Surprise – it’s another recipe with cranberries! I may have been a tad overzealous when I was buying cranberries at the grocery store before Thanksgiving, but their color was so vibrant and tantalizing that I couldn’t resist. Plus, cranberries have lots of antioxidants, so they’re really healthy for you (possibly less so when surrounded by cheese and buttery crust, but let’s not dwell on that).
These little “ravioli” are great for either a small dessert or for hor d’oeuvres. They’re like little bites of pie – made with pâte brisée, a delicate French version of a classic pie crust, to go along with the French cheese – with both sweet and savory tucked inside. Tip: use a good, full-fat brie. I chose an inopportune time to try low-fat brie, and it was not quite as delightful as I had hoped. I also used Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider because that’s all I happened to have around, but I imagine that any kind of cider or even regular apple juice would be fine. The upside of using sparkling cider, though? The rest of the bottle is the perfect festive drink to sip while noshing on these little “ravioli”!
Note: Although I know that many people eat the white mold rind on brie, I didn’t use it in this recipe because I wasn’t sure how it would turn out after being baked. Have you ever baked with the rind? And if you have, would you do it again? I’m curious to know!
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
- 1/4 cup ice water
- 1 tablespoon vodka (optional)
- 1 1/3 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 tablespoons apple butter
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- brie (I probably used less than 4 ounces)
- 1 egg
- 2-3 tablespoons sugar
- Combine flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt in bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined. Cut butter into cubes and add to food processor. Process until mixture is coarsely crumbly.
- Add up to 1/4 cup ice water, while processing, until mixture holds together when pressed – it should not be overly sticky or moist. If you have already added a full 1/4 cup of water and the mixture is still crumbly, add up to one tablespoon of plain vodka. The liquid from the vodka will help the dough come together, but won’t make the crust too tough.
- Remove dough from food processor and divide in half. Shape each half into a flattened disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or up to overnight).
- In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, apple butter, 1/3 cup sugar, and apple cider. Bring to a simmer and let cook until cranberries have burst and mixture resembles a thick jam, about 10-15 minutes, stirring periodically. Because the cranberries tend to spatter a bit when they burst, you may want to put a lid over most of the pot. Let cool before handling.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- On a floured surface, roll out dough into a big rectangle, about 1/4-inch thick. Use a ravioli press, cookie cutter, or knife to cut the shapes you like.
- Fill dough with brie and cranberry sauce. The amount you use will depend on the size of the dough shapes. For instance, my ravioli press is about 2 – 2 ½ inches on each side, and I used about 3/4 teaspoon brie and about the same of cranberry sauce in each (for the square shaped ones – less for the squares folded into triangles). Press sides of shapes firmly to seal, and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Brush top of each shape with beaten egg, and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until crusts are golden brown.
- Makes 16-24 pastries, depending on the size of ravioli press or cookie cutter.
- I used Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider because that's what I had on hand, but I imagine that any kind of apple cider or apple juice will work.
- Pâte brisée recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.