I grew up in a very small town where, by today’s standards, the “exotic” food choices weren’t exotic at all. There were many common foods that I never tried until into my mid-20s. Yet somehow in my early 20s I gained the “Martha Stewart” nickname among my girlfriends, despite being very much a connoisseur of Lean Cuisine and Duncan Hines.
What that really meant was I had a subscription to Martha Stewart Living, I kept my apartment clean, and I could make a mean chocolate chunk cookie and wrap a fancy sheet of puff pastry around a wheel of fancy cheese topped with a mound of caramelized onions. An appetizer that’s still one of my very, very favorite things to eat to this day.
At Thanksgiving and Christmas, those caramelized onions are replaced with a cranberry concoction. The appetizer comes together pretty quickly – place a few generous scoops of cranberry-apricot chutney over top, wrap in puff pastry, pinch the sides to seal, and bake. The end result is a melty, creamy cheese topped with a sweet & tangy sauce, all wrapped in a buttery, flakey crust. I haven’t done the math but I’m pretty sure it’s close to 2500 calories a bite.
A side note: Don’t shoot me… but if you have a lull before the holidays, set aside some time to make homemade puff pastry if you can swing it. We’re talking 20 minutes of hands-on + an hour rest. It’s pretty much just butter and flour but it’s ridiculously amazing. And a side-by-side taste-test with the box from the freezer section proves that it’s totally worth the effort. I made a batch last week, which yields the equivalent of 2 store-bought boxes (4 sheets total) and have 3 sheets left to get me through the holidays.
Baked Brie with Cranberry-Apricot Chutney
Tangy cranberry-apricot chutney tops a creamy wheel of brie wrapped with flakey, buttery puff pastry.
- Baking spray or cooking oil
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 8 oz (~5.5-inch) wheel brie
- 3/4 cup cranberry-apricot chutney
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Lightly spray a small baking dish with baking spray or cooking oil. I have a small 6-inch mini-casserole dish that works perfectly - otherwise, just select something that has a slight lip or sides in case your brie tries to make a run for it.
- Unfold the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it a couple of times each direction.
- Place the wheel of brie in the center of the dough and top the wheel with cranberry chutney.
- Fold the sides around the brie, pinching to seal (it may or may not cover the top) and trimming if necessary.
- Place the wrapped brie in the baking dish.
- Whisk egg with 1 Tbsp water and brush the dough.
- Bake for ~25 minutes, until golden brown.
- Let cool ~10 minutes and transfer to a dish.
- Serve warm or room temp with crunchy dippers like pita chips and toasted bread.
Yields: 6-8 servings
Estimated time: 35 minutes