Well, the water fast is over.

Let’s eat all the cheese!

how to bake brie

In fact, let us have a specific cheese eating party. You know. Like a party for lotus eaters, but with dairy products. I suppose if you live in a world where people think that water fasts are totally normal, they’re actually fairly comparable. In any case, one of my favorite foods is baked brie. I think this may be because, when I was a kid, my mother packed a wheel of brie in my lunchbox. Why? People make choices. It took me about an entire year before I realized that it was supposed to be spread on crackers and not eaten whole, rind and all, like a sandwich.

Baked brie strikes that perfect combination between childhood nostalgia for being the weirdest girl in 3rd grade and being-a-real-thing-people-eat-normally. And it’s delicious – because it is like a pizza folded in half, but a piazza made out of pasty dough and brie. So, double plus good pizza.

I always figured that baked was the kind of food made only by professional chefs and served at restaurants sometimes referred to as “boites”, until I realized that, no. Until I realized that was wrong.

Baked brie is the kind of food that looks incredibly impressive when you produce it at a cocktail party, but is so simple to make that even I can do it without completely destroying my oven. I wish I had known this years ago.

I found a wonderful recipe for it here. You’ll need:

Pilsbury crescent rolls

One egg

A wheel of brie

Some kind of normal jam (even if your inclination is to go for “gooseberry” I don’t think this is the time to take chances. I think you should be fearful of cool foreign options whose berry source you can’t visualize in your head. Apricot or strawberry are good choices. Play this like a Republican.)

And that is all.

You will also need music for sophisticates. I recommend:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXMwK18JQZs?version=3]

or, alternatively:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXbk3OL-t-s?version=3]

Either one of those are good. Both of them are about people who have not known the ecstasy of baked brie.

I began by pre-heating the oven to 350.

Little did I know tragedy was about to strike.

I had no rolling pin to roll out the crescent rolls (also, how great is opening crescent rolls? They literally pop out of their little container!). Frankly, this entire process of learning how to cook seems to be about me continually realizing that I do not have any of the basic cooking tools. I still really need to buy a pan.

But then I realized that any cylindrical object in your house can work as a rolling pin, so I’m never going to buy a rolling pin. I’m just going to use this container of flavored salt for popcorn which, remarkably, is a thing I do have in the house.

It’s a tiny bit phallic, them laid out like that. Don’t think about that. It’s distracting. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin or sea salt container or whatever you’re using. Then place the brie on top of the rolled out dough. Oh! You’re going to want to slice the rind off the top of the brie. You don’t have to, but, well, it seemed like it worked well. I guess it depends on how much rind you like. It will look like this:

Then you’re going to want to spread 2 tablespoons of jam on the (rindless) (or rindy) (your call) top. You may also want to let any heat from the oven really fog up your iPhone camera lens, so everything looks as though it is soft and beautiful around the edges. If I were a woman with wrinkles, rather than getting botox, I think I would just demand to be photographed through this sort of lens all the time.

Then you’re going to want to clean off your iPhone lens and begin folding the pasty dough on top of the brie. You should do this the way I did it, like a super-genius food-artist (just pull the 4 corners of the dough in clockwise). Alternatively, fold it on top any way you like. Whatever works for you.

As you can see, this is heartbreakingly beautiful. You’re then going to glaze it by brushing an egg over it. I take it there is some paintbrush like apparatus for brushing eggs on things. Well, there isn’t in my apartment. I used a makeup brush from Sonia Kashuk. Don’t worry! It had never been used before. Its role is now “being for glazing things.” Here it is. Fulfilling its role.

egg brushI think life worked out well for that little brush.

And then I put the brie in the oven – on a greased cookie sheet. They said you could use a shallow dish, but there are no shallow dishes in my apartment. There’s really only a cookie sheet. One. Only one. I left it there. For 25 minutes. And then this came out!

baked brieIf I were to give you one piece advice, I would say: pinch the dough a little tighter around the top. Still, it was delicious.

If I were to give myself one piece of advice it would be: if you are going to keep up this cooking thing, Jennifer, you are going to need to buy some kitchen utensils. What should I buy? Is there an advantage to having a real rolling pin/egg brush/not just substituting whatever I can find around the house?