Wrapping a brie or other runny cheese in puff pastry and baking it until the insides of the brie become slightly molten is not a new invention. But it’s still really, really good. En croute is the French term for anything wrapped in pastry. And the phrase “anything wrapped in pastry” is the American/English term for how to make people happy.
When I was growing up we had some family friends who we hung out with a lot—annual apple picking trips, holiday get-togethers, graduation parties and so forth. But there was the matter of the brie.
Do You Take the Rind Off the Brie Before Baking?
Nope, it’s edible! The husband and the children in the family were either under the impression that the soft, white, bloomy rind of the brie was not edible… or they just didn’t like it. But instead of doing what (now I am channeling my mother) “civilized” people would do—take a slice of brie, place it on your plate, and then cut off the rind, leave it to the side, and eat the creamy insides—they would take the serving knife and scoop out the creamy middle of the cheese, leaving behind an increasingly significant shell of rind for the rest of the crowd to enjoy.
My mother was having none of this, and at some point during the festivities she would swoop down upon the cheese platter and loudly say, “Who in the world did this to the brie?” She would then expound upon the edibility, nay, the desirability of the rind, to a deaf audience. And so it would go, over and over again.
One might wonder why she didn’t just stick to cheddar and alpine cheeses. But she was a classy woman, a Francophile no less, and damnit, there would be brie.
Baked Brie en Croute with Jam
Maybe if she had taken another classic brie route, wrapping it in puff pastry, baking it until the insides were warm and runny, there wouldn’t have been the need for a rind détente after our gatherings. Don’t even get me started on the shrimp cocktail, and how many one should help oneself to, and how one should really know where to put the used tails.
Jam in Baked Brie En Croute
The choice of jam is up to you. Here I used raspberry but apricot jam is another popular and delicious pairing. Also try fig, strawberry, peach or whatever cool jam you picked up at a farmers’ market last summer.
Chill Baked Brie Before Baking
Chilling the brie before baking it for about 20 minutes ensures that the brie will not have liquefied by the time the puff pastry is puffed and browned—you want runny brie, not fast moving lava. You can also put it in the freezer for 10 minutes.
What Temperature to Bake Brie en Croute
Brie en croute should be baked at 375° or 400°F; it’s a little flexible, so if you have your oven set for one of those temperatures for another reason, you can get that brie right in there. Just keep an eye on it and make sure it’s not getting too brown.
How to Pleat Puff Pastry
What does it mean to pleat the pastry? Basically you are folding the pastry in sections up over the top of the cheese, with some overlap every time you fold up a section. Gently inch the pastry together as you fold up the sections, without pinching too hard.
What to Serve with Baked Brie
Even though the cheese is wrapped in pastry, it still behooves you do serve with crackers or slices of bread, especially if it’s intended to be an hors d’oeuvres. It’s definitely a little carb on carb, but this isn’t exactly a reserved appetizer to begin with. You can also pair baked brie with dried or fresh fruit (think apricots, grapes, raspberries), toasted baguette slices, nuts, and then think about a great cocktail! Try a Pitcher Red Cocktail for the holidays, a Cranberry Orange Shrub, a Hot Toddy, or go crazy and blend up some egg nog milkshakes.
Is there anything more inviting than a creamy, runny, golden brown Baked Brie En Croute? SO easy to make; 10 minutes hands on time!Tweet This
Making Brie En Croute Ahead of Time
You can wrap up the brie a day or even two ahead of time and store it in the fridge until it’s time to bake.
Reheating Leftover Brie En Croute
If you have leftovers, you can loosely wrap it in aluminum foil and reheat it in a 350°F oven for about 10 to 15 minutes until the brie is runny again and the puff pastry is hot.
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Baked Brie En Croute with Raspberry Jam
- 1 round brie about 12 ounces, chilled
- 1 sheet puff pastry (1/2 of a 17.3 ounce box, or similar)
- ½ cup raspberry jam (or jam of your choice)
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the chilled brie in half horizontally and spread 1/4 cup of the raspberry jam over one of the cut side of the brie. Place the other half on top of the brie, so that the rind is on top.
- Roll the puff pastry so that it is 1/4-inch thick, or if it’s already that thickness, you are good to go. Place the jam filled brie in the middle of the puff pastry. Spread the rest of the jam on top of the brie. Fold the puff pastry up on over the top of the brie, pleating it as you go. Basically you are folding the pastry in sections up over the top of the cheese, with some overlap every time you fold up a section. Gently pinch the sections together. There may be an opening in the middle of the pleats, or not — either is fine!
- Chill the puff pastry wrapped brie for 20 minutes before baking.
- Place the chilled puff pastry wrapped brie on the baking sheet. Brush with the egg wash. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the puff pastry is golden brown, cooked thorugh and flaky. Let sit for 5 minutes, and serve hot.
The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.
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