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Prosciutto, Brie and Apple Butter Bites

You know how baked brie tastes delicious, but looks disgusting on the buffet after the third person digs in? Here's a more elegant version that couldn't be easier. Use your homemade apple butter (or just thinly sliced apples), and stash it in your freezer. Pull it out for Thanksgiving- or your holiday party and bake it off before they arrive. Warm briefly-- or it's just as delicious room temp. PS. Is your brother's new girlfriend a vegetarian? Swap the meat for roughly-chopped spiced pecans. I did both versions for parties this weekend, both were devoured with abandon.

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  • Two 14-ounce packages frozen all-butter puff pastry, thawed but cold

  • 1/3 cup apple butter, or an apple, peeled and thinly-sliced

  • 1/4 pound thinly-sliced prosciutto or good quality ham

  • 1 large wedge (about 8 oz) brie, preferably triple cream, cut into little cubes

  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten and mixed with a tablespoon of heavy cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

  • Lay 1 sheet of the puff pastry on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Brush with the apple butter (or lay out the apple slices), leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Arrange the prosciutto or ham over the apple butter, then the cubes of brie. Top with the remaining pastry sheet. Pinch the edges together to seal and fold over to form a 1/2-inch-wide border. At this point, you can wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and freeze until ready to use.

  • To Bake: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pull the baking sheet out of the freezer, pull the plastic wrap off, and let thaw while the oven preheats. Brush the top with the beaten egg yolk/cream, and sprinkle with the salt. Using a fork, poke a few holes in the pastry. Lay another sheet of parchment over the top, then put another baking sheet on top to "weigh the puff pastry down" (otherwise it puffs up a couple inches). Bake for about 30 minutes, then remove the top baking sheet and parchment. Bake another 20-30 minutes until nicely golden. Let stand for 30 minutes. Cut into rectangles and serve warm.

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