Food You Can Eat: Baked Brie en Croute (Wrapped in Dough)

Image via TasteAtlas

With the weather cooling I thought I’d trot out an old favorite of mine. Step back in time to the 1970s, Whip Inflation Now!, and whip up a simple baked brie. These versions serve two as a very rich appetizer, four or more if you’re having people over and it’s a party snack.


Cousin Matthew’s Usual Version

I’ve never seen a recipe like this online but a caterer made this at a party I was at years ago and this is adapted from him. Thanks for sharing the recipe with me, whoever you are.

1 small wheel of brie, about 5 or 6 inches across, refrigerated. If you can find double or even triple crème so much the better, despite what your cardiologist thinks. Wheels of brie often comes in strange weights, so try to measure the diameter by eye.

2 or 3 sheets of light phyllo dough, thawed.

1 egg

1 jar fruit jam, enough so you have at least 4 tbs. I use apricot mostly, but strawberry and apple are also very good. 

On a clean, floured surface carefully unroll one sheet of the thawed phyllo dough. This is a pain in the neck but if it tears, and it often will, just try to put the pieces close together.

Whisk your egg in a small bowl.

Preheat an oven to 350 or 400 degrees. I go with 350. See note.

Take your brie wheel out of the fridge. It’s been in there because you want it to be firm. I leave the rind on but you can slice the rind away if you want.

Slice the brie wheel in half horizontally. This is the genius, deviant part. Spoon your jam somewhat generously on one half and then top with the other. Recipes call for topping the brie but I and the chef who told me about this put it in the middle, like a sandwich filling.

Put your brie sandwich in the middle of your phyllo sheet. Carefully, oh so carefully, bring the corners up to meet in the middle. If your phyllo sheet is a little large snip off the excess from the top. You don’t want a big clump.

Brush the whole thing with some of your whisked egg. Move aside. 

Flour your surface again and repeat the wrapping/egging with a second sheet. I do this yet again with a third sheet. I think I might use really thin phyllo dough though. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, put the brie package in the middle, and put the sheet on a middle rack. After 15 or 20 minutes it’s done. Let cool a little bit. Right out of the oven it will burn your mouth. Serve with crackers (I go with plain, not buttery, not peppered) or toasted bread rounds. To make those, slice up a small loaf of French bread and add to your baking sheet while the brie is baking, three or four minutes per side. You don’t want to burn them. Don’t butter them or anything.

NOTE: Ovens are pretty reliable, but I have a powerful Viking that is really efficient. At 350 for 15 minutes the phyllo dough is a nice golden brown. I’ve made this at other people’s places and it sometimes takes longer than 20 minutes (but not more than 30, in my experience), and sometimes at 400, for reasons that were explained to me but I can’t remember. It doesn’t matter, you want the brie to look nice and when the dough turns this warm, dark buttery-brownish color the cheese will be melted.


Home for the Holidays with Cousin Matthew

You do everything as with the above version, but instead of filling with fruit jam, top with cranberry jam and toasted walnuts or pecans. Because I am who I am I make a cranberry jam for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Don’t use the canned Ocean Spray cranberry “sauce.”


“I Don’t Want to Deal With Phyllo Dough” Version

You don’t have to! Take your naked brie with the rind on (so it stays together and doesn’t ooze all over the place) and spoon on some honey, but not too much. Spread that around. Top with walnuts, if you want, I always seem to have walnuts around. Put it on your parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Since it’s not in the dough, only leave it in for 5 to 10 minutes. Press on it with a fork and when it feels squishy you’re done.


“Baked Brie” Blasphemy

A friend of mine does this. Take a big wedge of brie and place in a bowl, like a cereal bowl, with the tip pointing down and the wide end coming up and slightly over the lip. Microwave (!) on high for about a minute. Watch it through the glass so it doesn’t turn to soup. “It’s genius, Mattie. See, the cheese is gooey at the bottom and as people scoop that out from the bottom the rest gradually slides in. It gets cold so then you use this cheese knife I have.” “That’s a fish knife.”



  1. I forgot to mention that if you wrap the brie more than once do it the first time and then flip it over and do it again. You do not want a dual or triple layer of clumped eggy phyllo dough on top. It will start to resemble a Hershey’s Kiss, or so I’ve been told. Ingrates.

    • After doing all the holidays for all the extended family for years and years and years, Keitel and I stopped doing Thanksgiving for the hoards of locusts. It was a good choice, because I really never want to stick my hand up a turkey carcass and pull out the neck and giblets ever again.

      Instead, we have met dear friends at a local restaurant, and had a lovely day. But pandemic protocol now has me cooking – at least just for the couple we usually dine with. This is going to be nerve-wracking, because the fellow was a regionally-recognized, award-winning chef, who owned/partnered in four different fancy restaurants. I will have standards to live up to! Yikes!

      The moral of this story is that Cousin Matthew’s Brie en Croute is going on the top of the appetizer list as I plan the menu. Thank you!!!!

      • Ask your friend if he’s ever heard of slicing the brie and putting the filling in the center. The caterer had this very unplaceable accent and I wasn’t going to be taking up any more of his time by swapping family histories, the recipe gift was generous enough, but maybe it’s common somewhere else. I don’t eat a ton of baked brie but years ago when I was looking for something holiday-ish, I looked around to see if anyone used something like cranberries and walnuts. I found stuff, but it was always put on top, and so was everything else. Your friend might tell me I’m an idiot and it’s the way it’s often done, but I’ve never read about it or been served it except from the caterer and from my own oven.

  2. “That’s a fish knife.”

    …honestly, I needed that laugh…so thank you

    …I’d also like to add another (probably heathen) brie option…if you happen to be making burgers from scratch (which I have been known to do from time to time) you can cut off the rind & form your burgers around chunks of brie (or camembert) & then you get a cheeseburger where the cheese leaks out through the burger instead of sitting on top

    …YMMV & all but nobody’s ever complained about them at the table so I think not alone in thinking it’s a neat idea?

    • The fish knife comment cracked me up as well. Hiding a soft cheese in your burger is a technique in my kitchen, too. I have also been known to do it with cheddar for Philistines who will not eat a ripe cheese.

    • In his defense, and he’s a pretty good cook himself, better than his wife, if you go to the Williams Sonoma catalog (I’m sure you have it bookmarked, like I do) fish knives and cheese knives can look very similar. The difference is the fish knife he had came to a very sharp point at the end. It’s because the fish knife is used to debone a fish, and with the sharp pointy tip you pop out as many of those splinter-like bones as you can. Most cheese knives look like stubby flat butter knives, but some have a little dual prong at the end. That’s because you slice a piece of cheese for yourself and if it’s a hard cheese you can spear it and place it on your cracker or bread or plate, whatever. Knowing his family as I do (he’s one of my oldest friends) I’m sure his mother had both.

  3. hahaahha the blasphemy sounds like something my daughter would make……
    me…i pretty much refuse to use the microwave for anything i actually plan to eat
    (its a leftover trauma from me time as a stoner…when a very stoned me decided to nuke a steak….it was right about then i figured anything that turns a steak into bubbly goo cant possibly be good for you.)
    (still ate it tho….had munchies)

  4. This really is genius Cousin Matthew. I would never have thought to sandwich the jam between layers of brie. My sister makes this every year for Christmas. I can’t wait to pass this tip along to her. Thanks!

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