Wednesday, June 30, 2010

And now for something completely different...

This doesn't have anything to do with the movie, except that I really wanted to make it!  But it is one of my favorite appetizers to make for guests, especially around the holidays.  I guess this falls into Capra's "happy family" mentality in You Can't Take It With You.  Holiday Brie en Croute is easy, fast and delicious.  But I can't take any credit for it, my mother and I got the recipe years ago from the Pepperidge Farm's Puff Pastry box.  Read my instructions or go to website and see for yourself!

You'll Need:
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets  (1 sheet), thawed
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/3 cup dried cranberry
1/4 cup toasted sliced almond
1 (13- to 16-ounce) Brie cheese round

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F.   Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork to make egg wash.
  2. Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface.  If it's too frozen, it will crack, but too warm and it will squish together.   Roll the pastry sheet into a 14-inch square. 
  3. Spread the jam on the pastry to within 2 inches of the edge in a circle. Sprinkle with the cranberries and almonds.Trim the sides so the entire pastry is a circle.
  4. Brush the non-jam part of the pastry with the egg wash.
  5. Place the cheese in the center of the pastry. Fold the pastry up over the cheese to cover. Trim the excess pastry and press to seal. 
  6. Brush the seam with the egg wash. Place seam-side down onto a baking sheet. Decorate with the pastry scraps, if feeling fancy. Brush the entire pastry with the egg wash.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

The recipe says to let stand for 45 minutes, but I've been fine serving it after only letting to sit for 10.  You can serve this with crackers, crustini, or other forms of bread. can just eat it!  But try to have more than two people eating, otherwise, as CAS and I discovered, you'll eat the entire thing and hate yourself for it.
 I also tend to vary the jam I use.  Pepperidge Farm recommends apricot preserves or seedless raspberry jam.  But feel free to use whichever jam or preserve strikes you.  This time I used "Raspberry Peach Champagne Jam" from Stonewall Kitchens.  Yum.  Still confused on the process?  Watch this helpful video from Pepperidge Farm.

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