftover puff pastry to decorate the top - it really adds that "little something extra!"

This appetizer is not only delicious, but fast and a real crowd pleaser. When you cut through the flaky crust, you are left with the sweet fig jam and a gooey, cheesy center. Spread it on water crackers and you'll be in Brie Heaven!

Baked Brie en croute with Fig Jam

1 sheet puff pastry, rolled to ¼-inch thickness
1 round Brie cheese, 6-8 oz. and about 4½ inches wide, chilled
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water
1 small jar of prepared fig jam
Water crackers, for serving

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Transfer the puff pastry to the prepared baking pan. Spoon a small amount (2-3 Tbs.) of the fig jam in the center of the puff pastry.

Using a sharp knife, cut the disc of cheese in half horizontally to create two thinner discs. Place the bottom disc in the center of the jam. Spread another 3-4 Tbs. of fig jam over the surface of the cheese. Top with the remaining cheese disc. Bring the puff pastry up around the edges of the brie. Fold and pinch the edges so that it is sealed at the bottom. Trim any excess puff pastry and save for decorations.

Flip the puff pastry over so that the seam is on the bottom. Using a knife or cookie cutters, cut out decorative shapes for the top of the brie. Adhere to the puff pastry with a small amount of the egg wash. Brush the surface of the puff pastry lightly with the egg wash.

Here it is all prettied-up and ready to get the egg wash!

Bake until the puff pastry is golden all over and crisp, 40-45 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes, then transfer to a serving platter with a knife and crackers.

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