Beautiful Baked Brie with Crispy Sage

As you may recall, one of my favorite things in life, besides beer of course, is cheese.

I love it bubbling on top of my favorite Porter Onion Soup, mounded on pastas, smothered in sweet and spicy Jezebel dip, or simply sliced and served with bread and honey.

I’ve been making a version of this baked brie for a long time now. It honestly doesn’t get much simpler, but I’ve mastered the folding technique and gotten the bake time down to a science. I just had to share my tips with you, my fellow beer and food lovahs.

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For those of you who haven’t ever used frozen puff pastry, get yourself acquainted, stat! It is extremely versatile. There are literally millions of things you can do with it. I’ve already told you about my Easy Apple Galette (with vanilla bourbon caramel sauce – eee!), and Jalapeño Puff Pastry Poppers – but this is even easier, just unbelievably pretty, and insanely delicious.

It’s one of those tried and true party appetizers that get’s plenty of ooo’s and ahh’s with very little work. Plus you can jazz it up anyway you want. For this round I added a garnish of butter fried sage and served it with slices of fresh Asian pears and apples, but the sky is the limit here.

You can add a layer of raspberry jam before folding, scatter nuts and fresh parsley over top or drizzle with honey – really whatever strikes your fancy!

Beautiful Baked Brie

Beautiful Baked Brie with Crispy Sage

  • one 8 oz wheel of your favorite Brie cheese
  • one large sheet frozen puff pastry (thawed) – mine came from Trader Joes
  • 3 sage leaves
  • 2 tbsp butter, divided
  • 3 or 4 apples/asian pears/pears, sliced

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Start by placing the wheel of brie directly in the middle of your sheet of thawed puff pastry. Fold one corner across the brie. Then, take the point where the first fold creates a new corner, and fold that into the center of the wheel. Repeat until you have a neat package of cheesy awesomeness.

Here is the folding technique, step by step:

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DSC_0538 DSC_0540 DSC_0546 DSC_0549 DSC_0551 DSC_0553At the end, make sure and firmly press down in the middle so that the dough doesn’t over-expand. A little bit of volume is pretty, but too much will undo all that ‘hard work.’ Give your pretty package a brush with a bit of melted butter or lightly beaten egg to ensure maximum browning.

Bake for 30-35 minutes depending on your oven. You want a nice golden brown all over.

While the brie is baking, toss a tablespoon of butter and your sage leaves (washed and patted very dry) into a small skillet. Cook until slightly browned and fried up crisp, approximately 4 minutes. Set aside.

When you pull the brie out of the oven, let it sit for at least 5-10 minutes before serving. Molten hot cheese will burn you, badly. Trust. Plus it will be a lot less messy if the cheese has re-firmed up a tad. Let your guests slice it up and eat with big wedges of apple.

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For beer pairing, there is no better option than Unibroue Ephemere. Ephemere is an award winning Belgian witbier that is brewed with apple juice. It has a beautiful green apple aroma, with a bright, somewhat peppery wheat flavor, and a dry, lovely finish. The apple flavor works amazingly with this brie treat, obviously, while the  crisp finish cleanses the palate of all that buttery goodness. The complexity of the Belgian yeast blends seamlessly with the cheese.

All in all, a beer and food pairing match made in heaven.

Unibroue EphemereDefinitely try this for your next house party. You will impress your friends, and more importantly, reap the rewards of easy, cheesy, baked deliciousness.

Because cheese.

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