Once upon a time there was a food that was so much more than a food. It was an appetizer. It was a dessert. It was a meal by itself.
This food that was more than a food was lovingly known as “Baked Brie.”
Baked Brie has quite a following. There are people who love it from a distance, wishing they could get closer. Sometimes they sneak in for a whiff; sometimes they sneak in for a forkful. There are people who love it in the “friends from the gym” kind of way. They know it well, but they’ve never tried to make it themselves – they just make sure they are close by at every gathering, a comforting acquaintance in a crowd of strangers.
And then there are the people who love it up close and personal. For whom Baked Brie is a staple of their existence, and they can wax poetic on the jam variations, style techniques, and topping choices. These people are often created by others of their kind, somewhat like vampires, only in reverse. They go to a party where a friend has made The Best Baked Brie, and they have a bite. Then they have another bite. And suddenly, the entire round has disappeared, and there are wide-eyed newly made Baked-Brie-pires gazing around the room, just waiting to catch another hint of the dispersing aroma. These people, the newly converted, learn a whole new language to describe this experience. It often contains pregnant pauses, and expressions of adulation.
I was recently responsible for the creation of a new flock of Baked-Brie-ophiles. This recipe is for them.
* * *
Can be prepared in 30 minutes or less.
- 1 large sheet of puff pastry dough or 1 tube of refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
- 1 round or wedge of Brie cheese (do not remove rind)
- Raspberry Jam, or other sweet jam
- Brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- On a stick-free cookie sheet, lay out the puff pastry or the crescent rolls flat; put brie round or wedge on top.
- Spread jam on brie, fold dough over top, cutting off excess dough. Drizzle maple syrup and place a handful of brown sugar on top.
- Bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes, pastry should be golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve with crackers and apple slices.
I personally adore brown sugar enough that I was immediately drawn to this recipe due to the lack of measurement associated with that ingredient. The “handful” referenced in the recipe is very … forgiving. I prefer puff pastry, but I’ve also used crescent rolls, especially when I’m using a wedge instead of a round of Brie. And as for jams… The most recent escapade involved blueberry jam bought in London, and it was divine. But some of my favorites have been on the more savory side – cranberry chutney is a particular specialty. It’s amazing how many different flavors go surprisingly well with such a strong cheese, especially once it’s melted to volcanic proportions.
Oh, one final note. Most recipes, including this one, tell you to bake this on a cookie sheet. From practice, I highly recommend baking and serving the brie in a shallow pie pan or other round dish, since higher edges are much more effective at containing the escaping cheese/jam/sugar ooze. Pie dishes (pyrex especially) also tends to look much nicer – and take it from me, you really don’t want to try to move this after you’ve baked it!