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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Saturday, August 29th, 2009 - Brie in Puff Pastry with Berry Sauce

I had received a special request for the Brie in Puff Pastry with Berry Sauce. The request came from my 14 year old neighbor, Dwight. The event was his Dad’s 50th birthday; I was lucky enough to assist him with the party planning. All guests were requested to bring an appetizer of their choosing and, knowing this crowd, we were in for a great evening!
I had made this dish for a family gathering a few years ago. I will never forget it because the reception was both alarming and complimentary at the same time. The minute I set down the beautiful, decorative platter with the golden brown brie surrounded by berry sauce so carefully spooned around the perimeter it was like a pack of wild dogs were unleashed on an unsuspecting woodland creature. There was a blur of silverware, flailing arms and before I knew it my brother-in-law had run off with the platter into the backyard to lick off the remaining drops of berry sauce. There was literally not a speck of it left. So, needless to say, I was very interested to see if it would elicit the same reaction.

The Dish:
Brie in Puff Pastry with Berry Sauce (pg. 58)

The Drink:
Champagne/Sparkling Wine, Chardonnay

The Berry Sauce is an easy no-cook sauce with raspberries, whole cranberry sauce and spiced rum that gives it a nice “kick.” The puff pastry is a little trickier. The first time I made this recipe I had no trouble with the pastry. This time; however, I let it thaw a little too long. The box said to leave it out for 40 minutes and I think I left it out a little over an hour. You’re supposed to be able to unfold the sheets and they had pretty much defrosted in a lump that couldn’t be unfolded. Eek! I stuck them back into the fridge for 15 minutes and was able to unstick one of them which I used for the brie. I got creative with the other one and cut strips to form the “bow.” The good thing about puff pastry, apparently, is that no matter what it looks like going into the oven - it looks incredible coming out! The pastry gods were definitely with me – the brie came out looking golden brown and delicious. Whew! Now, the big question, would it taste as good as the first time? The answer, I am happy to report, is yes! While no one ran outside with the platter, there was barely a scrap of it left on the plate. The brie was perfectly melty and oozed out of it’s buttery, pastry shell. The fruity, berry sauce is really a perfect complement to the decadently rich cheese. To top it all off, the party was a great success. My only regret: no leftovers!

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