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Baked Brie with Fig Jam in Phyllo Dough

October 18, 2012

Prepare yourselves: this is the most scrumptious of appetizers (slash desserts?!) and one that I usually associate with winter time… But let’s face it: it’s always the season for cheese.

(Unless you are vegan, in which case, hold tight for another vegan recipe on Monday!)

This recipe comes straight from the genius that is my little sister’s brain in the kitchen. Or maybe she got this recipe from someone else originally; I’m not sure.

I just know that she’s been making it for years now, usually for our family’s winter solstice party, and it might– at first glance– seem like the kind of decadence that should be tucked away safely, where it can do no harm to anyone, and deliberately reserved for only once a year:

Warm, melty brie, spread with sweet fig jam, and enveloped in soft buttery layers of phyllo dough that are baked to a crisp.

Then you spread that whole gooey delicacy on fresh bread.*

So now you see the once-a-year logic.

Sometimes, though, it’s nice to treat yourself to a once-a-year treat more than once a year. (I almost feel like that sentence could have been a palindrome of sorts.)

Last week for example. Let’s just say that I had a stressful dissertation week** and on top of that I found myself on call for jury duty, which had me worried that I’d have to miss a day of teaching (first-year Japanese!). I really could have used this baked brie then.

And believe me, you do not need to save this recipe for winter; I made it for my birthday party in August, and that worked Just. Fine.

The fig jam makes for a delightful sweet and savory combination, with the sweetness of the figs melding perfectly into the tangy sharpness of the cheese.

If you still need more convincing, I want to add that I think baked brie and non-baked brie are two entirely different categories of edibles. Once it starts bubbling away in the oven, brie undergoes a change of state. I’m talking a difference on the degree of those among ice, water, and steam. (Which is why it’s essential to enjoy this cheese while it’s hot.)

Seriously, serve this at your next party, winter solstice season or not.

* Shown in the photos: Homemade Ciabatta.

** Imagine how much more stressful my dissertation will be once I actually start writing it!

Print this recipe.


Baked Brie with Fig Jam in Phyllo Dough

(Serves 6-12 as an appetizer, depending on the amount of brie)

~ 8-16 sheets phyllo dough (thawed overnight in the fridge)
~ 2-4 Tbsp. butter, melted
~ wheel or wedge of brie cheese (just use a much larger glass baking dish for more brie)
~ 3-6 Tbsp. fig jam or preserves (I used my no-pectin fig jam), or some other fruit spread
~ fresh bread or crackers to spread it on

How to make it:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Choose a suitable oven-proof baking dish that will fit your wheel or wedge of brie cheese. (A very small wheel is pictured here, but I use an 8″x8″ glass baking dish when baking much larger wedges of brie to serve at parties.)

2. Spread out a layer of phyllo dough across the bottom of your baking dish, and lightly brush the center with melted butter. Continue layering in phyllo dough, brushing the center of each layer with butter, until you have about 6-8 layers on the bottom, then add the cheese.

3. Wrap one or two of the phyllo dough layers around from the bottom of the brie over the top of it, brushing each with additional butter. If there is not enough dough from below to cover the entire top of the brie, then patch with additional phyllo dough from a new sheet, removing extra edges or tucking them down around the sides of the cheese. Then spread on the fig jam across the top.

4. Continue wrapping the rest of the phyllo dough from the sides up and over the brie to cover the fig jam, brushing butter between each layer. Patch with additional phyllo dough if necessary, until you have about 4-6 layers on top. If it looks too patchy, you can just add one final sheet of phyllo dough to smooth over the top. Generously brush the top with butter.

Covered with 2 layers of phyllo, pre-fig jam; and post-fig jam, ready to go in the oven.

5. Bake for 10-25 minutes (start checking on it around 10 minutes, though it will probably take more like 20), until the phyllo dough has started to brown and get crispy. (In a dish that’s not as well fitted to the shape of the brie, the cheese might start to bubble out of the sides… don’t worry; it will still taste great!)

6. Serve immediately as a warm spread for fresh bread or crackers.

Print this recipe!

Related recipe posts:
> Canning 102: Fig Jam
> Almond Cinnamon Baklava
> Guest Post: Homemade Ciabatta

47 Comments leave one →
  1. littlefashionistas permalink
    October 18, 2012 8:23 am

    Mouth watering! it looks so, so yummy! :-)

  2. soupernaturel permalink
    October 18, 2012 9:16 am

    Seems like a lot fun baking this! Yum yum.

  3. October 18, 2012 9:35 am

    Looks great, as always…we make this dish for the holidays and it is always a winner…

    • October 19, 2012 12:18 pm

      Nice! Have you made any interesting variations on it? (Other kinds of jam, etc.?)

      • October 19, 2012 1:14 pm

        Blueberry jam is one we’ve used (Blueberries work well with cheese) but apricot is the most common and is very good. Perfect with a little honey…

      • October 19, 2012 6:35 pm

        Oh I’ve actually made it with apricot jam before (but only once)! Thanks for reminding me how good that was. :) I’ll have to try that with honey, and also experiment some other kinds of jam.

  4. October 18, 2012 9:59 am

    brie and fig what a great combination!

  5. October 18, 2012 10:04 am

    I usually make this but wrap it in crescent rolls. The phylo dough probably saves a few of those buttery calories and looks much fancier though! :)

    • October 19, 2012 12:20 pm

      Oh yum, that sounds amazing, too! That’d definitely be a less messy appetizer (if you’re talking mini crescent rolls)… and then there’s no need to also serve it with bread.

      And yes, the phyllo dough is awesome, though I’m not sure how many buttery calories it actually has compared to crescent rolls, since you do have to brush butter in between each layer… but at least you get to control how much of it you use that way!

  6. October 18, 2012 1:01 pm

    Brie and figs sounds and looks way too good :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  7. October 18, 2012 5:02 pm

    Convinced! :) You really didn’t have to try any harder…your pictures prove the deliciousness. :)

    • October 19, 2012 12:21 pm

      :) I didn’t actually think this would require any convincing.

      • October 19, 2012 12:28 pm

        I’ll be making this on Sunday evening. It’s a veg-day of our festival and it’ll suit just perfectly!

      • October 19, 2012 12:29 pm

        Yay, that’s great! I hope you and your family/friends enjoy it! :)

  8. October 19, 2012 3:05 am

    yummy and double yummy :)

  9. Sobremesa DC permalink
    October 19, 2012 9:05 am

    This looks unbelievably delicious! Must try.

  10. October 19, 2012 9:36 am

    Done and done. Yes, to everything happening in this recipe. Would you suggest trying to crisp the phyllo dough a lot or just let it remain on the softer for easy spreading?

    • October 19, 2012 12:24 pm

      The phyllo dough is actually a little awkward to cut and spread whether it’s crisp or soft, so I’d say just go with your personal taste/preference! Also, the reason why I usually take it out of the oven when it only looks as just-browned as in these photos is because it all starts to smell so good, and I get impatient to start digging in!

      (Oh and in larger baking dishes, like I mentioned above, the melty brie might start to bubble out of the side of the phyllo dough, no matter how well you wrap it. So that’s usually when I start to think about taking it out of the oven– before it spreads out too much, visually– even if it’s not quite as brown and crisp on top as it could be.)

  11. October 19, 2012 2:50 pm

    Wow I think it ia very very very very very goooooood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. October 19, 2012 6:12 pm

    It does look very very good!

  13. October 21, 2012 2:20 pm

    I adore this appetizer. Puff pastry also works well. I often have jars of chutney from my aunt and this is the perfect canvas for them to really shine. YUM!!

    • October 22, 2012 9:37 am

      Oo, that definitely sounds like a nice way to mix it up– I can see some savory-ish chutneys going very well with brie! :)

  14. Scrambled Megs permalink
    October 22, 2012 4:16 am

    love this snack idea. recently i love smashing prunes up with goat’s cheese and having it on sourdough. amazing x

    • October 29, 2012 1:32 pm

      That sounds like another awesome fruit + cheese combination! (Sorry for the delay in my response– I just rescued your comment from my spam folder for some reason.)

  15. October 24, 2012 10:02 am

    This looks amazing! I will try this the next time we have our cheese and wine dinner.

  16. October 29, 2012 5:58 pm

    Oh yum! Love brie and fig together. Nicely done! :)

  17. October 29, 2012 8:30 pm

    Long time no comment! I’ve slipped under the radar it seems. Can’t help but tell you that this is essentially my favorite thing that happens in the kitchen in under 20 minutes. I don’t use phyllo (that is the weirdest word?) dough, but close enough, and I’m sure the flakiness makes it amaaaaaaaze.

    • October 31, 2012 9:35 am

      It is definitely a 20-minute kitchen miracle! :) Do you use puff pastry or something instead of phyllo dough? Or do you just bake brie on its own?
      (One of my favorite restaurants in Japan serves camembert baked with olive oil… I definitely want to try to reproduce that someday!)

  18. November 3, 2012 5:31 pm

    I have to make this for Christmas this year. You had me at “brie.”

    • November 3, 2012 5:49 pm

      Haha, that’s awesome. You have to make this for Christmas… do it!! Even though I made it recently in August and Sept., and blogged about it in October, it’s really a winter holiday party dish in my mind. And I guarantee you it will be well received. :)

  19. lovefoodlovefitnesslovelife permalink
    November 9, 2012 12:51 pm

    My mouth is watering thinking about making this! One word – YUM

  20. November 27, 2012 11:37 pm

    That looks dangerously good. I’ve done miniature versions with puff pastry but I gotta try the phyllo dough next.

    • November 28, 2012 9:51 pm

      Dangerously good is a good way to describe it… You should have seen the one I made for my birthday party (and the size of brie I usually buy for New Year’s)– this one is mini in comparison! (…maybe we should swap methods, and I should make some mini ones next time! :)

  21. January 14, 2013 9:01 am

    Hey Allison! Thanks for following my blog! I really like yours too, and I am definitely trying this recipe out! Looking forward to future posts, please stay connected!

    • January 14, 2013 9:04 am

      I will! Thanks, Sunny! I’m very happy to have discovered your blog, too. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do (I just made it again this New Year’s Eve)!

  22. July 8, 2013 10:31 pm

    Brie and figs look a great combination and the recipe is so easy to make! Is mouth watering!! I really enjoy your blog and your recipes are way too creative and very delicious!! :)

    • July 9, 2013 7:06 pm

      Thank you so much; I really appreciate comments like yours! :)

      And yes, brie and figs make for a truly delicious combination. I can’t take credit for the recipe itself though since it’s my younger sister’s creation!

      • July 9, 2013 9:30 pm

        So,it’s in the family to be creative!!Congrats :)


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