If you’ve visited France, you may recall just how inexpensive and incredible their puff pastry is. They refer to puff pastry as, pâte feuilletée, translating literally to leafy dough. While you can easily find puff pastry (in the frozen section) in the States, it’s often quite expensive. I’ve paid up to $13 at a specialty grocery store for a round cut once — worth it! But usually it costs about $5-9 for 2 sheets of the dough. In France, it’s found in the fresh section, and it’s less than 2€ for one sheet. And it’s amazing.
When I lived in France, I realized just how regularly the French use this pastry. And for good reason! Most often, you can find it during the L’apéritif, the pre-dinner drink and “amuse-bouche,” (they call small apps “mouth amusements”), in the form of puffed drool-worthy bites.
Goat Cheese, Honey & Thyme Puffs
Maybe it’s the alcohol, but puff pastry never tastes as good as it does during l’apéro. Martine, my step-mother-in-law, always hosts the best happy hours and never serves the same thing twice. More often than not, puff pastry is involved, and since then, I’ve become perhaps the most puff pastry addicted American. It creeps into everything I make. It’s become a staple on our grocery list. And not just for appetizers, it can very much be used in full meals, like Butternut Squash Tart and endless desserts like, Tarte aux Pommes (French Apple Tart), Almond Puff Pastry Braid, and Raspberry Cream Cheese Pinwheels.
Today’s recipe is sweet, savory, and absolutely mouth-watering. It’s a gorgeous presentation, melting brie enrobed with flaky golden puff pastry, and topped with buttery, maple apples and fresh thyme. Aside from it’s beauty, it’s SO easy to make. Usually the easiest recipes are those involving puff pastry, because it does all the work for you — this recipe is no different. You sautée your apples with butter and maple syrup (you can omit the maple syrup if you want), and then spoon them over your baked cheese. In the numerous times I’ve made this, always with a toast in French, there has never been leftovers….even when it’s just my husband and myself. 😉 Enjoy this weekend with a glass of something nice.
À votre santé! Cheers.
Baked Brie with Maple Buttered Apples
- 2 Apples (sliced into ¼-inch half moons)
- 1/4 cup Butter
- 2 tbsp. Maple Syrup
- 1 Puff pastry sheet, thawed
- 1 8 oz. wheel of brie
- 1 Egg, beaten
- sprigs Fresh thyme
Preheat the oven to 425F degrees.
In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, combine the butter, apples, and maple syrup. Cook until the apples have softened and the sauce has thickened, about 5-10 minutes. Set aside.
Roll out the thawed puff pastry a little bit and lay flat on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Place the Brie in the center of the pastry and remove a little of the rind from the top of the Brie, leaving the bottom and sides intact. Fold the corners of the pastry over the cheese, so it’s entirely hidden. Brush the pastry with the egg.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until rich golden brown. Spoon the apples and juices over the Brie. Top with fresh thyme.
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest blog.