- Prep time 20 minutes
- Cook time 40 minutes
- makes 15 bites
I’m a longtime fan of baked Brie, which combines the rich, gooey cheese with a layer of crisp, flaky pastry—what could be better? Paired with some kind of jam or preserves, it’s a surefire crowd pleaser—the perfect combination of sweet and salty. When I started seeing mini wheels of Brie in the store, I was immediately taken by their cuteness. They also provide a lovely excuse to turn this classic appetizer into individual bites that are fully encased with pastry and adorably handheld. In my new book, Savory Baking, I take the dish to a slightly more savory place by pairing the cheese with a touch of hot pepper jelly, but it’s also delicious with caramelized onions, pickled mustard seeds, or just about any preserves you like. They are perfect for special occasions and are excellent served warm. If you’re serving a crowd, or want to make them ahead, you can refresh them in a 325°F oven for 7 to 10 minutes to re-warm them and re-crisp the crust. Oh, and don’t feel like these can only be made if you can score those sweet mini wheels of Brie I love so much. If you can’t find Brie bites, you can cut a wedge of Brie into 1-inch/2.5 cm cubes. Just make sure to chill them well before assembling the bites. —Excerpted from Savory Baking: Recipes for Breakfast, Dinner, and Everything in Between 2022 by Erin Jeanne McDowell. Photography © 2022 Mark Weinberg. Reproduced by permission of Harvest, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
—Erin Jeanne McDowell
recipe Rough Puff Pastry, prepared and chilled (https://food52.com/recipes...)
(105 grams) hot pepper jelly
(about 385 grams) mini brie/brie bites (see headnote)
Egg wash, as needed for finishing
Freshly ground black pepper, as needed for finishing
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry dough to slightly larger than 9x15 inches/23x38cm. Use a pastry wheel to trim the edges so they are straight, making a 9x15-inch/23x38 cm rectangle.
- Cut the dough into 15 even squares. Cut five 3x3-inch/8x8 cm strips horizontally (across the longer side of the dough), then three 3x3-inch/8x8cm rows vertically (across the shorter side of the dough).
- Working with one piece of dough at a time, spoon 1 teaspoon (5 grams) jelly in the center of the dough, and place a mini brie on top of it.
- Pick up one of the corners of the dough and fold it in, pressing it down against the center of the brie. Use your finger to dab a small amount of water on the surface of the dough in the center, then fold another corner up onto the center as well. Continue this process, folding the corners up to encase the brie, using water as needed to help seal the pastry on top.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then transfer the pastries to it. Arrange in staggered rows so that all the pieces fit on one baking sheet.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the refrigerator while you preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F/205°C with the oven rack in the center.
- Egg wash the surface of the pastry and garnish generously with black pepper. Transfer to the oven and bake until deeply golden brown, 35-40 minutes. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving warm.