Baked Brie with Dried Cherries and Thyme

Baked Brie with Dried Cherries and Thyme

New Year’s Eve celebrations always need a tasty cheese dish. This one not only tasted great but is also elegant looking and because you use frozen puff pastry is a snap to make. I took this to a Christmas dinner party for an appetizer and six of us downed the whole thing in about fifteen minutes. I adapted this from The Best of Fine Cooking Appetizers 2009.

1 – 1/2 lb. wheel of Brie (about 4-inch diameter), at room temperature
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/3 C. dried cherries, coarsely chopped
2 t. chopped fresh thyme (or a heaping 1/2 t. dried thyme leaves)
1 T. butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Slice off the top rind of Brie and discard.
3. On a sheet of waxed paper or parchment, roll the pastry out to a 12-inch square and cut two 6-inch rounds. Cut leftover dough into small rectangles.

4. Put one of the rounds on a rimmed cookie sheet and sprinkle with half the dried cherries and thyme, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge.

5. Set the Brie, rind side down, on top of the cherry topped pastry, and sprinkle with the remaining cherries and thyme, and cover with the other pastry round. Crimp the edges of the top and bottom pastry together to seal in the cheese.
6. Place the small rectangles of dough 1/2-inch apart on the cookie sheet along with the Brie.
7. Brush the top of the Brie and rectangles of dough with the melted butter.

8. Bake for 10 minutes and remove the rectangles of dough only. Continue baking the brie for another 10 minutes. Let cool for 15-20 minutes and then serve.

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