We had our Watson Kennedy Holiday staff party Sunday eve at Beecher’s Loft. More on the loft in a later post, but oh what fun we had! Ages ago we bought a full set of alphabet letter cookie cutters. Out they came to fish out a W and a K, which I thought would be a whimsical twist instead of a plain topped baked Brie. Several years ago I wrote a post on baking a Brie with puff pastry dough. I will post it below, but instead of using cherries, for these two I did fig jam in one and apricot & ginger chutney in another. What bumps up the flavor quotient considerably is adding more dried fruit to the mixture. I cut up a bunch more dried figs and added that. To the chutney version I cut up a bunch of candied ginger and added that. Baked Brie is always a crowd pleaser, as it is so hearty on a cold night served with cocktails before a later dinner.
Here is that old post: This time of year I am always looking for quick options for things to make to serve at gatherings at home or bring to a party. Baking a whole small Brie in pastry dough is one of my go-to options during the Holidays. Last year I added fig jam. This year I am really loving adding cherry jam, as well as a handful of dried cherries. The combo is a great sweet/tart with the warm Brie and pastry.
Turn oven to 350 degrees to pre-heat while you assemble this. You will want to use one of the two pastry sheets that come in most puff pastry packages. I like the Pepperidge Farm brand, which is what I typically find at our grocer. Any brand is fine. Follow the instructions on the box for thawing. The sheets are folded into thirds. Unfold and cut one third off, and set aside. Using a full small Brie, cover the entire top of the cheese round in cherry jam. Add to that dried cherries. Moving carefully & quickly, flip it over onto the waiting pastry sheet, so the jammed top is now on the bottom. Take the pastry and fold all of the sides up and over the Brie, encasing the entire concoction. Now flip that entire thing over onto a baking sheet. If it is parchment lined, all the better. Now with that remaining third of a sheet of dough, press out a few decorative images with a cookie cutter or if you are really creative, just use a sharp knife and make something fun. Add those to the top. Almost there. Now take an egg and crack it into a bowl and add a splash of water to make an egg wash. Beat together. Brush the egg mixture over the entire top and sides of the pastry, as this will really help it to brown. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until puffy and golden brown. Let sit for a bit before serving, so the cheese is not too hot. It really is best warm, but room temp is fine too.