Frozen puff pastry may be one of the most versatile convenience items on the market. When you have a package in your freezer, you can whip up rich savory appetizers, elegant main dishes, or delicious buttery desserts in no time.
This recipe combines the best of both worlds with its combination of sweet and savory ingredients. As a result, it can be served as either a rich appetizer or a decadent dessert by playing up either the savory or sweet elements.
1/2 package frozen puff pastry
1 medium pear, ripe but firm, cut into thin slices
2 oz. Brie cheese, cut into thin slices with rind removed
2 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
2 T. maple syrup
1 T. water
Thaw puff pastry in refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight.
Position rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Open thawed puff pastry and carefully unfold, being careful not to crack it. Place puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Gently roll pastry with a floured rolling pin into a large rectangle. Cut in half with a sharp knife and carefully wrap one portion in plastic before returning to the refrigerator. (Use the remaining portion within a day for another recipe or to double this one).
Place the remaining rectangle on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. To create a picture frame effect, cut around the perimeter of the sheet with a sharp knife about 1/2” from the outside edge, but do not cut all the way through.
Dock the pastry inside the cut you just made with a fork just like you would a pie crust. Add the Brie in a single layer on top of the interior portion. Top with pear slices, then sprinkle with thyme leaves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Brush top with maple syrup to evenly coat.
Create an egg wash by whisking one tablespoon of water with one egg yolk. Brush mixture over the outside exposed portion of the puff pastry before placing in oven.
Bake for approximately 15- 18 minutes, or until the pastry “picture frame” puffs up and turns golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.