Brie en Croute2012-12-25
Puff pastry filled with creamy warm cheese, sweet cranberries and crunchy walnuts makes a special indulgence.
- 2 slices of bacon, cut into thin strips
- 30 g walnuts, toasted then roughly chopped
- 30 g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 sheet of puff pastry
- plain flour, for dusting
- 200 g cheese wheel of brie
- 1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash
- cream crackers, or lavash bread to serve
1. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and fry the bacon strips until browned and crispy, then remove and drain on paper towel. Put the fried bacon, walnuts, cranberries and honey into a bowl and mix well.
2. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 5. Lay the sheet of puff pastry (make sure it is still cold but malleable) on a floured surface and dust the pastry with flour so it doesn’t stick, then roll it out to about 35 cm (14 inches) square. Place the brie on top, positioning it near one of the pastry corners. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut out a pastry circle around the brie, leaving a 5 cm (2 inch) border. Save the pastry offcuts for later.
3. Pile the bacon and walnut mixture on top of the brie. Working in a clockwise direction, lift up one section of the pastry and fold it over to cover the side of the brie, then lift up the next section of pastry and drape it over the previous fold. Repeat until all sides of the brie are covered with pastry, except the top.
4. Roll out the largest pastry offcut a little wider, then cut it out using the round lid that comes with the cheese as a guide, or a 10 cm (4 inch) round cookie cutter. Place the pastry round on top of the brie, and seal the pastries by crimping along the edges using a fork. Decorate the brie with the remaining offcuts, then brush all over the pastry with the egg wash.
5. Place the pastry-wrapped cheese on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. Let it cool for 20 minutes before serving. If you want the cheese to be a little less gooey, then let it rest for 1 hour. Serve with the crackers or lavash bread.