Brie and puff pastry. It is like a marriage made in heaven. Then add the delicious pear and pecan compote to the mix and you have one amazing appetizer.
I make this appetizer whenever I want to impress my guests. The oo’s and ahh’s are so fun to hear. Some may think it should be a dessert; I just think it is delicious.
Of course one could make their own puff pastry; not me. Life is hectic enough, and when you can find a delicious pre-made puff pastry like Pepperidge Farm’s, there is no need to fuss with home-made.
Let’s get started with the pear compote. In a large skillet melt your butter. Now add your pears and saute for a few minutes, we want to get them just a little soft.
Now add in the brown sugar and cinnamon. Incorporate the sugar mixture into the pears and stir for about 2 minutes.
Once the sugar mixture has dissolved stir in your pecans. Stir for one more minute.
Now add in the cornstarch slurry. Saute for about 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture seems a little thick. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. This can actually be made one day in advanced, kept refrigerated in an air-tight container until ready to use.
Don’t cut off all of the rind from the brie, just the top. This way the pear compote can melt into the brie while it is cooking.
I’m sure you’re asking yourself if the rind is edible, and why you shouldn’t cut all the rind off. First of all, yes, the rind is edible. Second, if you cut all the rind off then the brie will melt out of the puff pastry, leaving you with a gooey mess on your baking sheet. So the rind holds the brie together in the puff pastry while it cooks.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out your puff pastry just a little bit. I find if I don’t do this then the pastry is just too thick.
I trim the edges so I won’t have so much extra when I bundle up the brie.
Place the cooled pear compote in the middle of the puff pastry, then place the brie (cut side to the pear compote) on top of the pear mixture.
Whisk together your egg and water. Lightly brush the egg wash around the edges of the puff pastry.
Wrap it up, the egg wash should secure the edges of the puff pastry together.
Turn the brie bundle over and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. I decorated my puff pastry with a star for Christmas. It is a fun little touch. Now brush the top with the egg wash.
Bake the brie in a pre-heated 375 degree F oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until nice and golden brown.
Yummmmmmmmmy! This is the perfect appetizer for your holiday party. This would even be great for that special someone on Valentine’s day with a cut-out of a heart on top!
Serve with bread and crackers. Enjoy watching your guests gobble up this delicious little treat.
Brie en Croûte with Pear, Brown Sugar and Pecan Compote
Serve with Crackers, bread or both
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 pears-peeled and cored (such as Bartlett), cut into small bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 sheet of puff pastry (I used Pepperidge Farms)
8-ounce wheel of brie
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon water
In a large saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the pears. Saute until they become soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the sugar and cinnamon, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Stir for about minute. In a small bowl dissolve the cornstarch in the water. Stir the cornstarch slurry into the pears and continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from the ehat and cool completely.
While the compote is cooling, roll out one sheet of the puff pastry dough on a lightly floured surface. Place the cooled compote in the center of the puff pastry. Remove the top rind of the brie and place the cut side of the brie onto the pear compote.
In a small bowl whisk together the egg and water for your egg wash. With a brush, lightly brush the edges of the puff pastry (you may need to trim the edges of the puff pastry, you don’t want the bottom to be too “doughy”). This will be the “glue” that will hold the pastry together. Wrap the puff pastry around the brie and pear mixture. Place the brie package, glued side down, on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Brush the top of the puff pastry with the egg wash. With any extra pieces you can cut out fun shapes and place on the top of the puff pastry. Here I used stars for Christmas time. Bake the brie in a pre-heated 375 degree F. oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serve with crackers and bread. Serves 6 as an appetizer.
1 tablespoon water