I’ll round off 2019 with a final recipe for you. And no, it’s not a a banana duct taped to a wall; though I’d be happy to duct tape this baked brie to your wall for a discounted price of 100k. But I digress. I used to think baked brie was something only middle-aged women in the 1990s made. I guess things have come full circle; because now it’s 2019 and I’m the one making baked brie in instead of my mother. But let me ask you, does golden pastry filled with melted cheese ever go out of style? Not only is this a crowd pleaser, it’s a “quick assembly and pop in the oven” type of recipe so you’ll have more time to relax and drink eggnog. Because, just like our mothers, we have #priorities. Merry Christmas and happy New Year to you and yours.
BAKED BRIE WITH APPLES, CRANBERRIES, AND SPICED PECANS
makes one round of baked brie, which easily serves 8 as an appetizer
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
pinch or two ground cayenne
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
flour, for dusting the counter
1/2 an apple, sliced (nearly any crisp, slightly sweet apple will work just fine)
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1- 8 ounce round of brie
crackers, toasted bread, or sliced apple, for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Toss the pecans with the cayenne, brown sugar, butter, and salt. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes, stirring halfway. Spoon the pecans onto a plate and set aside the baking sheet for use in a minute. Keep your oven set to 350 degrees F.
Sprinkle flour over a flat, clean surface. Unfold one thawed puff pastry sheet onto the flour and roll out to approximately 12” by 12”. Sprinkle a dusting of cinnamon over the entire surface of the pastry dough. Layer the sliced apple in a round circle approximately the size of your brie and spoon the cranberries on top of the apples. Place the brie on top of the cranberries (see photos above for reference).
To fold the pastry as shown in the photos above, start with one corner and fold it up over the brie. Two inches from that corner (in either direction) grab the edge of the pastry and fold it up over the brie. Work your way around the brie, every two inches or so folding the dough up. Pinch any loose edges together to form a seal. Decorate the top with any extra cranberries if you like.
Place the brie onto the baking sheet with parchment paper that you used earlier. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for 15-30 minutes before serving (otherwise when cut, the cheese will spill out into one giant puddle). After it’s cooled slightly, transfer to a cheese platter and arrange the spiced pecans next to the baked brie. Serve with crackers, toasted bread, or sliced apple.