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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mini Baked Brie w/ Tart Cherry Jam

Back when I was young(er)...say, early twenties...I discovered the glory that is brie.  We were young adults, discovering that our palates were more sophisticated than they were not so long ago.  Rich, thick, dark beer...bold, complex, red wine...chewy, crusty, lovingly baked loaves of bread...beautiful artisan cheeses than ran the gamut from young and creamy to aged and pungent...we explored it all.  And discovered the beauty of farmer's markets.  Oddly enough, I think it was this time period when I also tried my first mango.  I grew up in the Midwest, remember.  I reminisce with a smile on my face and a silent thanks that I had such good food and music loving, like-minded friends at this time in my life.
Some nights we'd all meet up at somebody's house, each with a different pizza topping in one hand and a "new" six-pack or bottle in the other.  Probably something green and natural hiding out in somebody's bag or pocket, as well.  Other times a local butcher-wrapped pack of beef jerky or even bacon.  I think it was around this time that I made my first Chicken with 40 {garlic} Cloves with friends hanging out waiting to tuck in. favorite...a loaf of crusty bread, a round of brie, some locally made jam or preserves, and a fat  head of garlic.
We would slice the top off that garlic and drizzle it with a bit of olive oil, dust it with some salt and pepper and get it roasting while we opened the first bottle of wine.  Once it properly scented the kitchen and turned all soft and roasty, we'd lay a couple rounds of brie on a baking sheet.  One round of brie would get topped with a couple big scoops of that local jam...and the other one?  Well, that one we'd slather with smooshed, roasted garlic cloves.  Then the whole tray would go into that hot oven until the brie was gloriously soft and oozing in spots.

Slide them both onto a cutting board.  Rip off hunks of crusty bread.  Alternate bites of bread squooshed together with jammy brie and garlicky brie.  Wash it down with wine.  Repeat.

To this day, this is still one of my favorite things to eat.  I can make a meal of it.
So you can probably guess that when I see a puff pastry encased round of it plain, with jam, with nuts and brown sugar...I'm on it.  Which means that when I see a box of brie made a mere 40 miles from my home and a jar of jam made with the best tart cherries in the world, the ones that I grew up with and make pies and cobblers from every year, I'm totally making little glorious "bites" that will make me wax nostalgic.  Totally.

Mini Baked Brie w/ Tart Cherry Jam

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Keywords: bake appetizer snack cheese jam puff pastry
Ingredients (serves 9)
  • 1 (17.3 oz.) package puff pastry (contains 2 sheets)
  • ~4 oz. brie
  • ~¼ c. tart cherry jam
  • 1 egg
  • splash of milk
Preheat oven to 375° F.

Roll both sheets of dough out to about 12"x12". Score one sheet of dough with a 3½" round cutter nine times (3 across by 3 down).

Whisk egg and milk together. Brush a layer of egg wash over dough. Slice brie into 9 equal pieces (leave the rind's good) and set in center of each scored circle. Place a heaping teaspoon jam on top of cheese.
Carefully lay top sheet of pastry over the top and gently press into egg wash on bottom sheet (like making ravioli). Cut through both sheets of pastry with the same cutter, keeping filling centered. Crimp edges. Transfer to parchment lined sheet tray. Brush each with a thin film of the egg wash and poke a tiny hole in top.

Bake for ~25 minutes, until golden and puffed. And a bit oozy. Enjoy warm or at room temp.

inspired by/adapted from Joy the Baker
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Even kitty-cats will beg for these.  Serve them as appetizers or snacks.  People will thank you.  They will rave.  They may even get a wistful look in their eyes.  And have the urge to jam Rusted Root while sitting around the fire with a bottle of wine and bare feet.  Maybe.

Would you like to comment?

  1. Ahhh...such memories, funny how good food and good friends will do that! I remember we used to make it with apricot jam, and sliced almonds. Oh and the roasted garlic too, we first tried that when they used to serve it at TGI Fridays. The tart cherry jam must be from Michigan cherries :) I love these little morsels a perfect bite...I wish I would of thought of this!

  2. Brie with cherry jam - wowwww
    I've never tasted it before but it sounds intriguing 
    Your pastries look really delicious
    I wish I could grab one and eat

  3. I love this post---I'm reminded all the time of how the tastes I discovered in my college years and early twenties are the most enduring food passions I have.  It just so happens that I'm a brie and cherry fiend, as well. 

  4. Yup, Michigan tart cherries. The Best. =)

  5. I coud tuck into several of these right now...

  6. You make these little tarts sound so delicious, Heather, that I could eat a plate of them for breakfast.  How would we ever get along without prepared puff pastry (and brie).  Love that nifty little pastry cutter.

  7.'s a favorite of mine too!  Now I want roasted garlic.  It's 7:45 am; can I have roasted garlic for breakfast?

  8. Oh, brie, how I love thee. These little tarts look adorable and I know they just taste wonderful!

  9. Thanks Cathy.  I think its "actual" purpose was making fun little crustless sandwiches (like UnCrustables...or whatever those are called).  I got it years ago...I think it was Pampered Chef...and it's been sitting in a box for longer than I ever used it.  I think re-purposing it into a pastry cutter was a good idea, too. =)

  10. Qué ricas!!  se ven tan lindas y tan deliciosas...!! la pasta de abajo la hago mañana! tengo todo , mil gracias por la idea!!

  11. ¡Hola Pily! Mucho tiempo no 've'. Tan contento de tener noticias de usted. 
    Espero que le guste si lo intenta. =)

  12. You sure know how to make your post very entertaining. I want to try everything you describe, but brie is close to my heart.

  13. De lujo, me encanta

  14. I discovered brie in college and was the best thing that ever happened to me! Love that you can have baked bries in mini form...although i'd be inclined to eat far too many. :P

  15. oh my, its cute i'll make one of it and give to to my bestfriend
    thank you  for the interesting post.

  16. I've got to find one of those pastry cutters today!  I'd love to make this for our next wine gathering with some of my homemade Merlot Jelly.  Nice post Heather.

  17. such a sweet post... we have been enjoying brie latley with my daughter playing with combos in the kitchen, She would love this!!

  18. What a CUTE idea!!! I LOVE baked brie and love the idea of individual little pies. This could be VERY dangerous. Mmmmm!

  19. What perfect little pies. We've done something similar but we bake the entire wheel and wrap it in puff pastry. I like these little hand held pie. Way easier for entertaining.