Daring Cooks’ Challenge: En Croute

With the end of the school year quickly approaching, a few birthdays occurring, a minor holiday, and a sudden and unexpected agreement to make a wedding cake (Dude, I’m going to make a wedding cake!) it’s been a busy few weeks around here, and despite my best intentions, I’ve fallen off of the Daring anything wagon. Oh, I meant to do the Daring Bakers’ last challenge, making Savarin.  I had all of the ingredients and even got a hold of a special pan to help me get the job done, but I just didn’t get there.

Then there’s this month’s Daring Cooks’ challenge: Monkey Queen of Don’t Make Me Call My Flying Monkeys, was our May 2013 Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to dive into the world of en Croute. And I was so ready.  I had visions of Beef Wellington and Cheesy chicken wrapped in puffy pastry, but more than anything I really wanted to try Brie en Croute.  I love brie, and I hadn’t really eaten any in forever and ever and ever.  And there was this method of making puff pastry that I was simply dying to try.  And like the Savarin challenge, I had everything ready…and I just couldn’t get there. 

The next thing I knew, if was May 14 and I still had a wheel of Brie and some apples in my ‘fridge, no desire to fiddle with flour and butter to make puffy, puffed pastry, and a really strong feeling of guilt for once again saying I’d do something that I just couldn’t work up the necessary intestinal fortitude (ha!) to do.  I simply couldn’t get to gettin’. 

Eventually, I gave up the idea about making my own pastry and the husband very kindly ran out and got some from the freezer section of the local grocery store, and I made my Brie on Croute on the 15th– only a day late!  Yet, here I sit on the 18th just now typing the post.  I think it’s because I found myself a little disappointed with my final results, and it was my fault.  Why did I ever think cinnamon and brie would be a wise combination, again?  Ah, well.  Learn from my mistakes!

Brie en Croute

Ingredients:

1 golden delicious apple

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. flour

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 tbsp. chopped pecans

1/2 tbsp. butter

1 (8 oz.) round of brie

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed

1 egg

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel and dice the apple into 1 x 1 inch pieces.  Combine the apples and sugar in a bowl and let them sit for a few minutes.

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the apples with sugar and the pecans to the butter.

Cook for a few minutes until the apples are tender, but not mushy.

Now, I should have stopped there.  They didn’t really need to thicken for the brie en croute, and the spiciness of the cinnamon did not meld well with the mellow earthiness of the brie.  I’d suggest skipping this step if you choose to make this.

Add the flour and cinnamon to the apples,

and stir until everything is thick.

Roll out the puff pastry (you may wish to lightly oil the counter first– I didn’t and mine stuck), and mound the apple mixture in the center of the pastry.  I marked the size of the brie before I did mine.

Set the brie on top of the apple mixture.  You don’t need to cut the rind off.  It’s edible and tastes a lot better than it looks.  If you do choose to remove some of it, I’d suggest only removing the part that will touch the filling.  The rind helps keep the melted cheese contained.

Wrap the pastry up around the brie and cut off the excess.

Flip the wrapped brie over carefully, and place it on a greased cookie sheet seam side down.

Decorate it, if you want.  I should have skipped the decoration, or at least considered what it would look like once puffy.  Also, and I didn’t photograph this part, brush the pastry with a lightly beaten egg.

Bake the brie en croute for approximately 20 minutes.  Remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least 40 minutes or so.  Yeah, I should have considered what this would look like after it was baked.  Sorry about that.

Serve it with the crackers of you choice.  I love Triscuits.  I hadn’t had a Triscuit for seven years before three days ago.  So addictively good.  This is why they probably will not grace my pantry for another seven years.  I know my weaknesses.

Oooey, gooey, melty brie.  Yum. 

In the spirit of full disclosure, though, I must admit that I pulled the pastry off of the brie and scraped off the cinnamon apples.   We ate them separately because they were delicious; it’s just that they only tasted good independent of each other.  Lesson learned: keep the cinnamon away from the brie.

Yield: more than enough for us

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One response to “Daring Cooks’ Challenge: En Croute

  1. Oh wow, that is making me hungry!!!

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