Strawberry Brie En Croute. Like strawberries weren’t good enough on their own (or brie on its own), these two ingredients are lovingly wrapped in a flaky puff pastry dough and baked to golden perfection.
I was first introduced to the concept of a cheesy, jammy pie back in 2013. Everything about it sounded amazing. Oozing melted cheese, sticky strawberry sweetness, light and flaky dough: it’s what dreams are made of.
At the time, I was a teenager only just dipping my toes into the realms of baking. I didn’t even know the proper name for this pie, and SMH, I embarrassingly thought brie was pronounced bry like dry (English is not my native language 😅). If you’re new to this dessert too, let me tell you more about it.
What is brie en croute?
First, what does ‘en croute’ mean? Simply put, en croute is the french term meaning in a pastry crust. The crust can be made from a pie or puff pastry dough. ‘En croute’ recipes aren’t always desserts. Sometimes meats or seafoods, even cheeses spiked with spices, are wrapped in dough and baked. Beef wellington, or a chicken pot pie, are other great examples of ‘en croute’ recipes.
Brie is a soft cheese made from cow’s milk. Covered in a white rind which is usually eaten, the cheese exhibits a pale, off-white colour with a creamy consistency.
In this recipe, we encase a wheel of brie in a puff pastry dough and bake it to golden perfection. For a hint of sweetness, we top the brie with jammy strawberries, cooked on the stovetop for 10 minutes with sugar, rosewater, vanilla and cloves.
Can I freeze brie en croute?
The versatility of this recipe is excellent. It can be served as an appetiser or dessert, it can be modified to include a different berry, to exclude them all together, or to be made savoury by adding olive oil, rosemary and thyme. To add to that impressive list, brie en croute can be made ahead and frozen!
To freeze, prepare the recipe allowing the jammy strawberries to cool completely. Place them in the fridge to speed up the cooling process if you are in a hurry. Continue the recipe by placing berries on cheese and wrapping in the dough. Do not brush with the egg wash. At this point, place the wrapped brie in the freezer uncovered until the dough has hardened and is no longer sticky, about an hour. Remove from the freezer and tightly warp with cling film. It’s best to wrap twice to avoid freezer burn. Freeze for up to one month.
When ready to bake, apply the egg wash. If you choose to bake frozen increase baking time by 5-7 minutes. Otherwise thaw in the fridge and baked chilled, increasing cook time by 3-5 minutes.
How do I reheat brie en croute?
A baked brie en croute can be reheated in the oven to return it to its original glory. Place on parchment paper and bake at 85 C (185 F) for 25-30 minutes. Re-baking low and slow allows the pastry to crispen up without burning and the cheese to melt once again.
What alternative flavours can I make?
The strawberries in this recipe can be substituted with any berry you like. Vary the cooking time on the stovetop to suit the berry size (eg. cook blueberries for a shorter amount of time). Figs and cranberries are a great alternative to strawberries and pair well with cheese.
If using frozen berries, cook in the saucepan for 1-2 minutes, allowing berries to release some of their water. Drain it out before adding the remaining ingredients to the saucepan.
Another great idea is adding 2-3 tablespoons of roughly chopped pistachios (walnuts, pecans, etc.) to the filling when topping the brie wheel with the sauce.
Strawberries & Brie En Croûte
Warm brie, jammy strawberries, and delicate pastry come together to make the ultimate baked brie with strawberries - perfect for your dinner party appetiser or post-dinner dessert indulgence.
- 1 cup strawberries, quartered
- 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp rosewater (optional, see notes below)
- 1 tsp vanilla (optional, see notes below)
- 1 wheel brie cheese (weight range between 125g - 200g)
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
Place strawberries, sugar, rosewater, vanilla and cloves into a small saucepan. Heat on medium until simmering.
Cook over medium-low heat until berries have liquified and mixture thickens, about 10-15 minutes (15-20 if using frozen berries).
Set aside to cool slightly. Remove whole cloves.
Preheat oven to 200°C / 400° F / 180°C fan forced.
Line a thin baking tray (cookie sheet) with parchment paper.
Place brie on a sheet of puff pastry and top with strawberry sauce. Do this directly on the parchment paper in the baking tray to avoid carrying the pie.
Cut a circle around the brie, leaving approximately an inch (2-3 centimetres) of dough to fold over. Fold pastry dough over the brie and strawberries. Use offcuts to seal the top if the dough does not cover the entire filling. Make decorations, if desired, with any left over puff pastry.
Brush with egg wash and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and puffed.
Serve with crackers, fruits, or nuts, as desired.
Rosewater and vanilla are my go-to ingredients here for an added level of flavour.
You can choose to omit the 1tsp vanilla and increase rosewater to 2 tsp. Alternatively, you can choose to omit the 1tsp rosewater and increase vanilla to 2tsp.
Both these flavourings are optional however, and you can choose to omit them completely. You can also replace them with a different flavour such as orange blossom water, cinnamon, or lemon.
Tried it? Let me know if you liked it!