This Camembert baked in puff pastry with raisins & pistachios is a delicious festive appetizer and is so easy to make. You can use Camembert or Brie for this recipe which can be made in advance or whipped up on demand. Everyone will love this.
Molten Camembert (or Brie) screams out for something sweet, and this raisin and pistachio compote offers just that without being aggressively so. The Cherry preserve offers a tart sweetness any good quality berry jam or preserve will work here.
The thyme adds an earthy savoury note to the dish so I wouldn’t leave it out. If you wanted to save calories you could just as easily make this without the pastry, just cover the dish with cling foil and reduce the baking time a little.
Life is busy at this time of year and we could all do with some simplicity. Calories also don’t count right? Here are a few of my favourite easy starters for the festive season.
- Crispy pan-fried feta with thyme & black pepper-infused honey
- Smoked snoek pate
- Whipped feta with roasted tomatoes and garlic
- Hummus with roasted cauliflower, sultanas, and cashew nuts
- Brie and red grape tartines
- Baked goats cheese cigars with honey & thyme
- Easy duck pancakes with plum sauce
- Salt & pepper calamari
- Sweetcorn & cheese phyllo pies
Why you see two different sets of images:
I made this recipe twice. The first time with Camembert and the second time with Brie. With the first one, I experimented with cutting the Camembert in half and stuffing the middle and the top, but this caused the cheese to leak out. It is better not to cut the cheese as the rind helps hold it in place a little better. If it does leak out don’t worry, it’s still very delicious.
Cooking tips for this recipe:
You can use any raisins or sultanas that you like or a mix of both for this recipe. I am a huge fan of golden sultanas.
You can prepare the cheese in advance up to the point where it is wrapped in pastry, then seal and place in the fridge until you are ready to bake. Serve it as soon as it comes out of the oven with toasted baguette slices or any cracker. Garnish with roasted grapes (optional), and you will find how I made this at the bottom of the recipe method below.
Recipes – serves 4 – 6
Camembert baked in puff pastry with raisins & pistachios
- 1/2 cup of raisins and sultanas
- ¼ cup full cream sherry
- 1 bay leaf optional
- 3 Tbsp Cherry preserve or other good quality berry preserve
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp of thyme leaves roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
- 250 gm puff pastry
- 250 gm – 350gm wheel of Camembert or wedge of Brie
- Beaten egg
- Toasted slices of baguette to serve or any cracker
- Put the raisins, sherry, and bay leaf into a small pot and place it on low heat. Allow the raisins to heat through and the sherry to evapourate. About 3 minutes. Add the preserve, thyme, and a grind of black pepper and stir to combine.
- Cook for a further minute or two. Take the pot off the heat, add the pistachios, and allow the mixture to thicken and cool.
- When you are ready to bake the Camembert, preheat the oven to 180C.
- Take the thawed but still cool puff pastry out of the fridge and place it on a floured surface. Roll it a little thinner if necessary and thoroughly wrap the cheese. Place this piece of pastry on a lined baking sheet.
- Place the wheel of Camembert or Brie in the center of the pastry. Remove the bay leave and spread the raisin and pistachio mix over the cheese.
- Brush the inside of the pastry with a beaten egg, pull each corner of the pastry over the cheese ensuring you wrap it up as tightly as possible. You want to almost create a pulled-up bag shape around the cheese. Overlap each piece at the top and ensure the sides are well sealed.
- Bake for 30 – 35 minutes and until the pastry is golden brown and puffed up. Garnish with roasted grapes and serve with toasted baguette slices.
- *To roast the grapes, place a few small bunches of seedless red grapes on a baking tray and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Toss about and bake in the oven before you bake the cheese or alongside it for about 10 minutes.
*This recipe was developed for Raisins SA
More delicious raisin recipes: