Sunday, May 11, 2014

52WoC Week 16: 80's Food - Brie En Croute

Full disclosure: I was not really around for the 80's. Everything I know about the decade is from VH1's classic I Love the 80's and its infinite sequels. I spent a lot of time looking up food from the 80's and it seems like it was kind of a cool era. The 80's had it's problems with leisure suits and cocaine but it seemed like a good time in the culinary world. It seems like food finally started to get more interest from the home cook and people were exploring more things besides pot roast and Betty Crocker. The more I researched the more I saw the classic dinner party appetizer: baked brie. It's hard not to love this shit. It's warm, gooey, sweet, savory, AND locked in beautiful puff pastry. On a real level, it can't get much better than that.

For this recipe I made my own raspberry sauce but any sort of jam or jelly you like would accompany this beautifully. Making your own sauce lets you make changes to the classic formula. You can add different herbs or fruits to create your own baked brie - the recipe I posted is more of a bare bones guidelines, what you do with it to make your own is the exciting part. Also one small warning: be careful eating this out of the oven. You don't want to have to talk with a lisp because you burnt your entire mouth.

Brie En Croute

Qty Ingredient Procedure
12 oz frozen raspberries
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Over medium heat, combine 2/3 of the berries with the sugar. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the berries burst and you are left with a sauce.
  3. Put the heat on low and add remaining berries to have a sauce with some texture. Cook for about 5 minutes.
3-4 tbsp sugar
1 sheet puff pastry
  1. On a lightly flour surfaced, lay your puff pastry down. Put your wheel of brie in the center and top with the raspberry sauce.
  2. Fold the dough over top and seal the edges.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
8 oz wheel of brie

Baked brie tends to be a fairly simple dish and as long as all of the components are prepped ahead of time you will have a quick go at it. I make the raspberry sauce and have it in the fridge ready to go well before I start making this. In fact, the hardest part for me is making sure I thaw the puff pastry ahead of time. Read the instructions on your puff pastry carefully and thaw accordingly.

For the raspberry sauce, I wanted to have something that was sweet but wasn't silky smooth. To do this, I started by making a sauce out of 2/3 the berries then using the other berries whole. Combine the 2/3 berries with the sugar and cook over medium heat until the berries start to burst. This should take roughly ten minutes. At this point, stir in the rest of your berries and taste to make sure it is sweet enough. You want it to be roughly as sweet as a jelly or jam to balance nicely with the brie. Put on low and cook for another 5 minutes. I use frozen raspberries for this recipe because they make the whole process go a lot quicker. If you want to class up your baked brie even further, add some fresh rosemary or thyme to the sauce - it will add a nice savoriness to everything.

Preheat your oven to 375°F. On a lightly floured surface, place your puff pastry - make sure it isn't sticking. Place the wheel of brie whole (the rind is edible) and top with the raspberry sauce. Fold the sheets over and crimp any edges. Place on a parchment lined sheet and bake for roughly 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let sit for about 10 minutes so you don't burn yourself with scolding cheese. Even after waiting ten minutes, it will still be too hot and you will destroy the top of your mouth but really it's a small price to pay for such delicious baked brie1.

  1. I know I ended the anchor and the article the same way but no matter how many times I eat hot melted cheese, I destroy my mouth. Baked brie and pizza somehow are always taking layers off the roof of my mouth.  

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