Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Baked Brie with Strawberries, Almonds and Balsamic Vinegar

Strawberry month continues! I have not been able to keep my mind off of strawberries. Its been all strawberry this strawberry that all up in my noggin lately.

I'm working on a frozen treat involving strawberries, but it needs a bit more work. Joy the Baker is having a "Baking Boot Camp" and I made this triple berry cinnamon swirl bread. Hopefully I can tweak some of the things I've been working on and share them with you all!

I want to roast all the strawberries there ever were and devour them. If you've never tried roasting fruit, you should. No pressure, but really you should. I also just ordered a ice cream maker. I'm giddy about it. Maybe there will be a roasted strawberry ice cream situation in the future. At the very least there will be buckets of ice cream in my future.

Now for the real strawberry situation at hand, strawberries and cheese. This is a pretty simple, easy and straightforward gooey, salty, tangy and cheesy situation. My first go around at making this resulted in spilled cheese, which is better than spilled milk. Promise. You can still eat spilled cheese.

I tweaked a few things to prevent a spilled cheese situation from happening again. I went for less liquid for the strawberries and created a balsamic glaze instead.

As I tend to do, there is not much added sugar to the strawberries. I like the tartness. The exposed top makes this almost a cross between a gallette and traditional baked brie. Leaving the opening at the top allows the strawberries to become sort of like roasted strawberries - jammy, melty and tart.

The balsamic adds a nice sharp tang on top, while the toasted almonds add a crunch. The pepper is not at the forefront here, but I do think it adds a little something. You could always add more pepper, if you wanted a real peppery kick.

You won't want to drizzle all of the balsamic glaze over the baked brie all at once, but reserve some for you and your friends to drizzle on as much or little as they want. I won't judge though if you just eat this all by yourself. I begrudgingly shared with my father because well he is my father.


For the brie: 
8oz strawberries, sliced into quarters
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

For the balsamic glaze:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
Freshly ground black pepper

Egg wash:
1 large egg, beaten in a small bowl, with a splash of water

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. Combine strawberries, balsamic vinegar, honey, flour and black pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Slice the rind off of the top of the brie and set aside.
  4. Lightly flour your surface with flour and roll out the thawed puff pastry to a 12" by 12" (being a little shy of 12" is better than being to wide/thin). Trim off the corners to make a circle/oval (using a 10" plate is a useful guide, but you want your circle to be slightly larger than 10").
  5. Place the brie in the center of the dough. Drain the strawberries, reserving the juice for later. Add the strawberries on top of the brie (it may seem like they won't all fit and if a few fall along the sides of the brie, that is okay).
  6. Fold the edges of the dough over in small sections, overlapping as you go. Brush it all over with egg wash.
  7. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Allow the baked brie to cool for 10 minutes. Place slivered almonds on tin foil and place in oven, until golden and nutty, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  8. While the brie is cooling, lets make the balsamic glaze. To a small saucepan, set over medium heat, mix together the reserved strawberry juice, honey, balsamic vinegar and pepper. Simmer for 3-6 minutes, until slightly thickened and sweet. Turn off the heat and drizzle a little over the baked brie. Garnish with a few slivered almonds; serve with remainder of almonds, glaze and crackers. 
Two years ago: Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Brownie Cookies

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