Sunday, November 10, 2013

Holiday Baked Brie Appetizer

Like a boss.
It came to my attention recently that I don't have enough Thanksgiving themed recipes on this blog. My excuse is that I don't host this holiday very often, because we usually spend it with my in laws in Texas and they do all the cooking. But last year was a rare year when I got to host in my own home and tried out some new things.

One of them was this super fancy, yet surprisingly easy baked brie appetizer. It's a wheel of brie, a layer of jam, some pastry and crackers or apples for dipping. It looks extremely elegant, but took very little time to assemble. Most of my prep time was spent making my own pastry sheets, but you can skip that by buying frozen puff pastry dough. I've done this both ways and the frozen stuff is pretty darn close to homemade. If you do want to make your own, I used Michael Ruhlman's 3-2-1 Pie Dough recipe, from his Ratios cookbook (One of the best Christmas presents I've ever received. Thanks husband!)

This is the only thing I know how to draw.
For very simple dishes like this, the ingredients you use matter. That's why I made sure to pick out a brie wheel from Roswell Provisions, a really gorgeous wine, cheese and meat shop in Historic Roswell. I'm actually shocked I haven't written about them yet here, considering how often I stop by. Provisions stocks brie from Caly Road Creamy, a local, independent goat and cow's milk dairy. They make all their cheeses in house at the storefront in Sandy Springs. For the jam, I used one of the jars of red pepper jelly I always buy at the farmers market each summer. The combo of sweet red pepper jelly and creamy, melted brie is really just amazing. You need to try this.

Baked Brie 

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed OR pie dough
1 wheel of brie
1 tablespoon jam or jelly of your choice
One egg, beaten and thinned with a tiny bit of water.

Assembly is simple. Roll out your pastry dough. With a very sharp knife, cut out a circle a bit larger than your brie. Reserve the excess. That's for arts and crafts later. Spoon a bit of your jelly or jam onto the cut pastry and place your cheese on top. Fold over the pastry and flip your cheese over onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Use your pastry scraps to decorate the top. I did a very simple flower design, because cutting semi-straight lines is the best I can do. You could use a cookie cutter if you want a more complicated decoration. Use a pastry brush to brush on the egg wash, then pop it in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until pastry is golden brie. Served with sliced fruit and crackers, because you'll want to scoop up every bit of that gooey, melty cheese.

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