Baked brie in puff pastry takes "rich and luxurious" to a whole new level — I can think of few things better. Add a few friends and some good tunes playing in the background, and you've got yourself a bonafide party situation. Here is everything you need to know.
Easy to Make, with a Big Payoff
Like all of the best appetizers I can think of, this one rates low on the difficulty scale and high on the delivery scale. All you do is wrap a wheel of brie in a thawed sheet of puff pastry and bake until golden, but the combination of warm, melted cheese and crispy pastry is virtually impossible to resist.
Don't spend too much time or mental energy searching for the exactly right wheel of brie or measuring your puff pastry with a ruler — these things are all flexible. Buy a wheel that fits in your hand and looks about right for wrapping in pastry. Then, roll out your pastry until it easily wraps around your wheel. If you ended up with a rather large wheel that's too large for the pastry to totally wrap the wheel, just bunch the pastry inwards as well as you can; leave the middle exposed and call it "artsy."
Even Better Baked Brie
Brie and puff pastry make a formidable duo all on their own, but you can up the ante by topping the wheel of brie with any number of things before wrapping it in pastry. I love just a few spoonfuls of tart jam or spicy jalapeño jelly, but caramelized onions, roasted nuts and honey, or baked apples are also fantastic. Take a look at the variations at the end of the recipe below for more inspiration.
The One Tricky Moment
The only real advice I'd give you when making this otherwise straightforward appetizer is to let it cool for a good five or 10 minutes before serving it. This gives the melted cheese just a little time to firm up — it will still be gooey and scoop-able, but no longer molten lava oozing across your plate and burning mouths.
When I make this appetizer as part of a big buffet or for a cocktail party with lots of other nibbles, I often bake it in a pie plate instead of on a baking sheet. You can serve it directly from the pie plate, which frees up a platter for another use, and the pie plate neatly contains the cheesy goo. It makes for easier scooping without as much need for utensils, too.
Make-Ahead Baked Brie
You can wrap the wheel of brie in pastry and keep it refrigerated for up to a day before baking and serving. The prep for this appetizer is so minimal that this "make-ahead" tip might sound silly, but when I'm planning a whole party, it's always nice to be able to check small steps off my list and know that all I have to do before the party is put the brie to the oven to bake.
How To Make Baked Brie in Puff Pastry
What You Need
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
All-purpose flour, for rolling
1 round brie cheese (8 to 12 ounces, 5- to 7-inch diameter)
1 large egg, beaten
Optional extras: See Variations
Baguette slices or crackers, to serve
Baking sheet or pie plate
- Warm the oven to 400°F: Place an oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside, or bake your brie in a pie plate.
- Roll out the puff pastry: Dust your counter with a small amount of flour. Unwrap your puff pastry and place it on the counter. Rub your rolling pin with a little flour and roll the puff pastry until it measures roughly 11 inches by 11 inches. No need to get out a ruler; it's fine to estimate.
- Wrap the brie in the pastry: Place the round of brie in the middle of the pastry. Top with any optional extra toppings, if using. Fold the corners over the brie, forming a neat package. Use your hand to gently press the edges against the brie and neaten up the sides.
- Transfer the wrapped brie to the baking sheet or pie plate. If the pastry has warmed and is no longer cool to the touch at this point, place the tray in the fridge for 10 minutes, or until you're ready to bake and serve.
- Brush with egg: Brush the pastry all over with the beaten egg. Be sure to get the sides and around the folds. Try not to let the egg puddle under the brie.
- Bake until golden-brown: Bake the brie until the pastry is deep golden-brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
- Allow to cool 5 to 10 minutes: This gives the hot cheese time to firm up a little. Cut into the brie early and most of it will gush right out — which is still delicious, but less tidy.
- Transfer to serving platter: Use the parchment paper to transfer the brie to a serving plate. If you baked it in a pie plate, serve straight from the plate, but double check that the plate has cooled enough to handle.
- Serve warm: Arrange sliced baguette or crackers around the brie and serve while warm.
Baked Brie Variations
- Jam & Brie: Top with a few spoonfuls jam or preserves, like raspberry jam, apricot jam, or jalapeño jelly.
- Honey & Nuts: Top with a few spoonfuls of honey and toasted, chopped nuts, especially walnuts or pecans.
- Cranberry Sauce: Top with a few spoonfuls of store-bought or homemade cranberry sauce.
- Baked Apples: Slice or chop any tart baking apple and cook with butter over low heat until soft and warmed through. Scoop on top of the brie.
- Caramelized Onions: Slowly caramelize one onion over low heat until very brown, soft, and sweet-tasting. You can stir in a few teaspoons of brown sugar or balsamic vinegar if you like. Scoop over the brie.
- Onions & Mushrooms: Caramelize one onion and add chopped or sliced mushrooms in the last half of cooking.
- Baking and serving the brie in a pie plate helps contain the warm, melted cheese and makes it a little easier for guests to scoop up bites.
- Pie dough is an excellent alternative to puff pastry with this recipe.
- The brie can be wrapped in pastry and kept refrigerated for up to a day before baking and serving. Brush with egg wash just before baking.