Photo: Kevin Pang

Thank god, as the weather turns warmer, party season approaches as well. You probably have your usual standbys on hand that your pals have come to expect from one of your get-togethers, so that they would be disappointed without your classic seven-layer dip and your spinach concoction in a hollowed-out loaf of bread.

But what about kicking things up a notch next time: It’s spring, the time for new beginnings! And we can’t think of anything better and/or easier to bring out at your next party, from brunch to cocktails, than this baked brie en croute. It’s also a welcome showstopper whenever you’re supposed to bring a dish to someone else’s gathering.

Photo: Gwen Ihnat

For the breathtaking simplicity of this appetizer, you only need three things: a wheel of brie, a tube of crescent rolls, and the jam of your choice. Pillsbury even has crescent roll in sheet form now, but if you have the regular rolls, just pull it in two sections and use your fingers to get rid of those little perforations.

Lay one half of the dough flat on a greased cookie sheet. Put the brie on there. Spread some jam on there. Put the other half of the dough on top and roll up, in what is hopefully an arty manner. Bake until brown. You’re done. You’re welcome.

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Serve with crackers and fruit of your choice, and we’ll just keep the ease of this dish a secret between the two of us, okay? Obviously you can heighten the degree of difficulty with a tomato-jalapeno preserve for a margarita party, or cranberry chutney instead of jam for the holidays. Or make your own roll dough if you really feel inclined. But for a quick, easy, impressive plate that seemingly no guest can resist, this is our go-to.


Brie En Croute With Apricot Jam

Image: Kevin Pang

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  • 1 refrigerated tube of crescent roll dough
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam
  • 1 wheel brie cheese

Open tube of dough and separate into halves. If the dough is perforated, use your fingers to meld the dough together.

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Put one half of the dough on a greased cookie sheet. Unwrap the brie and place on top. Spread jam on top of the cheese. Then add the other half of the dough, and roll up on the sides to contain.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, until the dough is golden brown. Serve with crackers, sliced apples and pears. Serves six to eight people as an appetizer, or one for lunch if you’re me.