Cranberry Pecan Brie en Croute with creamy brie, dried apricots, and candied pecans baked in a golden flaky puff pastry for an impressive appetizer your guests would be lining up. Perfect for holiday parties!
It’s been six years since I decided to quit my job at a skilled nursing facility and blog full-time. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I sometimes miss going to work! I love blogging and wouldn’t trade it for any career in this world, but I crave old friends’ company and the daily challenges of my old job, especially now that the holidays are just around the corner.
Around this time, I would already be knee-deep in planning our patients’ Thanksgiving luncheon and Christmas dinner. I enjoyed this part of my job the most; it was always super fun figuring out a party menu that would wow a large crowd.
Although I had a great lineup of sweet and savory treats for these holiday parties, our yearly Brie en Croute tradition always drew the most oohs and aahs. There’s just something about this golden beauty surrounded by assorted crackers and fresh fruits that ring in the season’s festive mood.
It’s so elegant and impressive yet quick and simple to make you the hostess with the mostess with very little effort! And with a rich and creamy brie cheese encased in a light, airy, and flaky golden crust, it’ll have your guests will be lining up for seconds. Or thirds!
The best part is, Brie en Croute is a versatile dish you can easily switch up with various flavors. I opted for a “dessert” version this time, using apricot jam, dried cranberries, dried apricots, and candied pecans, but possible add-ins are practically endless! Check out my suggestions below.
Baked brie variations
- Swap the apricot preserves with your choice of jams or chutneys. Fig jam is one of my favorites! I’ve also tried Jalapeno jelly, and the combination of sweet, spicy, creamy, and crunchy is out of this world!
- Try cranberry sauce for a festive take or honey and sea salt for a sweet-salty option.
- Again, play around with different types of fruits and nuts. Dried cherries, pineapples, apples, candied ginger, almond slivers, and/or glazed or roasted walnuts would work beautifully. Soak the dried fruits in red wine, if you like, for another layer of yum.
- Use roasted garlic and chopped black olives for a savory version.
- Experiment with pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, tapenade, and/or fresh herbs such as rosemary and basil.
- Caramelized onions and roasted mushrooms. So good!
- Sprinkle a mixture of brown sugar, freshly cracked black pepper, and your favorite nuts for a sweet, savory, and crunchy combo.
Baked brie is best enjoyed fresh from the oven. You can make it ahead of time and bake it on the day of the party for maximum results!
- Prepare the brie en route, cover it tightly with clingwrap, and transfer it to a resealable bag. Refrigerate for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 1 month.
- When ready to serve, unwrap and brush with the egg wash. Bake frozen, adding a few minutes to the baking time to allow the cheese to melt.
If the outside is browning before the pastry is cooked through, move the baking sheet to the lower third of the oven.
- Cool for about 5 minutes before slicing to allow the cheese to firm up and prevent burns from the melty cheese.
- Arrange on a serving platter or wooden board and surround with assorted crackers, toasted baguette slices, fresh berries, and fruits such as grapes and sliced apples.
- Thaw puff pastry at room temperature for about 30 to 40 minutes or until it’s easy to unfold and handle.
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- In a small bowl, combine egg and water and whisk until frothy. Set aside.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out pastry sheet to about 1/8-inch thick. With a pizza cutter, cut into a round shape of about 6-in diameter, saving the pastry scraps to make leaves.
- Spread the preserves on the pastry into a circle at about 1/2-inch larger than the cheese.
- Sprinkle dried cranberries, dried apricots, and pecans.
- Place the cheese in the center of the pastry over the filling. Gather the pastry and the fold up over the cheese to cover.
- Press the seams to seal and brush with egg wash.
- On a parchment-lined baking sheet, place the brie en croute with the seam-side down. Decorate with the pastry scraps and gently brush with the egg mixture.
- Refrigerate for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. If the outside is browning before the pastry is cooked through, move the baking sheet to the lower third of the oven.
- Let stand for about 5 minutes before cutting. Serve with the assorted crackers and fresh fruit.
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”