Baked Brie With Figs, Two WaysJanuary 18, 2023
The first time I wrote about baking a Brie was in late 2011, the first year of the daily blog. I have written several times more about them over the years and even have a recipe for one in my latest book. They are comforting on these chilly evenings, and guests always dig into it before anything else offered. They are always a hit! A baked Brie really could not be easier. Any jam will do, but we adore figs so it is always my first choice. We had dried figs on hand, so I cut them in half and put them on top right when the Brie came out of the oven, so they sunk into the pastry just a bit, which is what I was wanting. It made it extra fig-y and quite liked how it looked. Below, my instructions from that first post. Dufour puff pastry dough was the winner for this baked Brie, as that was all that was available. It was awesome! Think any brand will do. We do not have any cookie cutters at Hawthorne so did not add any extra ornamentation (other than the dried figs) on top but if you do, by all means do. It is always an extra festive touch. But absolutely not needed. Have fun!
This really is more about assembling than cooking, which always rates high in my book. 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 of these puff pastry packages. I am a big fan of 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 in fig jam. 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, but not necessary. 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. We had a star cookie cutter, which seemed a little Holiday to me, so I used that. 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. That is it. 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, as well. It is that easy. If you prefer another jam, then go for it. The fig jam just has that earthiness I like. Enjoy, enjoy!