Saturday, January 3, 2015

Hot Blooded Orange Marmalade Sparks an Appetizer Idea

"Pepperlane" Hot Blooded Orange Marmalade
In November when out in Denver visiting with sisters, I discovered this marmalade in my sister's fridge. It is called Hot-Blooded Orange Jalapeno Marmalade, by "Pepperlane". It is made in Utah. It is really pricy! But, oh, my, is it ever good. This marmalade has just enough jalapeno to give it a nice kick without being too much.

Calimyrna Figs
My sister asked if I would please do something with a small wheel of Brie that was in her fridge also, along with a Pillsbury crescent roll "sheet." I had never seen this Pillsbury product, mainly as I do not use them anymore. They are so high in sodium that I tend to swell up if I eat any of these packaged crescents, biscuits and whatever else. I love them, don't get me wrong. I just quit using them. My preference would have been using Puff Pastry dough, but she had this roll of crescent dough and I put it to use. The first thing I thought of was to put something on top of the Brie before wrapping it in the crescent dough sheet. This was when I went rooting around to see what else she had in the fridge and discovered this jam. I tasted the jam and was struck by the amazing flavor, and then the jalapeno spiciness. The next thing I noticed is that unlike many jalapeno or pepper jellies, which tend to get runny, this one was thick and very spreadable.

Hot Blooded Brie en Croute
My sister had on her counter some little, dried Calimyrna figs. She also grows herbs, as I do. I thought maybe some rosemary would be a good addition, so I mixed together some of the marmalade, some chopped figs, and chopped fresh rosemary and some pecans. I set the little wheel of Brie on top of the Pillsbury crescent roll sheet. With a sharp knife, I removed most of the top rind from the Brie. I poured the marmalade mixture on top, brought up the corners of the pastry, moistening each successive point so they would adhere and baked the Brie in time for both my Denver sisters to be home from work.

All I can say is that this is most absolutely, definitely, a keeper. We devoured this appetizer. We even didn't bother with making a dinner that evening, as between this Brie and some other little appetizers around, we all were full. 

Before leaving Denver to drive home, I made sure I got a couple of jars of this Hot Blooded Marmalade to bring home with me. And, I had been thinking about that wonderful Brie Appetizer ever since. So, come New Years Eve, I decided it was time. I could not find Calimyrna figs locally, but did find dried white Kalamata figs. I used those and chopped them small, recreating the appetizer as best I could recall, but this time writing down the measurements. There may be other spicy jams or marmalades out there that would work as well as this one. I am also sure I am not the first to use a jam on top of Brie and wrap it to bake. Regardless, I am going to jot down my recipe here, such as it is, because it is just too good not to share.
A slice of Hot Blooded Brie en Croute

Hot Blooded Brie en Croute

serves 4 - 5

1 (8-ounce) wheel of Brie, or slightly larger
1/3 cup "Pepperlane" Hot Blooded Orange Jalapeno Marmalade
1/3 cup dried white figs, diced very small
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely minced
1/3 cup finely chopped nuts, optional
1 sheet Puff Pastry dough
1 egg yolk, for egg wash

Carefully unwrap the Brie and remove as much of the top rind as possible. Re-wrap the Brie and freeze it for at least 2 hours.

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the marmalade, figs, rosemary and nuts, if using.

Completely thaw the sheet of puff pastry dough. Roll it out on a flour coated surface to about twice the original size. (You will likely not need half of this sheet, so think of making some other appetizer with the remainder, such as Gremolata Walnut Pinwheels, Pepper Cheese Spirals or Smokies in Puff Pastry.) Make sure to trim a tiny amount of the dough from any edges not trimmed. This allows the pastry to puff more effectively in the oven. 

Remove the Brie from the freezer, unwrap it and set it on the rolled out pastry. Ascertain how large a square of the pastry will be needed to completely encase the Brie with the topping. A clearance of about 3 - 4 inches on each flat side is probably safe. Set the remainder of the puff pastry aside for whatever use you might find. 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Top the frozen Brie with the marmalade mixture and bring up one corner of the pastry to the top of the Brie. Moisten this point. Bring up a second point of pastry and adhere this to the previous moistened point, tucking in the shorter edges as you go. Repeat with the remaining two points of the pastry. Carefully lift the wrapped Brie onto an ungreased pastry sheet. Mix the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water. Using a pastry brush, coat the pastry with the egg wash, being careful it doesn't run down and under the pastry, or it will "glue" to the pan. 

Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the crust is nicely golden. Once the Brie begins to ooze out, it is warm all the way through. The freezing of the cheese allows the crust to bake long enough to brown before the cheese all melts out. Enjoy!

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.