November 10, 2010
This month has turned out to be a hectic month, leaving me little time to post recipes. Between Halloween parties, trick-or-treating, planning my sons birthday party next week, and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I haven't had much time for my poor little blog. To make up for my shameful inattention, I am posting this yummy recipe I found in one of my favorite magazines, Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate Fall. Baked Brie with Brown Sugar & Cranberries.
I actually had made up the pie crust over a week ago, and put it in the freezer for when I needed it. This is my favorite pie crust recipe, it is super flaky, tender, and you can make several at once, then just pop them in the freezer for whenever you need them. I think the freezing part gives it the extra flakiness. My mom always used ice-water to make her pie crust, and I think the freezing technique of this recipe produces similar results.
If you have never made your own pie crust, I really encourage you to try this one. You can find a great step by step tutorial for this recipe here, done by The Pioneer Woman. It is so easy to make, and with just a little practice you can be a pie-crust-making-queen:) Crust making can be intimidating, but it really isn't hard; as long as you don't over work your dough, you'll have great results. Try it!
Crust: (Makes 3 single layer pie crusts)
1 1/2 cups vegetable shortening (Crisco, or I use Spectrum non-hydrogenated shortening)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 whole egg
5 Tbsp ice-cold water
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 (13.2 oz) Brie round
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/8 cup dried cranberries
1 egg, lightly beaten
In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter or a fork, gradually work the shortening into the flour until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of ice water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Separate the dough into 3 evenly sized balls of dough, then place each ball into a large Ziploc bag. Use a rolling pin to slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick). This makes it easier to roll later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. If you are using the dough right away, it still needs to chill for about 20 minutes in the freezer.
When ready to use the frozen dough, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes. Lightly flour your surface and roll the dough. Start at the center and work your way out, in long even strokes. If the dough is too moist, sprinkle some flour over the top. If the dough sticks to the counter, use a metal spatula to carefully scrape it up, flip it over and continue rolling into a 14 inch circle. Cut off a 2 1/2 inch strip of dough, and using a small leaf shaped cookie cutter, cut out a few leaves from the strip.
Lift the dough carefully from the surface of the counter onto a baking sheet. Slice the rind off the top of the brie, and place the cheese in the center of the dough. Sprinkle the cheese with brown sugar and top with cranberries. Fold the edges of the dough up and over the cheese. Top with the leaf cutouts. Brush the beaten egg over the piecrust. Place in a 400F oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Serve with fruit. Enjoy!