Apple-Cranberry and Brie Beggar’s Purse
Baked brie is a culinary icon. Add in a little fruit in the form of jams, sauces, or chutneys and you have a savory start to any meal as an appetizer. Being brilliantly versatile, this same dish can also provide superstar elevation to the classic wine and cheese dénouement at meal’s end. But serving such a dish, while it looks elegant at presentation, can be an unwieldy and messy affair at a larger gathering.
Enter the beggar; or at least, the beggar’s purse. This is the perfect solution for holiday, special occasion, or larger gatherings. This beggar’s purse is essentially a self-contained miniaturization of the timeless brie en croûte. You can make your beggar’s purse any size, but I find that the recommended 30 g of puff pastry in this recipe yield a perfect two bite package. Often made with phyllo dough, this version uses puff pastry. However, feel free to substitute out for phyllo dough if that is your preference.
• One recipe Apple cranberry sauce
• Puff pastry
• Slices of brie or equivalent cheese, approximately 7 to 8 g each, with any rind removed
• Chives, whole
• One egg, well mixed with the pinch of salt, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 425°F or if you bought commercial pastry, follow those directions for baking.
Weigh the puff pastry out into 30 g individual portions with the recommended serving of one and no more than two per guest. Shape the puff pastry into a rough circle and thin it out towards the edges. Place approximately half a teaspoon of the apple cranberry sauce into the center of the circle. Cover that with the cheese.
Lift the top end of the pastry circle and bring it towards the middle. Repeat with the bottom and then pinch the top half and bottom half together when they are over center. Turn 90° and repeat. Pull up the remaining edges and twist clockwise as you do so that you create what resembles an inverted balloon on the string. Set the assembled pastry down so the sack side is down, and the thinner “tail” is standing up. Take a piece of chive and place it on the end furthest away from you where the tail meets the sack. Then proceed to tie off the chive gently snuggling it up on the pastry at the base where the elongated top meets the sack. Trim the chive ends. Finish with a light coat of egg wash and bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Note: You can make these well ahead of time and freeze. Simply bring up to room temperature prior to finishing in the oven.