Perfect-for-Parties Baked Brie in Puff Pastry with Apricot Jam
This is a classic dish for any type of gathering, and one we always put out. Imagine a croissant filled with melted Brie cheese and sweet fruit and jam. That's what this dish is. It's a pull-apart appetizer that can be spread on toast points or eaten as is. It's one of those centerpiece starters that is the talk of the party. Puff pastry is a cook's friend. It's great for making quick pastries and even beef Wellington. We always keep a pack in the freezer.
Using a large chef's knife, cut the white rind off the top of the wheel of Brie and discard. Put the disk into the freezer and at the same time pull out the sheet of puff pastry. Allow the puff pastry to thaw until it is pliable but still cold, about 30 minutes.
Roll the puff pastry to a 14-by-14-inch (35.5-by-35.5-cm) square. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut a 1/2-inch (1.3-cm) wide strip from one edge of the pastry. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place 1 tablespoon (20 g) of the preserves at the center of the pastry and then the frozen Brie wheel. Top with the apple and cinnamon, then dollop the remaining 2 tablespoons (40 g) of preserves on top. Gather the four corners of the dough, one at a time, across the Brie to enclose it completely. Tie a simple knot with the strip of dough to make a purse.
Brush the entire top and sides of the purse with the egg wash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. If at any point the pastry seems like it's melting or too soft, put it in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes before continuing. Make sure the pastry is well chilled before baking.
Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, turning the baking sheet halfway through, until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 8 to 10 minutes before serving warm.
You can swap out the preserves and fruit to whatever you like or is in season. Some great combos are blueberries with strawberry preserves, or orange marmalade and raspberries. You are only limited by your imagination.
Reprinted with permission from "101 Epic Dishes" by Jet Tila and Ali Tila, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Ken Goodman