Baked Brie in Puffed Pastry With Honey Bourbon Figs
Rich and creamy Baked Brie in buttery Puff Pastry is always a luxuriously tasting crowd pleaser with so little effort. I was recently reminded of this gem of a recipe by a friend who recently had it. The version he had sounded absolutely delicious. It was made with apricot jelly and nuts. I couldn’t get it out of my head so I decided to make it using what I had in my pantry. I had some leftover fig jam and dried figs from a recent cheeseboard I made and decided to go with that for my version. I added the bourbon, honey and balsamic thanks to Reese Witherspoon’s recipe from her book Whiskey In A Tea Cup. I thought the figs would do well with a bit of booziness and the reality is any jelly you use would be perfect and do really well with a little bourbon.
The Brie warms up beautifully with the boozy fruit and nut medley over it enveloped in buttery puff pastry that puffs up in to a crisp shell. It’s so simple to put together and there are endless variations of the fruit and nut topping. I had no cranberries left but a cranberry jelly homemade or otherwise would be perfect with the addition of some dried cranberries to the mix for texture along with some sliced almonds and some orange zest. Or how about some apricot jelly with chopped dried apricots and walnuts. I love the addition of the dried fruit. It adds even more sweetness and texture to the chutney- like topping. The vinegar sand bourbon give it a nice punch of flavour and add just the right amount of acidity. All that being said, this appetizer can be made without any jam over it. Even just on it’s own the Brie wrapped up in that puff is a crowd pleaser. If you do decide to top it with something sweet it doesn’t have to be as complex or as many ingredients. You can just dollop the cheese with a jelly of your choice - pepper jelly is another favourite of mine - that hint of spice with the sweet and savoury is just beyond delicious. It’s totally customizable as you can see. Even the size of the Brie can be customized. Just be sure your puff pastry sheet is large enough to cover it and even then you don’t have to be too picky. I have seen some baked up with an exposed center and the cheese bubbles up beautifully through it. Basically what I’m trying to say is that this recipe is really really difficult to mess up.
One thing to keep in mind is that puff pastry like pie dough does better when it chilled. If you find your puff starts to warm up and soften, once you have your Brie wrapped up feel free to freeze or refrigerate it for a few minutes to cool it down a bit and it will bake up a little more evenly and better. And another thing is to let the Brie rest a few minutes before digging into it after it bakes, if you want to be able to slice into it, otherwise it will all flow out of it which is not a bad thing but it’s worth mentioning as a heads up. We can never wait - we dig right in and enjoy the lava like melty Brie coming out of the buttery puff.
This is one decadent and one very simple appetizer that you will always have in your back pocket. Something you can whip up quickly if you have unexpected guests or invited over to a friends house last minute. I usually have puff pastry in my freezer and it never takes too long to thaw enough to work with and although Brie isn’t always stocked in my fridge it’s worth the quick trip to the store to grab it for just this occasion. Baked Brie on its own is delicious but add some sweetness to it with some jelly and wrap it in buttery puff and you have yourself an all in one appetizers - starch, fruit, and cheese (literally all wrapped in one). Give it a try - you will love it!
- 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry thawed
- 1 whole Brie round 8-10 oz
- 2 tablespoons fig jam/preserves (really, any kind of fruit preserve/jam/jelly will work)
- 1 tablespoon dried figs, chopped
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 teaspoons Bourbon
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- ¼ tsp fresh thyme
- 1 egg, beaten for egg wash
- Assorted crackers and sliced fresh fruit for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment and place the puff pastry sheet on it and then place the round of Brie in the middle of it.
- In a small bowl stir together the preserves, dried figs, pecans, honey, whiskey, and vinegar and spoon over the top of the cheese round.
- Fold the corners over the brie, forming a neat package. Use your hand to gently press the edges tucking them under the folds if needed.
- Brush the pastry all over with the beaten egg making sure to get the sides and around the folds.
- Bake until the pastry is deep golden-brown, 20-25 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes making it easier to slice - or dig into it right away while the cheese is oozing.