Bring Me The News is delighted to introduce our new food writer, Lindsay Guentzel. Formerly of WCCO-AM and a regular guest on FOX 9, you can find more of her recipes and food writing at LindsayGuentzel.com.
Everyone should have one knock-out appetizer sitting in their back pocket. Something that is easy and delicious, an effortless snack to impress even the snootiest party guests.
Meet the Brie En Croute. Even the name sounds fancy. But what’s not fancy? The preparation. This beautiful starter takes less than 10 minutes to assemble and only 20 minutes to bake. And it is decadent!
It’s a simple concept, brie cheese baked in a puff pastry shell. But when you top it with walnuts, dried cranberries & honey, the buttery puff pastry becomes the perfect vessel for the melted brie. It’s everything you’ve wanted out of a charcuterie spread, no assembly required.
Not a fan of cranberries? Allergic to walnuts? Mix and match whatever sweet and savory toppings you want to add your own spin.
This beautiful open-faced pastry resembles a Danish or a Cuban pastelito and could easily disguise itself as dessert, if needed.
Hosting a gathering at home? Prep everything ahead of time and bake after your guests have arrived for straight-to-the-table warmth. Taking this on the road? Bake at home, wrap in foil and give it a few minutes in a warm oven once you reach your destination.
Want to take your final presentation up one more notch? Use an egg wash to help the puff pastry bake perfectly. The egg wash is loaded with protein and fats that promotes browning and sheen, leaving you with a picture-perfect appetizer. In the age of Instagram, the egg wash is your best friend!
(Here is a great example of pastries baked with an egg wash and without an egg wash, just in case you needed photographic proof:)
Never used an egg wash before? It’s very simple and while it isn’t 100 percent necessary, it will take your brie en croute from amateur to expert without very much effort.
Place one egg and 2 tbsp water in a small mixing bowl. Whisk vigorously until egg and water are mixed well. Using a pastry brush (a grill basting brush will also work), gently coat the pastry shell with the egg wash.
– 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed out
– 8 oz. brie cheese, sliced
– ½ cup dried cranberries
– ½ cup walnuts, chopped
– Honey, drizzled
– Egg wash
– Preheat oven to 400°.
– Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay out rectangular puff pastry.
– Using palms, gently spread out dough.
– Starting at one end of pastry shell, place brie in a line down the center running the long way (think long like a hot dog bun, not short like a hamburger bun). The slices will overlap.
– Spread cranberries and walnuts over brie evenly and drizzle with honey.
– Starting at one end, slowly fold the sides of the pastry shell up over the brie by pinching the corners of the dough between your fingers, lifting up and twisting over (the twists add texture and dimension to the top of the pastry). Move a few inches down the pastry shell and repeat folding movements, gently shaping the dough as you go along.
– Using a pastry brush, gently brush egg wash over the pastry shell.
– Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
– Serve on platter warm with knife and serving spatula.