Last night my friend Gretchen came over. Now here’s the thing about Gretchen: she’s awesome. She brought wine (I wasn’t lying about the awesome thing) and so I wanted to make something that fit not only for a girls’ night, but also fit well with wine. Times like these scream for tried and true deliciousness.
A recipe where everyone who eats it goes, “oh my GOSH, how is this SO GOOD?”
A recipe that take about 2 minutes–tops–of actual work.
Did I say that?
It’s not that Gretchen isn’t worth more work–she totally is–it’s just that more work just doesn’t produce significantly better results.
I got a basic baked brie recipe from AllRecipes a long time ago and it has yet to fail me. Ever. Its unfailingness continued last night.
First, the cast of characters: 1 puff pastry sheet (found in any grocer’s freezer, we’re going for easy-peasy here, remember?), raspberry preserves (the recipe calls for jam, but I find preserves more delicious. Plus, raspberry preserves are my absolute favorite), 8 oz. of brie (is Brie the cheese exclusively served in Heaven? I truly believe it might be so), and water crackers (as a conveyance for the simple deliciousness straight into the face).
Oh no wait, the recipe calls for chopped walnuts, which I thought I had in my pantry, but didn’t. Did I panic? No, I realized that nobody ever notices the walnuts anyhow and they’re kind of a waste of money. Life went on.
So yes, that’s it.
The first step is really tough: take a puff pastry sheet out of the packaging and put it on a plate to thaw.
Wait for about 20-30 minutes. Do other things. Vacuum your floor if you realize that Gretchen might run away screaming because she thinks you’re secretly harboring a yeti in your house instead of a border collie due to all the hair on the floor. Make your bed, too, while you’re at it. Or, since you’re probably more organized than I am and have already done this by this time in the day, go do fun things like play a few quizzes on Sporcle.
(And preheat your oven to 350°.)
Now it’s 20-30 minutes later, your floors are vacuumed, your dog is huddling in a corner whimpering because he hates the vacuum, your bed is made, and, most importantly, your puff pastry is thawed!
Lightly grease your foil-lined baking sheet…
Unfold the thawed puff pastry sheet out on the sheet and place the 8-oz. brie wheel in the middle of it.
Now, put 1/3 cup of raspberry preserves (or jam if you want to follow the recipe) on top of the brie.
So here’s where the, um, complicated (?) part comes in. Fold the corners into the center of the brie to enclose the cheese in the puff pastry. Some people are really really creative with this part and can make these look like works of art.
I am not some people.
So here’s what mine looks like.
I like to fold the insides of the corners in to make it look a little neater, but really I’m sure you creative people can make better designs with this extra fabric.
Here’s 3 corners in…
(Ladies. Side note here. I invested in a shellac manicure because I heard they last a long time and they do. Not only is it impossible to smudge the second you walk out of the salon, but this is a week later and still no smudges or chips. Woo hoo!)
Ok. Back to business: here’s what it looks like assembled.
Now the recipe says to bake it in your 350° oven for 20 minutes or so, until it’s golden. However, I have found that 20 minutes is NEVER enough.
Here’s what mine looked like at 20 minutes.
That’s not nearly golden enough!
I put it in for 4 more minutes.
And then 4 more minutes again.
And again. And again.
So really it ended up being around 30-35 minutes when it was perfectly golden-brown. And ready to serve.
I said it once and I’ll say it again.
Here it is with water crackers, ready for Gretchen and I to devour it.
And devour we did!
Here’s the recipe again (unmodified), from AllRecipes.
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 (8 ounce) round Brie cheese
- 1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.
- Lay the puff pastry onto the prepared baking sheet. Center the Brie wheel onto the pastry. Spread the jam evenly over the top of the Brie. Sprinkle the walnuts atop the jam. Fold the puff pastry over the top of the Brie, sealing all openings.
- Bake in preheated oven until the pastry is golden brown, about 20 minutes.