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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Baked Brie with crostini

This doesn't have to be party food, but it's best to make it for an occasion that won't leave too many leftovers.  After a day or two, the baked brie will start to dry out most unattractively.

If you make this in advance, be sure to wrap the puff pastry really well with plastic wrap.  I screw up so you don't have to.  Also, if you take it right from the fridge to bake, it will probably need 5-10 more minutes in the oven than if it's at room temp.

I happened to find a pre-sliced ciabatta loaf at my supermarket for the crostini...saves some time and the aggravation of trying to get thin, even slices by hand.

Bake Brie
Makes 16 servings

1 4 oz. wheel Brie
2 tbsp jelly, any flavor (I used lavender jelly)
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed (1/2 of a package...wrap the remaining sheet well in plastic wrap and keep in the freezer)
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water

Spread the jelly on top of the wheel of cheese (you don't have to cut the rind off).  Unfold the puff pastry and roll lightly if necessary to seal any tears in the folds.  Trim the puff pastry into a circle.  You can save the scraps to cut out fancy shapes for decorating, or discard it. 

Put the cheese on a small plate.  Center the puff pastry on top of the cheese.  Put another plate on top of that, and flip the whole stack over. 

Fold the edges of the puff pastry up over the bottom of the cheese, as messily or tidily as you wish.  If prepping ahead, wrap well in plastic wrap and fridge or freeze. 

To bake, thaw if frozen.  Brush top and sides with egg wash, and apply any fancy pastry cut-outs made from puff pastry scraps (if using).  Be sure to brush cut-outs with egg wash as well.  Bake at 400F for 20 minutes, if cooking from room temp, or 25-30 minutes if cooking from fridge-temp. 

Let cool at least 30 minutes, then serve in thin slices with crostini.

Makes 20-24 slices

1 loaf ciabatta bread or other crusty Italian or French loaf, sliced thinly
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Brush the slices with olive oil on both sides.  Distribute them evenly on two sheet pans, making sure not to crowd.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Bake at 400 for about 2-3 minutes per side, or up to 5 minutes per side for super-crunchy crostini.

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