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There are many things a cook can do to make sure brie in phyllo comes out well. The most difficult part of making this dish is working with the phyllo dough, though following a few simple guidelines can make this much easier. Choosing high quality ingredients that go well together and cooking in a properly heated room will also help to make this dish turn out well.
One of the most important things to know when serving brie in phyllo is how to work with the phyllo. These thin sheets of pastry are usually found in the freezer section of a grocery store and must be brought to room temperature before they can be unrolled. The best way to warm up the phyllo is to put it in the refrigerator 24 hours before it is to be assembled and then to place it on the counter for a couple of hours right before it's used. It should be left in its wrapper while coming to temperature so that it doesn't dry out. Once the phyllo is unwrapped and unrolled, keeping a piece of wax paper and a damp kitchen towel on top of the unused portion will keep it moist while the sheets are being put together.
When assembling the phyllo sheets, oil or melted butter should be spread between each of the layers. Olive oil works well for brie in phyllo that is more savory, while butter adds good flavor to sweeter variations of this dish. Using a pastry brush is the best way to spread oil or butter onto the phyllo sheets. Additional oil or butter should be brushed onto the top of the dish before it is placed in the oven, so that it turns golden.
Brie in phyllo can be served plain or with complementary ingredients. Nuts, dried fruits, chutneys, and sauces can all be baked together with the brie in phyllo. Flavored bries can also be used in this dish.
To bake successfully, brie in phyllo must be put into an oven that has been properly pre-heated. It should be cooked at a moderate temperature for about 15 to 20 minutes so that the outer layer of the phyllo has a chance to become crispy and golden. Baking and serving this appetizer in a dish with sides that come up at least half-way to the top of the brie is a good idea, as the melted brie can leak and make a mess in the oven.
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