Yes, you can have dairy-free brie! Made from cashews, the texture of this brie is soft and spreadable and when baked, it has a gooey consistency. Either way, it's perfect for serving with crackers and apple slices. It's wrapped in vegan croissant dough and served with apricot jam, but any jam will do. The biggest regret you'll have about this cheese is not eating it slower.
Baked Brie With Apricot Jam [Vegan]
For the Brie:
- 1 cup of cashews, soaked for a minimum of 3 hours
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut yogurt
- 1/2 cup of refined liquid coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
- 1 teaspoon agar agar powder
For the Pastry Crust:
- Vegan croissant dough
- 1/2 cup-1 cup of apricot jam
- 1/2 cup of flour
To Make the Brie:
- Blend cashews, water, coconut yogurt, coconut oil, nutritional yeast, and salt for 2-3 minutes, or until smooth in a blender or food processor.
- Pour cashew mixture into a large bowl and cover with a towel. Allow it to stand at room temperature for 24-36 hours.
- Pour the mixture into a medium pot or saucepan and whisk in the tapioca starch and agar agar powder. Continue to whisk the mixture over medium heat until it becomes thick, very difficult to stir, and begins to slightly pull away from the edges of the pan.
- Line a springform pan with a damp cheesecloth. You can either line one 16-inch pan or pour the mix into several smaller springform pans to make multiple wheels. Pour mixture evenly into the pans and drape any excess cheesecloth over the cheese to cover it.
- If you choose to line small pans, you can make several wheels of cheese and roll them in different herbs or toppings.
- Allow cheese wheel(s) to chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
- Remove the cheese from the refrigerator and pull it out from the pan either by opening the springform pan or gently lifting it up by the cheesecloth. Remove the cheesecloth from the cheese and allow it to rest on a cutting board for 12-24 hours to the air and at room temperature. Once 12-24 hours have passed, flip the cheese over onto the other side and allow it to rest again for a minimum of 12 hours.
To Make the Baked Pastry:
- Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly sprinkle a flat surface with flour and roll your dough into a ball.
- Roll the ball out in a circle until you have one large enough to cover your cheese. You dough should not be any thicker than 1/4-inch, otherwise, it will not bake all the way through.
- The size of your cheese will determine how your pastry will be filled. If you just chose to do a single 16-inch wheel, then place it down over your dough, spread some apricot jelly over it, and pull up the dough so that it comes up over the sides of the wheel and frames the cheese Use toothpicks to hold your dough in place at the top.
- If you chose to do multiple smaller wheels, place the first wheel on the dough and spread jelly over the top. Then, stack a second wheel on top of that one and line it with jelly again. Pull the dough up and cover the sides of your cheese and secure with toothpicks.
- Bake the pastry for 20-25 minutes. As the dough begins to expand, you might start to notice little pockets of empty space between the bread and the cheese. You can easily fill these spaces with extra jelly after it's been removed from the oven.