Brie en croute is essentially a brie wheel wrapped in a pastry dough and baked until golden. “En croute” (pronounced “on KROOT“) is simply a food that has been wrapped in pastry dough and then baked in the oven. The dough can be an ordinary pie dough or more commonly, puff pastry. Brie en croute is a popular appetizer that is perfect for the holidays. With various toppings and add-ins, this is a fantastic, crowd-pleasing appetizer to have in your recipe arsenal. Brie is a cheese I have always loved, but I prefer the good stuff. The best brie is made in the Seine-et-Marne area south of Paris. But many countries now commercially manufacture a similar cheese which is simply sold as “brie”, so do your due diligence and read the labels–with a recipe like this, use the good stuff. In the brie world, Brie de Meaux is considered the finest French Brie, followed by Brie de Melun and Brie de Montereau.
This easy-to-make appetizer can sometimes be found pre-made in the stores, but don’t be fooled, it’s not nearly as good as making your own. And by “making your own“, I really mean “assembling your own“. Skip making homemade puff pastry, a good quality store-bought one does the trick nicely and saves you lots of time.
For my brie en croute I like to use Defour puff pastry, slightly more expense than some of the other brands, but they use quality ingredients and the taste is great. In making your own brie en croute you also have the flexibility to add any complimentary flavors you desire to help enhance the taste of the delicious creamy brie. For my en croute recipe I add two of my favorites, fresh fig paste and rich local honey.
To assemble your brie en croute you want the brie wheel to remain whole. Place the brie wheel in the center of the puff pasty. Top with fig paste and honey. Using your hands, enclose the brie with the puff pasty by bringing the ends up over the brie pleating the sides slightly as you go. This is not a beauty contest, it does not need to be perfect, just wrapped well.
Once fully enclosed (as shown above), allow the wrapped brie wheel to chill in the refrigerator before baking. This is what makes this appetizer so easy; prep it ahead a time and bake it off right before guests arrive–it’s almost foolproof. Egg washing the entire brie en croute right before baking ensures that beautiful golden brown color you want. Serve the brie en route hot with your favorite crackers, I can promise you there will be no leftovers.
Baked Brie En Croute With Fig And Honey
- 1 (8-ounce) round Brie or Camembert cheese
- 1 sheet store bought puff pastry
- 10 dried figs, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon local honey
- 1 egg, for egg wash
- crackers, for serving
- Step 1 Using a paring knife, lightly score the very top rind of cheese in a crisscross pattern.
- Step 2 Place 1 sheet of store-bought puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface Set cheese in center of the pastry. Place the chopped figs evenly on top of the cheese and drizzle with the honey.
- Step 3 Using your hands, gently fold the dough up and over the top of the of cheese in a slight criss-cross pattern, pleating the sides as you go to enclose the entire cheese with the pastry. Press your hands gently around the cheese to make the dough stick to the cheese. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes or until needed
- Step 4 To serve: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Step 5 Place the brie en croute on the baking sheet and using a pastry brush, lightly brush the entire pastry with the egg wash. Place in the oven and bake, rotating halfway through, until the pastry is a nice golden brown color, about 30-35M.
- Step 6 Remove from the oven as serve immediately with your favorite crackers.