By baking your brie wheel in some puff pastry along with fruit and nuts, your pomegranate brie en croute is very simply elevated into a very elegant and unforgettable appetizer. Find more of my pomegranate recipes.
When you cook as much as I do, my family tries a variety of foods from all over the world. Even though I love trying new things and experimenting in the kitchen, there are certain recipes that become a standard in my menu or I get requested to make.
I especially love appetizers. The Spaniards have it figured out with their tapas and assorted small bites of deliciousness. One of my favorite appetizers to serve, especially during the holidays, is this brie en croute.
Why this recipe is so great
Brie en croute, or baked brie, is a brie wheel wrapped in puff pastry and baked til golden. To add extra flavor, it is usually stuffed with fruits and nuts. When you cut into it, you have buttery puff pastry dough, like a croissant, with melty brie.
Since I usually serve this during the holidays, I usually have pomegranate on hand. And well, we adore pomegranate and put it in so many of our meals. My baked brie is stuffed with pomegranate arils, chopped pistachios and dried cranberries.
The stuffing is mixed with pomegranate molasses, making it a sweet and sour topping to go the rich and creamy brie. This elegant and incredible appetizer is super easy to prepare. It might look like a lot of work to whip up, but it is not.
And the beauty of puff pastry is that no matter how you wrap it, no matter what you do with the scrap on top of it, the baked brie looks beautiful, golden and simply perfect.
Ingredients you need
- Puff Pastry Sheet: When you purchase frozen puff pastry sheets, they usually come two in a box. You will only need one. It takes about 30-40 minutes for it thaw before you assemble your baked brie, so be sure to plan accordingly.
- Brie Wheel: One sheet of pastry can wrap one brie wheel, from 8-16 ounces. You can also use camembert.
- Pomegranate Molasses: You can find this in most middle eastern markets or purchase online. You can also make your own pomegranate molasses using pomegranate juice and sugar.
- Pomegranate Arils: You only need about ¼ cup of pomegranate arils. Note that one large pomegranate yields approximately one cup of arils.
- Pistachios: I love pistachios and wish more people would try them. If you don’t have pistachios, you can also use chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds.
- Dried Cranberries: I include dried cranberries in the stuffing, but you can also use dried cherries, raisins or any other of your favorite dried fruits.
- Fresh Rosemary: This adds a pop of herby flavor into the mix. Be wary of using dried rosemary as it gets to be tough and woody.
- Egg: The egg is used for an egg wash, which gives your brie en croute the shine and color we all love.
1. Remove 1 sheet of puff pastry from freezer and thaw at room temperature for 40 minutes or until it is easy to handle.
2. To make egg wash, whisk egg and 1 TBS water in a small bowl. In another bowl, soak dried cranberries in hot water for 1 minute to soften. Drain cranberries and pat dry.
3. On a lightly floured surface, unroll thawed puff pastry sheet. Using a rolling pin, roll it into a 14-inch square.
4. In a bowl, mix softened cherries with pistachios, pomegranate arils, chopped rosemary and pomegranate molasses.
5. Spread fruit and nut mixture onto center of puff pastry. You can trace the shape of your brie wheel onto the puff pastry sheet so you can shape it in a circle.
6. Place brie on top of fruit and nut mixture. Using a pastry brush, brush outer edges with the egg wash.
7. Using one corner at a time, gently fold two sides over cheese. Trim remaining two sides of square to 2-inch from edge of cheese, using egg wash as a glue to keep seams sealed.
8. Fold sides up onto cheese and press edges to seal, removing extra pieces of puff pastry. Brush with egg wash.
9. Place seam-side down onto a baking sheet. Decorate top of brie en croute with pastry scraps. You can cut them into shapes with a knife or use mini cookie cutters. Brush top with egg mixture.
10. Bake at 400ºF until a deep golden brown and crisp, about 20-25 minutes. Let stand for at least 30 minutes and transfer to serving plate. Garnish top with more pomegranate and chopped rosemary, if desired.
Expert Tips and Recipe FAQS
A baked brie is very versatile and you can tweak it and modify it to fit what you have in your pantry as well as what your family prefers. Instead of pomegranate, you can chop up fresh cherries or use blueberries or blackberries.
We soak the dried cranberries so they do not soak up all of the moisture in the baked brie. You can soak it in hot water, brandy, grand marnier or port.
Unlike in other cheeses, the rind of the brie and camembert cheese is totally edible, so I keep it on when I wrap it in puff pastry and bake it. It also helps the cheese keep its shape.
You can reheat any leftovers or an entire baked brie by wrapping it in aluminum foil and reheating it in a 350°F oven for about 15 minutes. You can also reheat it in the microwave in 20-second intervals (depending on the amount you are reheating). If using a microwave, note that the puff pastry crust will soft and not crispy.
- 1 puff pastry sheet
- ¼ cup pomegranate molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 TBS water
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup chopped pistachios
- ¼ cup pomegranate arils
- ½ tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 13 oz brie wheel
- Remove 1 sheet of puff pastry from freezer and thaw at room temperature for 40 minutes or until it is easy to handle.
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- To make egg wash, whisk egg and 1 TBS water in a small bowl.
- In another bowl, soak dried cranberries in hot water for 1 minute to soften. Drain cranberries and pat dry.
- On a lightly floured surface, unroll thawed puff pastry sheet.
- Using a rolling pin, roll it into a 14-inch square.
- In a bowl, mix softened cherries with pistachios, pomegranate arils, chopped rosemary and pomegranate molasses.
- Spread fruit and nut mixture in a circle onto center of puff pastry.
- Place brie on top of fruit and nut mixture.
- Using a pastry brush, brush outer edges with the egg wash.
- Using one corner at a time, gently fold two sides over cheese.
- Trim remaining two sides of square to 2-inch from edge of cheese, using egg wash as a glue to keep seams sealed.
- Fold sides up onto cheese and press edges to seal.
- Place seam-side down onto a baking sheet.
- Decorate top of brie en croute with pastry scraps. You can cut them into shapes with a knife or use mini cookie cutters.
- Brush top with egg mixture.
- Bake the pastry until a deep golden brown and crisp, about 20-25 minutes.
- Let stand for at least 30 minutes and transfer to serving plate.
- Garnish top with more pomegranate and chopped rosemary, if desired.
You can use dried cranberries, cherries, raisins or any of your favorite dried fruit. Instead of pistachios you can use almonds, walnuts or pecans.
If you want the cheese to be melty (as in the picture), you can serve it after waiting 20-30 minutes. Let brie en croute cool longer for less melty presentation.
One sheet of puff pastry will wrap around a brie wheel 8 to 16 ounces in size.
Serving Size:1 wedge
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 248Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 327mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 12g
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