Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Brie en croute with pralined pecans

This is something that the Witch made for New Years Eve. There's just something so delicious about a hot melted soft cheese that is wrapped up in a buttery flaky pastry. When you decide to top that same cheese with a layer of brown sugar and pecans prior to baking, well you've then got a taste sensation on your hands.

Brie en croute is not hard to make; its as simple as placing a wheel of cheese on some pastry & wrapping it up. Voila. The Kitchen Witch decided to make her tried & true galette pastry dough for the en croute part of this dish, the results were outstanding. The dough is so easy to work with, costs less than store bought puff pastry and has no trans fats in it, something you can not say about the boxed stuff. If you have a food processor I highly encourage you to try this pastry. If making your own pastry isn't your thing then you can use the frozen sheets of puff pastry.

Before placing your wheel of cheese on your pastry, shave off the top rind and scoop out a small amount of the cheese, leaving a shallow well for your brown sugar to rest. When the cheese bakes the brown sugar melts and becomes one with the nuts and cheese. Cut into your browned brie en croute and you'll be rewarded with a lava flow of scrumptious cheese, sweet bits of sugar and crunchy nuts. Crackers or toast points are perfect vehicles for getting the cheesy goodness into your mouth. If you decide to lick the plate when the cheese and pastry is gone, well I won't tell anyone!

Brie en Croute with Pralined Pecans
makes 1 small brie (3-4 servings)
Inspired from Your Homebased Mom
1 small wheel of Brie or Camembert cheese
about 1/3 c brown sugar
about 1/4 c pecans
Pastry dough (makes enough for 2 brie's)
3/4 c flour
3/4 t kosher salt
1 T lemon juice
2 T c ice cold water
2 T sour cream
1/4 c butter (1/2 stick)
1 egg yolk mixed with 1t water for brushing outside of pastry

Begin by making the pastry. Cut the butter into cubes and place it in a bowl with the flour. Put flour and butter into the freezer for 30 minutes to thoroughly chill.

While butter & flour are chilling mix up the liquid ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Remove flour & butter along with salt and place into the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse 4-5 times, you will still have large chunks of butter, this is OK.

Add the liquids and pulse 4-5 times more until you have a dough that will hold together when squeezed. It will look crumbly, that is OK. Turn dough out onto plastic wrap, form into 2 rounds and cover each with plastic. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour minimum before rolling it out. (if you have a large brie (larger than 5 inches diameter) use the entire batch of dough for your en croute to ensure you have enough pastry to cover the cheese)

Prepare your cheese by removing the rind from the top. Scoop some of the cheese from the middle of the brie, leaving about a 1/4 inch border. With a spoon, dig out the cheese from this area to about 1/4 - 1/2 inch deep.

Fill the cavity in the cheese with brown sugar, packing it down until you get an nice level surface.

Roll pastry out into a round that will cover the sides and about 1 inch of the top of the brie (about 6-7 inches). Place cheese in the center of pastry. Top brown sugar with pecans and wrap the cheese with the dough, leaving the top center exposed. Brush the pastry with the egg yolk wash.

Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes until pastry is browned and cheese is bubbly. Allow to cool briefly before enjoying.


Michelle J said...

Wow, Andrea - this looks dangerous! (in a good way) :)

Yenta Mary said...

O ... M ... G! I could devour that for lunch without even considering the foolish notion of sharing with anyone ... :)

StephenC said...

I would love to have some of this, but I just can't bring myself to make dough. Could I use puff pastry from the market? Write me at scrout1944@msn.com if you have a moment.

Design Wine and Dine said...

Mmmmmm, I LOVE the pecans all cooked and buttery sweet on top! I love that you use your own pastry, that is a sign of greatness in my book! This looks AWESOME!!!!!! Happy New Year!

Siri said...

I wish I was at your party!

Jenn said...

Well, well...welcome back Andrea!! And what a great post to start the new year with! YUM! There really is nothing better than warm melty cheese!! Well, except for chocolate :)

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

looks so sweet and unctuous... love this and I love the combo of pecan and brie, very nice x

Heather said...

That sounds absolutely fantastic.

Smokin Ronnie Halcomb said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm sr

whozyerdanny said...

Nyom, Nyom, Nyom!(crumbs flying everywhere)mmmm!

Ananda Rajashekar said...

love ur last pic....the whole ..lots of goodness in it...what lovely treat for new year...ooo Very happy and glorious new year :)

All Our Fingers in the Pie said...

There are so many nice ideas with brie. I love this one. I think I'll make it when I finally have a house warming party.

Tonya said...

Brie has become a favorite of ours recently. We put brown sugar, red pepper jelly and sliced almonds in, under and over a wheel, then wrap it in phyllo dough. Similar to your recipe and very good! We'll have to try your version next time.

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