Baked Brie en Croute (this just means with a crust)

'Tis the season to bring appetizers to many functions.
Falalalala, lalalala.
This is an easy and elegant appetizer.  It really is easy.  And people are impressed.  Go figure.
Brie en Croute
1 or 2 (8 or 14 ounce) wheel brie
1 package puff pastry sheets, thawed
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup high quality jam, I like cranberry compote or apricot, triple berry is good, too
1 egg, beaten
1 Tablespoon water
Assorted crackers,apple or pear slices

 Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Unfold puff pastry on a lightly floured surface.
Roll gently to seal any cracks in the pastry.
Spoon preserves onto center of pastry to about the size of your cheese.
Sprinkle nuts evenly on the preserves.
Place cheese on top of preserves.  You don't need to cut off the white rind.  You can eat the rind.  Really.  It's good.  In France they call the white rind le velour blanc, or the white velvet.
Fold pastry up over the cheese to cover.
Trim excess pastry and press to seal seams.  Reserve pastry scraps.
Whisk egg and water in a small bowl.  Brush seams with egg mixture.
Place seam-side down on baking sheet.
If you want to be fancy, cut the pastry scraps into decorative shapes and arrange on top.  Brush with egg mixture.

Bake 25 - 35 minutes or until golden brown. 
Let stand 20 minutes before cutting.
Serve with crackers and/or sliced fruit.


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