I guess it isn’t so out-of-place during the holiday season, but the other day, I started thinking about friendships.
Since the age of 17, I have been living in separations from all my best friends. Some, separated by lands, but most, by oceans. And even if when old ones came, or when new ones were made, soon after, was another almost destined departure. After a certain number of years, I got used to the danger of not having any, and the jealousy for those who do.
So this year, when the question of “edible gift” came, I started thinking about what I’d wish I could give. If you are one of those lucky humans who enjoys close proximity of friendships, I think you should tell them, “I’m so glad I’m not too far away to give you this”. Whole mini brie and jam wrapped in flaky, buttery pie-pastry. Just like and therefore perfect for those whom this is made for, it doesn’t travel far. It’s time and temperature-sensitive. It’s warm, sweet, gooey and most importantly, immediate.
To close friends, in heart, and in distance. Happy holidays.
Cut unsalted butter into small chunks. In a large bowl or food-processor bowl, combine flour, unsalted butter, light brown sugar and salt. Cut with a pastry-cutter or pulse the food-processor until the largest pieces of butter are about the size of peas. Then slowly add in the ice-cold water, 1/8 cup at a time, and mix with your hands or pulse (*as little as possible*) the food-processor until the mixture comes together as a dough. Adjust with 1 more tbsp of ice-cold water if needed.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and divide into 4 equal portions. Plastic-wrap and set aside in the fridge. Meanwhile, remove the top and bottom rind of the mini brie (*this would be much easier if the brie is very cold*). Roll 1 portion of the dough out on a lightly floured surface until about 1/4" (0.5 cm) thick. Add 3 tbsp of jam in the middle, then place a mini brie on top. Fold the dough over to enclose, removing excess dough if needed and pinch the opening tightly together. Turn it over with the seam-side down then plastic-wrap, and set aside in fridge. Repeat with the other 3. Keep the pies chilled.
To bake, preheat the oven on 400F/200C. Brush all surface of the pie with egg-wash (including the bottom), then bake for 25 min until golden browned. The pie may warp a little because there's no support but no big deal. If the bottom of your pie doesn't brown sufficiently, place the pan directly on the bottom of the oven for the last 5 min. Serve immediately
Wrap the mini brie + jam pie in parchment paper with a nice note, with simple baking directions. Your friends will love you.
Update 2014/12/25: The pie can be chilled in the fridge for up to 3 days.