Aunt Hebe's Christmas Baked Brie
My aunt Hebe shared this recipe with me years ago, and I've served it at every Christmas party I've ever hosted and most Christmas Eve celebrations too. It's easy to make, delicious to eat, and gives the illusion that one's skills in the kitchen are far more impressive than they need to be to pull this off.
- 1 wheel of brie (8-10 oz)
- 1 sheet Pepperidge farm frozen puff pastry
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (toasted)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 TBSP brandy
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Unroll pastry sheet and allow to defrost,15 minutes. While pastry is thawing, chop pecans coarsely and toast in butter in a small skillet over medium heat, tossing frequently until golden. Remove and mix with brown sugar and brandy. Set mixture aside.
Cut the brie in half crosswise to make two circles (like a layer cake). Spread pecan and sugar mixture on the bottom half of the brie. Place top half of the brie on top of the bottom half, covering the pecan mixture. Lay puff pastry sheet flat over the reassembled brie wheel. Tuck excess pastry under the brie, or alternatively, wrap the pastry sheet around the brie and bundle the remaining pastry into a twist on top (both look pretty). Optional: brush with an egg wash for shine.
Place brie on parchment paper on a baking sheet, and place in hot oven. Bake until pastry is golden brown.
When brie is ready, garnish with two sprigs of rosemary. Serve immediately on a silver tray or wooden cutting board with Carr's water crackers and sliced pear.