Baked Brie en Croûte with Spiced Pears and Cherries
For this rich appetizer, creamy brie is topped with a spiced fruit-and-nut mixture and encased in a buttery, crisp robe of golden brown puff pastry. Prepare the fruit and spices while the pastry sheet thaws, so that you can assemble the baked brie as soon as it has defrosted; cold pastry is the key to irresistibly flaky layers. Let the baked brie rest for five minutes before digging in so the cheese and pastry hold together. You can use a double-cream brie for extra-gooey results, and swap in other fruit and nuts as desired—apples, persimmons, plums, or pawpaws would also be delicious here. Drizzle honey and sprinkle flaky sea salt on top of the pastry for the finishing touch.