Year ’round Brie en Croute is a spectacular appetizer but I especially like it for the holidays. Imagine melted Brie cheese nestled in a pastry crust with added zest from red pepper jelly! Oh my!
“En croute” means “in a pastry crust” in French. This sophisticated hors d’oeuvre is surprisingly easy to make. I like to use Pepperidge Farms Puff pastry (in the freezer section of most supermarkets.) The pastry comes in a package of 2 sheets, but you only need one sheet for this recipe. Exciting – you can make it again!
After the puff pastry has thawed, simply roll it out. I try to make it about 2 inches bigger than the original rectangle. Then place 1/4 cup of red pepper jelly in the center. You can actually use a variety of preserves or jams for this. My favorite is the red pepper, of course, as I love that sweet-spicy-tangy combo. But I really like the Brie with apricot and raspberry jams as well.
Next, set the Brie wheel gently a top your jelly circle and begin to pull up the corners of the pastry.
It’s easy to start with an envelope style.
Gently ease up all side of the pastry until the Brie is completely encased. Trim off excess and reserve. Make sure edges are secure, then turn the Brie upside down so all the pastry tucks are underneath.
Use the trimmed pieces of pastry to create a design on top of the pastry. It’s fun to make leaves, initials, holly and berries, hearts or anything else that represents your theme.
Place the Brie wheel on a piece of parchment paper on your baking sheet. Beat the egg and water together, then brush the egg wash onto the pastry. Make sure to brush the top, any decor items and sides of your pastry.
Bake in a 400 degree oven about 25-30 minutes or until the pastry turns golden. Remove Brie en Croute from oven and let rest at least 20 minutes before cutting.
Cut the Brie in wedges or let guests cut their own. Serve alone or with crackers.
This appetizer is as easy as it is delicious. For Christmas or to ring in the new year, Brie en Croute is a great choice!