(NC) Brie baked in puff pastry (Brie en croute) is a cocktail party classic. The cheese comes out warm, easily spreadable and delicious. To make this appetizer even more festive, stuff it with fresh grapes – in season from California through January. The result is simply luscious, not overly sweet, the grapes still juicy, savoury with fresh herbs and colourful to boot. If you can, substitute French brie with a brie-like cheese from a local producer. Either way, the dish is easy to prepare and the results dependable and gratifying.
Baked Brie with Grapes
1 mini brie wheel (8 oz.)
1 cup California seedless grapes
1 teaspoon thyme, fresh minced
1/2 teaspoon rosemary, fresh minced
1 sheet (10 square) puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slice Brie wheel in half horizontally. Press grapes onto cut side of lower half of cheese. Sprinkle grapes with herbs. Press top of Brie onto grapes, sandwiching them in between the two halves. Set aside.
On lightly floured surface, roll puff pastry into a 16×10 rectangle. Cut a 6 round and an 8 round from puff pastry. Brush smaller round of puff pastry with egg. Set brie/grape sandwich onto pastry. Brush larger round of pastry with egg and place egg side down over Brie. Press out any excess air and crimp edges to seal. You can decorate top with puff pastry scraps if desired. Brush outside of the pastry with beaten egg. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Tent loosely with foil and return to oven for 10-15 more minutes. Brie should be golden brown and puffy looking.
Remove from oven and let cool for one hour before cutting into Brie.
Nutritional analysis per serving:
Calories 201; Protein 10 g; Carbohydrate 9 g; Fat 14.5 g; Saturated Fat 8 g; 64% Calories from Fat; Cholesterol 73 mg; Sodium 268 mg; Fibre .4 g.