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.

Baked Brie en Croute with crackers and sliced apples
Photo: Photo by Sarah Crowder / Food Styling by Bridget Hallinan
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
Servings:
6

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup brown sugar

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

  • teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ firm, ripe Bartlett pear, peeled, cored, and diced

  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted

  • 2 tablespoons dried cherries, chopped

  • Flour for dusting work surface

  • 1 8-ounce sheet frozen puff pastry (such as Pepperidge Farm), thawed

  • 1 9-ounce wheel brie with rind

  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water

  • Honey, for drizzling

  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon) for sprinkling

  • Sliced apple and crackers for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt until well-combined. Add diced pear, almonds, and cherries and stir together until everything is evenly coated in the sugar mixture. Set aside.

  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out puff pastry to an even 9.5-inch square. Transfer pastry to prepared baking sheet.

  3. Place brie in center of pastry. Spoon pear mixture on top of brie. Grab 2 opposite corners of the pastry and fold them together over the center of the brie, twisting and pressing down to seal; repeat with remaining 2 corners. Tuck in any stray edges or corners as needed, making sure there are no gaps or holes that would let the filling leak out. Then, brush pastry all over with egg wash.

  4. Bake brie in a preheated oven for about 35 minutes, until pastry is crisp and golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes; drizzle with honey, sprinkle with sea salt, and serve with sliced apple and crackers.

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