Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Retro Pear and Brie En Croute

With the Holidays soon coming it's time to think about appetizers, new drinks, extra special roasts and sides.  Here's an oldie but goodie appetizer..

Makes 1 eight ounce round

1 Tbl raisins
2 Tbl plus 2 tsp pear brandy or liqueur
1 nice firm ripe pear, peeled, cored and cut into a 1/2 inch dice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbl sugar
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 8 ounce brie round, very cold
1 sheet of puff pastry from a 17.3 ounce package, thawed if frozen
1 egg beaten with 2 Tbl cold water

Soak the raisins in 2 Tbl of the pear brandy for about 30 minutes. Drain
In a small sauce pan, place the raisins, diced pear, cider vinegar, sugar and cayenne pepper and simmer for about 5 minutes until the pears have softened but have still kept their integrity.  Set aside and cool.
On a parchment lined baking sheet lay down the pastry sheet.  Spoon the pear mixture in the center of the sheet keeping it about the size of the brie round.
With a fork, poke holes on one side of the brie round all over and then sprinkle the remaining 2 tsp brandy over.  Let the brandy settle in and then place the poked side on top of the pear mixture.
Wrap the round with the pastry cutting off any excess and seal carefully.  Flip the round over so that the seamed side is on the bottom.  Use any scraps of dough to decorate the top of the pastry.
Brush the round lightly with the egg wash.
Bake for about 25 minutes at 400F until golden.  Let rest about 20 minutes before serving.
Serve with fresh pear slices if desired.

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