kelly said

a recipe repository

23 July 2006

Brie En Croute (Cooks Illustrated)

Baked Brie En Croute

Serves 8 to 10

· Choose a firm, underripe wheel of Brie and freeze it for 20 minutes before baking.

· Bake the pastry-wrapped cheese in a hot oven (425 degrees) for the crispest, flakiest pastry. The high heat causes the moisture in the dough to turn to steam, which in turn puffs the myriad layers of dough apart.

· Balance the richness of the cheese and pastry with fruit preserves or hot pepper jelly. Spoon the jelly into the exposed center of the Brie once the cheese has been baked.

It is best to use a firm, fairly unripe Brie for this recipe.

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (9 by 9 1/2-inch), thawed

1 large egg , lightly beaten

1 (8-ounce) wheel firm Brie

1/4 cup apricot preserves or hot pepper jelly

1. Roll the puff pastry into a 12-inch square on a lightly floured counter. Using a pie plate or other round guide, trim the pastry to a 9-inch circle with a paring knife. Brush the edges lightly with the beaten egg. Place the Brie in the center of the pastry circle and, following the photo, wrap it in the pastry. Press the pleated edge of the pastry up into a rim, which will later be filled with the preserves or jellyBrush the exterior of the pastry with beaten egg and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 20 minutes.

2. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake the cheese until the exterior is a deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Transfer to a wire rack. Spoon the jelly into the exposed center of the Brie. Cool for about 30 minutes. Serve with crackers or bread.

To Make Ahead

The Brie can be prepared through step 1 (but do not freeze) and refrigerated, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 24 hours. Freeze for 20 minutes before continuing with step 2.