Cranberry Baked Brie En Croûte With Oranges & Walnuts
This Cranberry Baked Brie En Croûte is a favorite for holiday entertaining! Flaky puff pastry wrapped around warm, creamy baked brie with sweet and bright homemade cranberry orange sauce and walnuts. It’s delicious, decadent, and a definite crowd pleaser.
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This recipe is part of a focus on baked brie that I am doing for my Fall Entertaining Series. Baked Brie is an easy and indulgent recipe that everyone loves. This is the third Baked Brie in the series, and one which I chose because baked brie En Croûte, or wrapped in pastry, is the ultimate baked brie. It is incredibly decadent and delicious! I so good, and simple, that I will be making this at Thanksgiving this year.
Brie is a rich and creamy cheese, and one that I choose over and over again. It is a fabulous choice for cooking and baking, and to serve on a cheese board. It is relatively mild, characterized by a buttery and velvety texture with an earthy, and slightly sweet taste. As it ages, Brie can develop more pronounced flavors, including hints of mushrooms and nuts. The edible, bloomy rind adds a distinct earthy and tangy note to the overall flavor profile. More on Brie below.
Cranberry Sauce – This homemade cranberry sauce is my favorite and one that has been in my family for decades. It is loosely adapted from the version my mom used to make. Pairing fresh cranberries, fresh oranges, walnuts, and (in her version) a splash of Grand Marnier – it is bright, sweet, and punctuated by the crunch of walnuts. (I will be adding the full recipe this week.)
Puff Pastry is a light and flaky pastry that is made by laminating layers of dough and butter. The process of creating puff pastry involves folding and rolling the dough multiple times to create numerous layers. When baked, the water content in the butter creates steam, causing the layers to separate and rise, resulting in a crisp and airy texture. Homemade puff pastry is quite the project. Here I use store-bought puff pastry, there are also gluten-free versions available.
What Is Brie Cheese?
Brie cheese, often referred to as the Queen Of Cheeses, is arguably the most famous cheese from France. It originated in the French region Brie, from which it derives its name. Hundreds of years ago, it was used as a tribute paid to French Kings.
Brie is made from cow’s milk. To make Brie, rennet is added to the raw milk and then heated. This creates the curd, which is then strained and cast into molds. After the cheese has been in the molds for around 18 hours, the cheese is salted and aged for a minimum of four weeks.
It should be noted that Brie in France is very different from that exported to the United States. Brie in France is not stabilized and therefore develops a darker hue and more complex flavor as it matures. Brie that is exported to the states is stabilized. It does not mature, but stays pale, with a white rind, and has a much longer shelf life.
How To Prepare A Baked Brie With Pastry
Brie En Croûte (wrapped in pastry) is a showstopper, and one that I will be making this Thanksgiving. It is rich, buttery, decadent, and wrapped in layers of flaky pastry. It is also very easy to make.
For this recipe I use store-bought puff pastry. Unfold the thawed puff pastry sheet. With a rolling pin, roll the pastry to soften the dough and stretch it slightly. Transfer the pastry to a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the brie in the center of the pastry, and remove a small amount of the top rind. Put generous spoonfuls of the cranberry sauce on top, and add a few extra walnuts if you would like.
Starting at one side, pull the pastry up to cover the brie. Hold in place with one hand, while folding and bringing the next side up to meet your hand in the center. Continue around the outside of the brie, folding and wrapping the pastry to join in the top center of the brie. I did this with 6 folds. Squeeze in the center to seal these together. Wash the pastry with the egg wash and sprinkle with flaky sea salt (if desired). Bake the brie for 25-35 minutes, until the pastry is nicely browned and crisp. Let the brie rest after baking for 5 minutes and serve.
What To Serve With Baked Brie
This baked brie already has pastry with it, so in all honesty it is delicious eaten as-is with fingers or a spoon. Crackers and accompaniments do come in handy though, and make the brie go farther. Adding a few diet-friendly, inclusive options is a win-win at parties, giving everyone something to scoop with. (As a keto eater, I could be tempted to scoop up some of the interior, but skip the pastry.)
- Crackers, Flatbreads & Breads
- Gluten-Free Crackers, Flatbreads & Breads
- Fresh Fruit: Sliced Apples, Pears, Grapes, Or Berries
- Vegetable Alternatives To Crackers Like Endive, Raddicchio, Or Kale
Tips & Tricks
Here are a few things that might help:
- Remove the brie from the refrigerator about half an hour before it will be baked.
- Remove the top rind of the brie to enhance melting.
- For the creamiest baked brie, choose a Triple Crème cheese.
Here are some suggested substitutions to make this baked brie a better fit for your palate, preferences, and diet. If you are looking for specific substitutions, let me know in the comments below!
- Brie Cheese Alternative: Camembert can be used instead of Brie. Both cheeses have edible, bloomy rinds and a soft paste interior. Brie has a milder, creamier taste, while camembert has deeper, more intense flavors.
- Cranberry Sauce Alternatives: Fruit preserves, savory preserves, honey. Try one of these new flavors!
- Walnut Alternatives: Pecans, Pistachios, Almonds.
The rind of brie is completely edible and adds to the flavor of the cheese. In this recipe it is recommended to remove the top layer of the brie to help with its melting.
Baked brie is equally delicious whether served savory or sweet. The savory flavors that are delicious with brie are garlic, caramelized onion, roasted root vegetables, and mushrooms. The sweet flavors that pair well with brie are fresh fruits like apple, pear, figs, grapes, cranberries, and raspberries, jams or preserves, and honey,
It isn’t necessary to score brie before baking, but it does add visual interest, making a prettier presentation for a simple baked brie recipe that isn’t topped with thick toppings or wrapped in puff pastry. This recipe does not need to be scored.
More Brie Cheese Recipes To Try
If you make this Cranberry Baked Brie En Croûte With Oranges & Walnuts be sure to leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you. And if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see!
How To Make: Cranberry Baked Brie En Croûte With Oranges & Walnuts
|1 8-12 Oz. Wheel Of Brie Cheese|
|1 Sheet Of Frozen Puff Pastry, Thawed|
|1 Egg, Beaten|
|Flaked Sea Salt, For Sprinkling|
For The Cranberry Sauce
|2 Cups Fresh Cranberries|
|1/2 Cup Orange Juice|
|1/2 Cup Sugar (Or Sugar Alternative)|
|1/2 Fresh Orange, Cubed|
|1/2 Cup Walnuts|