Brien En Croute (pronounced “en croot”), is always a favorite appetizer to put out at gatherings, holiday or otherwise. Serve it up on a cake platter or large platter with some grapes, figs, berries, nuts and crackers and watch it dwindle down to nothing. It’s always the first thing to go at a party.
Because it’s scrumptious.
You can just use plain ol’ Brie inside of the puff pastry, or you can add some yumminess. I’ve had these with everything from sweet to savory inside. I love slicing into one for the first time and watching the melted Brie and lovely gooey toppings ooze out onto the platter.
And apparently, so do my guests, because they never leave anything for me to have later! Hmph!
This recipe combines sweet and savory elements and with a little kick from the pepper jelly, it’s truly delicious.
It sounds fancy, and its gorgeous to display, but it really is super simple to make.
And all the busy moms and cooks said “AMEN”.
It starts with puff pastry. In the world of homemade, puff pastry is a lot of work. My friend Vivian attempted this feat, and if you want to visit her page and make your own, here is the link to her post. I prefer to buy mine in the freezer, and it’s very good!
We like to keep it real in our house, what can I say?
Now, my friend, preheat the oven to 400º and let’s get cookin’!
Start by opening your puff pastry. There should be two packages inside the box, and both are individually wrapped. Leave one out and let it thaw for about 45 minutes. Put the other one back in the freezer for another time, Once it’s thawed, very carefully unfold it (it should be folded in thirds).
Place it on a floured counter or cutting board and gently roll it into a 14 inch square. Make sure you roll the seams together so they won’t break later.
Now, using a small sharp knife, trim off the corners so that it sort of resembles a circle.
Save those scraps for later! Nothing goes to waste in the world of puff pastry! It’s too yummy!
Now take your cheese and unwrap it.
I like to trim the top rind off of the cheese. It just makes it easier to cut and eat. You can remove the entire rind if you like. A tip – to make it easier to remove the rind, put the Brie in the freezer for about an hour. Then you can take a large knife and slice across the top much easier. Tonight, I didn’t have an hour, so I just trimmed it.
Next pour some very hot water in a bowl and add your cranberries. Let them soak for a couple of minutes to plump them up. Drain them and pat them dry on a paper towel.
In a small bowl, mix together the cranberries, pepper jelly, honey and chop some rosemary up pretty fine and toss it in as well.
Spread it into the center of the puff pastry making a circle a little smaller than the wheel of Brie.
Place your Brie upside down (with the top side that you trimmed facing down), right onto the cranberry mixture.
Beat up one egg and one tablespoon of water. Using a pastry brush, brush the edges (about an inch) of the pastry all the way around with the egg wash.
Fold up two opposite sides of the pastry over top of the cheese.
Fold up the other sides and just work with it, pressing it to seal it all the way around.
Flip it over onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
If you want to really make it lovely, take some of your scraps and cut them into leaf shapes.
Lightly score the tops with veins to look like leaves. Brush the entire surface area of your puff pastry with the egg wash.
Stick the leaves on top to make a pretty design.
Brush the leaves with the egg wash.
Bake it in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the puff pastry has puffed up all beautiful-like and is deep golden brown.
Let it rest for at least 30 minutes. Put it on a pretty platter and slice it open by cutting out the first wedge.
And serve it up to your guests.
I promise you..
They’ll love it.
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