Apple-Pear Brie en Croute
Serve this decadent dish with plain crackers (water crackers are ideal), and plenty of cocktail napkins. When cut, the melted brie oozes from the flaky pastry, making for an impressive (but less-than-tidy) appetizer.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 apple cored and finely diced
- 1 ripe but firm pear such as Bartlett or Bosc, peeled, cored and finely diced
- 1/3 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons Calvados optional
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 14- ounce package high-quality frozen puff pastry thawed
- 8 ounces brie
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
- Heat oven to 425ºF. Melt butter in a heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat. Add apple and pear and cook, stirring occasionally, until fruit has softened and released its juices, about 5 minutes. Add brown sugar and nutmeg and stir to combine. Add Calvados (if using) and lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has thickened and become syrupy, about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
- Place puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface and smooth with a rolling pin. Trim to a roughly 12-inch square. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.
- Place brie in center of pastry and top with cooled apple-pear mixture. Fold all four sides of pastry over cheese and twist ends to create a bundle. Gently pinch together to seal. Brush with egg wash.
- Bake until deep golden, 22 to 25 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
For an even more luxurious, perfectly silky Brie en Croute, go rindless. Start with chilled brie. Trim and discard the rind and cut the paste into pieces. Mound the chopped brie in the center of the pastry, then proceed with the recipe.