With a title like Brie and Red Pepper Relish (Savory) Pastries you’d probably expect a substantial recipe or at least a substantial post. Well, I’m sorry, but you’re going to be disappointed. I suppose I could be optimistic and think you may, in fact, be jazzed about such an easy snack that comes with such an impressive-sounding name (who doesn’t love fool-proof gourmet?), but I really should just be ashamed, haha. With a busier schedule and preparations for school making my head spin I’ve been seriously slacking in kitchen documentation.
My thoughts with this recipe went something like this: “Oh, this is just like the Strawberry Pastries I made, no one wants to see the same steps repeated….would they?….no, of course not….I’ll just snap some nice photos of the end result…. oh no! I forgot a photo showing the lovely gooey filling!….oh I’m sure it wouldn’t have looked that great anyway….” See? Laziness. I don’t even remember where I first got the idea to make the things! I read somewhere about brie and red pepper jelly being used to fill biscuits and I just stored the flavor combination in my head for later use. It seemed very strange, but equally promising.
I’ll make an effort next time – to both take more photos and to know where my inspiration comes from. Until then, I leave you with a somewhat unusual but honestly very easy and tasty snack good for breakfast, hors d’oeuvres, or as a substitute for the more common cheesy-bread with pasta or salad.
Brie and Red Pepper Relish (Savory) Pastries
8 oz. brie cheese at room temperature
8 oz. red pepper relish (more savory) or jelly (more sweet)
1 box frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
flour for dusting
- Roll out one sheet of puff pastry dough onto a floured work surface. Using a pizza cutter or knife, divide the dough into 4 equal squares. Set all but one square aside.
- Following the procedure from the Strawberry Pastries recipe, gently roll out the square to about 1/4″ thickness. I deliberately wanted my brie snacks to be smaller than the strawberry pastries, so I didn’t roll out the squares as much but later regretted it (see Beezer’s Notes below). If you want these pastries to be smaller, I’d suggest staying with the original large size in the Strawberry Pastries recipe and then simply using your pizza cutter or knife to half the folded pastry before baking.
- Once your first square has been rolled out, gently fold it over a 3/4″ dowel if available – I use the handle of my rolling pin – and line up the edges. Cut 6 short lines through both edges, creating 7 little tabs. Carefully unfold the square.
- Fill the center of the square with 2 – 3 T of red pepper relish (or jelly) and enough brie to cover. I used two quarter-inch thick slices, each about the size of those pink erasers.
- Holding the top left tab in place, gently pull the top right tab out a bit to stretch and cross it over the center of the pastry. Repeat with the top left tab, crossing it over the first, while holding the right tab in place. Continue in this manner until all tabs have been criss-crossed, covering the center of the pastry. Press down gently on the top of the pastry to secure the tabs.
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Repeat the process with the remaining 3 pastry squares and then, from Step 1, with the remaining sheet of pastry dough.
- Bake pastries for 30 minutes or until golden and puffed. Serve warm.
I highly recommend whipping up a batch of these savory pastries if you have an hour free soon, especially to serve guests before dinner. The lovely smell that will come from your oven will catch everyone’s attention and, once these babies are done, their beautiful golden color will have diners drooling. Now, I have to admit: although I am a cheese lover, brie has never made my top five. Not even top ten. I think it has a decent flavor and will eat it when served, but there are so many other cheeses I would choose over it. For this recipe, though, I think that unique consistency and flavor of warm brie really compliments the red pepper relish. Feel free to experiment, of course (Pepperjack and sweet onion? Smoked cheddar and apple?), but unless you are truly a brie-hater I’d suggest you give the original combo a go first.
The only unexpected issue I had this time around was a consequence of trying to fold smaller braids, as I mentioned in the Procedure. My tabs ended up being too short and, as the puff pastry…well… puffed, some of the tabs pulled out – undoing the tidy braid. It wasn’t a big deal, the little pastries certainly looked cute anyway. I’d just recommend folding the pastries at the original size and then slicing the finished pastry in half before baking.
Overall Enjoyment: ♥ ♥ ♥