Experiments in Recipes: Maple Bacon Baked Brie
This month Instructables is having two recipe contests, which has inspired me to experiment with creating my first custom recipe. As a baker and our household’s regular cook, I do a lot of ad hoc substitutions and tweaks to recipes I find in books and online, but I never write them down or iterate on the changes. This time, I knew I wanted to be able to save and remember all the steps I took so that I could share the rest for the contest.
After three attempts and multiple taste test I finally finished my simple yet delicious maple bacon baked brie recipe. It was frankly a lot of fun. If you want to try my recipe, it is on Instructables (where you can vote for it in the Bacon and Snacks contests) or you can find it below.
How I Built my Recipe
I started designing my recipe where I suspect a lot of people do: by stealing the basics. Baked brie is a simple yet stylish snack or dessert with a lot of variations. When I decided to add bacon and maple syrup to the classic recipe, I was merely following in the footsteps of others. By using recipes I found online, I was able to easily determine common features such as how to wrap a brie in puff pastry and what temperature it’s best to bake at.
The next important step was to determine the balance of the ingredients and how to combine them. I know from experience that putting wet ingredients, such as jam or syrup, on the top of a solid wheel of three typically results in soggy puff pastry. That is my least favorite part of baked brie. Instead I sliced the brie in half so it could be filled like a sandwich. I experimented with putting crumbled bacon on the top of the brie, but found that the extra bacon was not necessary.
Figuring out the balance of bacon to maple syrup was simply a case of trial and error. Luckily I have a husband to be my guinea pig. I started with a ratio that just looked good to my eye and felt right based on my experience eating both ingredients in the past. After baking a sample, I shared it with my husband and we discussed how the balance of the ingredients work. We found that my first attempt was not sweet enough, so I increased the maple syrup amount a lot. This resulted in a much sweeter mixture that blended well once it had been baked into the melting brie.
My final step was to test out the baked brie on some unsuspecting partygoers over the weekend. Reviews were overall positive and I felt confident that I had a tasty, and rich treat that I had kept track of the ingredients and amounts for so I could turn my experiment into real recipe.
Maple Bacon Baked Brie Recipe
- 1 Brie, an approximately 13 oz wheel
- 4 strips of Bacon, I used medium size strips but you can choose your favorite.
- 3 T. Maple Syrup, preferably from Vermont but any will do so long as it’s real.
- 1 Puff Pastry sheet, thawed.
- 1 Egg white.
Fry 3-4 strips of bacon (depending on size) until crispy and well rendered, but not burnt. Allow to cool and crumble. Mix with 3 T of maple syrup. Set aside.
Roll puff pastry out gently on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Slice brie in half width-wise and gently tap a concave bowl into the bottom half to hold the bacon and syrup mixture.
Build your brie by placing the bottom half of the brie on the puff pastry, fill with bacon and syrup, and top with the remaining brie half. Wrap the puff pastry around the filled brie, careful to ensure there are no holes for the syrup to drip out of. Brush the top with egg white.
Bake at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes or until dark golden brown. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup if desired.