This is a lovely gift to give because it’s so delicious but also creative. Any jam will work in the recipe, and we recommend using anything you have on hand or half-used in the fridge. We are partial to marmalade, as it’s just the right acidity to serve with cheese. Other jams that work particularly well are fig, cranberry and apricot.
Makes 3 wrapped brie (each serves 4 to 6)
- 3 small rounds brie or Camembert, refrigerated
- 3/4 cup jam
- 1/4 cup chopped toasted nuts, preferably walnuts or pecan, or whatever you have on hand
For the Pâté brisée:
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 sticks cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
For the Pâté brisée:
In a food processor, blend the flour, salt and sugar until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the cubes are pea size. With the machine running, slowly add the water through the feed tube, 1 tbsp at a time. Once the dough begins to come together, it’s done. Place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap and use the plastic to press the dough together until it starts forming a disc. Wrap the disc tightly and press down to make sure it’s cohesive. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour or up to overnight. The dough can also be made ahead, wrapped well and frozen; thaw for 1 to 2 hours before use (dough should be cold but not frozen) or overnight in the fridge.
Remove the dough from the fridge and let it warm just until it is malleable but still cold. Remove the brie from the fridge; unwrap each round and cut the tops off with a sharp knife, only removing the rind. Leave the rest of the rind intact.
Cut the dough into 3 equal wedges and gently shape each into a circle. Roll out each disc one at a time on a floured work surface, reserving the remaining dough by wrapping it in plastic wrap and leaving it in the fridge until ready to use. Each disc should be about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. If it’s too thick, the inside will not bake through.
Place a heaping scoop of jam, about 1/4 cup, in the centre of the dough, assessing how much you need by the size of the brie wheel. Lay one brie round over top, cut side down. Place the chopped nuts on top of that and fold the pâté brisée dough over, removing any excess and pinching it to seal the edges closed. You want one even layer around, but a little extra on the bottom is OK—the dough should overlap just enough so it seals. Repeat with the remaining 2 wheels of cheese.
Tightly wrap the wrapped brie rounds in parchment, neatly folding the edges. Tie with some twine or ribbon and attach a gift label with the following directions: “Keep refrigerated. Lightly whisk 1 egg and brush all around the pastry before baking. Bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve warm.”