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Lean your ear this way, Santa…
Christmas Eve is coming soon. If I could wake up Christmas morning to a warm brie en croute under the tree, it would be the happiest holiday ever.
I don’t want new socks this year. I don’t want a gift card to Massage Envy. I don’t even want that new chef’s knife I’ve been eyeing up.
Because all I want for Christmas is cheese.
Brie en croute is just like a Christmas present, anyway. Rip open those flaky, buttery layers of golden brown puff pastry to get a surprise inside: a warm, oozing, gooey pool of melted cheese!
But if Santa can’t bring me one (fine, I’ll take that gift card…), it’s easy to make at home. With a premade puff pastry dough, a wheel of brie, a dollop of jam, and an egg to stick everything together, the recipe is simple!
We’ll provide you with a step-by-step tutorial for prepping this pastry so that you have a visual guide for how to prep, wrap, and bake.
The most important consideration is timing: if you’re planning on serving this warm from the oven for a party, make sure you think about the time required for prepping, chilling, baking, and cooling. Everyone will go crazy when they see that perfectly melted, thick cheese slowly pouring out of the pastry!
For this recipe, we spread the cheese with a tart cranberry jam before wrapping it in puff pastry dough. Though you can use your favorite jam, jelly, or marmalade, I love using a cranberry jam for the winter holiday season. And the bright, pleasantly sour fruit is the exact contrast your palate needs with the thick and milky cheese and buttery crust.
Holiday Jam, available from Stonewall Kitchen
If you want some other suggestions, consider using tasty spreads from Stonewall Kitchen, like their holiday jam with orange liqueur, pears, cranberries, and raspberries.
The orange cranberry marmalade with cranberries, orange peel, and lemon would also be a nice touch, if you prefer that perfect bite of citrus flavor.
Orange Cranberry Marmalade, available from Stonewall Kitchen
For more homemade spreads to use, try some of our recipes:
- Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce
- Spicy Chili Zucchini Marmalade
- Chocolate Cranberry Mole
- Hot Pepper Jelly
- Strawberry Basil
- Homemade Classic Cranberry Sauce
- Roasted Cranberries
When it comes to choosing what spread to use, the brie is in your court! Wrapped in puff pastry and baked with cheese, any selection is bound to be a delicious accompaniment.
So get that puff pastry thawed – we need to bake!Print
Want to make a special appetizer for a party? A warm brie en croute with cranberry jam is a fun recipe everyone will love.
- 1 8-ounce wheel brie
- 1/4 cup cranberry jam
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator
- 1 large egg
- Whisk the egg in a bowl and set aside. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Place the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour the top. With a rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry in a square shape until it is about 2 inches wider than the circumference of the brie on all sides. Depending on the original size and shape of your puff pastry, you may need to trim the edges to get the appropriately sized square shape. Reserve any excess for decorations.
- Spread the jam thinly and evenly in the center of the puff pastry in a circular shape slightly smaller than the size of the brie. Place the brie on top of the jam.
- Fold one corner towards the center. Brush a thin layer of the whisked egg on top of the tip of one corner. Fold the opposite corner on top, gently pressing so the corners stick together. Brush another thin layer of the egg on top. Repeat, folding the other opposite corners. Fold up any excess dough, pressing into the brie.
- Carefully flip over the brie so the smooth side is now facing up. Use your hands to gently press, shape, and mold any excess dough towards the bottom of the brie, making sure the top and sides are completely smooth.
- Using the cut excess puff pastry, create any decorative shapes you wish. Brush the bottom of each shape with the whisked egg, and stick on top of the brie. Reserve the remaining whisked egg.
- Carefully wrap the brie in plastic wrap and freeze for about 1 hour to chill and harden the pastry and cheese. The pastry should be completely firm to the touch.
- While the pastry is chilling, preheat oven to 400°F.
- Remove the brie from the freezer and place on the prepared sheet pan. Thinly brush the top and sides with the whisked egg.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F. Bake for another 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is puffy and is a deep golden brown color.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes to slightly cool down the cheese. Transfer to a serving platter and serve while still warm.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Cheese
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Appetizer
Keywords: brie en croute, cheese, puff pastry, cranberry jam
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep
The night before baking, thaw the puff pastry in the freezer.
For more information on brie, read our thorough guide on how to buy, store, and prepare it!
Step 2 – Prep the Puff Pastry
Set out the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Lightly flour the top. With a rolling pin, roll it in a square shape until it is about 2 inches wider than the circumference of the wheel on all sides.
You won’t need to flatten it too much. A premade puff pastry already has the right thickness you need, about 1/8 inch.
Depending on the original size and shape of your puff pastry, you may need to trim the edges to get a square shape. I like to place the wheel on top while I’m measuring for a visual aid.
Save any excess dough for making decorations during a later step!
Step 3 – Spread the Jam
With a small spoon or offset spatula (you’ll risk cutting the pastry if you try to use a knife), gently spread the jam in the center of the puff pastry in a circular shape slightly smaller than the size of the cheese.
Step 4 – Top with the Brie
Place the wheel directly on top of the jam, pressing down gently.
Step 5 – Fold
Fold one corner of the dough towards the center of the wheel. With a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of the whisked egg on top of the tip of one corner.
The egg will help the other corners of the dough stick and stay in place as it is baking.
Fold the opposite corner on top, gently pressing so the corners stick together. Brush another thin layer of the egg on top. Repeat folding with the other opposite corners.
Fold up any excess dough, and press it into the brie.
Step 6 – Flip
Carefully flip it over so the smooth side is now facing up. Use your hands to gently press, shape, and mold any excess dough towards the bottom, making sure the top and sides of the brie are completely smooth.
Press down gently on the brie to flatten any excess dough on the bottom.
Step 7 – Make and Apply Decorations
Remember that excess dough? Perfect opportunity to make some pretty decorations!
Use cookie cutters to make any shapes you want. For small circles, I like to use a large circle piping tip.
Lightly brush any decorations with the whisked egg and stick them on top of the brie en croute.
Step 8 – Chill
At this point, your dough and cheese are soft and at room temperature. You need to re-chill them before baking.
This step is essential when making brie en croute! To ensure that the dough and cheese do not soften and melt prematurely during the baking step, chill for one hour in your freezer until firm. You’ll be able to pick it up with your hands without feeling any excessive softness.
This will help to re-harden the dough and cheese so it bakes properly, without turning into a melty, gloopy mess halfway through baking.
As the brie en croute is chilling, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Step 9 – Bake
Remove from the freezer and place on the prepared sheet pan. Thinly brush the top and sides of the brie with the reserved whisked egg.
Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F. Bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is puffy and is a deep golden brown color.
Step 10 – Cool and Serve
And here is another essential step – after removing from the oven, let it cool for 15 minutes!
If you were to serve it immediately, the cheese will be waaaaaay too hot, and waaaaaay too liquidy to serve. Spare the disaster of burnt mouths, and let it sit at room temperature to slightly cool down the cheese and to allow it to thicken.
Once it has cooled slightly, you can then transfer to a serving platter and serve!
So… What Do I Serve with This?
Nothing, something, and everything in between!
You can certainly serve as is. I’ve had friends and family stand around the kitchen island, ripping off the puff pastry with their hands and dipping it in the cheese.
For something not as, ahem, messy (especially if you don’t want to ruin that ugly Christmas sweater with big globs of melted dairy!), treat the brie en croute like one component of a cheese plate. Serve it on a large platter alongside bread slices, crackers like buckwheat cheddar or parmesan rosemary crackers, fresh fruit, charcuterie, and assorted nuts.
With holiday parties in full swing, you’re more than ready to make this very special appetizer to offer your friends and family. Gather your guests around the table, and dig in to bites of crisp pastry, sweet jam, and gooey cheese.
Drink, eat, and be merry this holiday season!
Have you ever tried brie en croute? What are your favorite flavor combinations? There are so many delicious ideas, and we’d love to hear about your favorites! Leave a comment below.
For more show-stopping appetizers to serve at your next holiday party, be prepared to show off your cooking and baking skills with more recipes:
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation. Product photos provided by Stonewall Kitchen.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is an ACS Certified Cheese Professional and cheesemonger living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.