A Delicious Potluck Offering in Less Than 30 Minutes: Brie En Croute
The Midwestern Gentleman and I were invited to a 4th of July weekend cookout at our new neighbors’. Katie and Cullen throw a party every year to celebrate Independence Day, and for the past few years they have been picking a different cultural theme for the food, drinks, and music. This year, the theme was French. Projects in the new house have been keeping us busy on the weekends, so I needed a potluck offering that wouldn’t take all day to put together, but was still special enough to share, and fit the French theme of the party. Baked brie, of course! There are a thousand ways to prepare baked brie — you can add savory or sweet toppings like caramelized onions, herbs, nuts, peppers, sundried tomatoes, sauteed fruit… However, one of the most simple, traditional, and delicious ways to prepare it is with fruit jam or preserves: raspberry, cherry, blueberry — whatever flavor you like with warm brie. My personal favorite is apricot, so that’s what I chose for this brie en croute (literally, “brie in a crust”). Jam will give you a more even fruit layer, but I like to use preserves because I like having the larger chunks of fruit interspersed. You can make your own dough for the crust, of course, but if you’re short on prep time, frozen or refrigerated store-bought dough will still do the trick.
Brie En Croute
8″ x 8″ sheet of puff pastry or crescent roll dough
about 1/2 cup fruit jam or preserves
8 oz. wheel of brie
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Roll out the puff pastry or crescent roll dough into an 8″ x 8″ square. Spread it thinly or thickly with fruit jam or preserves, as desired.
Center the wheel of brie on the jam-spread sheet of pastry.
Working around the wheel, fold in the dough toward the center of the brie, sealing the seams by pinching with fingers. Seal the seams well, or hot jam/preserves will ooze out during baking (which is what happened to mine).
Flip the brie over so the overlapped dough is underneath. If desired, cut out a decoration from any extra dough and press it onto the top of the dough-wrapped brie. Beat the egg with a spoonful of water and brush on the outside of the dough.
Bake for 20 minutes or until deep, golden brown. Serve warm with crackers or fresh bread.
Addendum: If you happen to have some candied vodka cranberries on hand, they pair beautifully with a stronger-tasting goat’s milk brie (in lieu of jam).