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Camembert en croute

Updated: Thu, 8 February, 2024

Camembert en croute, soft cheese half-wrapped in homemade melting short pastry, baked with a sprinkling of thyme leaves - that's the ultimate in baked cheese.

baked camembert in shortcrust pastry

Who doesn't love baked cheese?

Very weird people, that's who. Personally, I can't resist a melty, warm mass of cheese, preferably accompanied by some naughty carbs. Yes, a toasted cheese sandwich is simple bliss.

I often have baked, fried or grilled cheese when eating out as well, it’s a popular starter after all. Some restaurants offer it as a main, which is precisely what I suggest with the recipe below.

homemade camembert shortcrust pie

Brie, mozzarella or halloumi?

What's the best kind of cheese for the baked, melting, oozy and comforting experience?

I am a bit of an authority on cheese. I’ve had some standard baked Camembert with or without chutney. I’ve had great Brie baked in filo pastry somewhere in France. There was also deep fried mozzarella; mozzarella in carozza or supli, little cheese balls in ITaly. I suppose you wouldn’t want to have it every day but once in a while, it's incredibly good.

Halloumi is commonly served in Greek or Turkish places and I am a sucker for halloumi fries. But I also ate gorgeous battered halloumi in a local posh fish and chips outfit. Then there was baked provolone served in a little dish in Spain, all on its own, and indeed not needing any acompaniment.

I’ve also had less fortunate cheese episodes. A local Catalan cheese in Costa Brava had been grilled a good couple of hours before being offered to me, cold and greasy. Squeaky smoked sheep cheese in the Polish mountains, oscypek, I wanted to enjoy so much but it was just a bit too squeaky and salty.

But any of the above is good melting cheese, with Cheddar or Gruyere on toast. For the baking en croûte though, soft cheese in a rind, like Camembert or Brie, serves the best.

camembert wheel

Wrap your cheese in pastry

Cheese can be baked in foil, in parchment, in a stoneware dish, in a bread loaf, in a squash and in a pumpkin, in filo or puff, but I think none of them are a patch on this dish. It is so rewarding and tasty, with the delicious pastry made from scratch, that if you don’t try it once in your life, you won’t know you’ve lived.

The ultimate FOMO – to miss out on this Camembert en croûte would be unforgivable.

How to make shortcrust pastry?

It is really easy, just takes a little time. Shortcrust pastry is basically butter rubbed into flour, gelled with a little egg, milk, or water. The pastry below is eggless, brought together with only icy water but enriched with - what else? - some grated cheese.

I strongly advise to make double the amount and keep half in your freezer for another feast.

baked camembert or brie wrapped in short pastry

How to prepare Camembert for baking?

Once the pastry has chilled and warmed up a little again (the chilling develops gluten binds in the pastry, the warming up again is so your can manage to roll it out), simply roll out circles larger than the Camembert wheels. Cut the cheese in two across, horizontally, so you get two discs out of each wheel.

Nest each half on the pastry, cut side up, and tuck the overhanging pastry around the cheese. Brush it with beaten egg, sprinkle with thyme leaves before placing it in the oven and within minutes you'll be able to impatiently inhale the divine baking fragrance.

wrapping camembert in pastry

More cheesy pastry recipes

Sweetcorn tart with cheese topping on a crusty, cheesy base of pizza dough. Vegetarian and gorgeous, for lunch or dinner. Shop bought dough is okay.

Ottolenghi inspired fondue filo pie, with butternut squash swapped for mushrooms. It’s a combo of Savoyarde raclette experience and a Greek or Middle Eastern filo pie, and it’s excellent.

Fennel and Taleggio cheese pie with savoury crust made from scratch, this is an easy and excellent vegetarian comfort dish recipe.

More en croûte recipes

Vegetarian Wellington, with mushroom and spinach layer around baked celeriac centre. Easy to make ahead, even easier to make it vegan: just use vegan pastry and skip the butter.

Tomato crostata with honey and thyme flavour on flaky pastry made from scratch, with a sneaky cheese addition. Crostata or galette is a sweet or savoury open, rustic pie.

Burger wellingtons with mushrooms and shallots wrapped in puff pastry, an easy version of beef Wellington. It’s a fancy dish for dummies, it’s your Valentine’s Day dinner this year.

baked camembert en croute

Camembert en croute

Servings: 4Time: 1 hour 30 minutes plus chilling pastry


  • 125g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 75g (½ cup) fine cornmeal
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 140g (1 stick plus 2 tbsp) cold butter, diced
  • 35g (½ cup) grated mature Cheddar or Gruyere
  • a few springs of thyme, leaves stripped
  • 6 tbsp iced water
  • 2 x 150g (5 oz.) mini Camembert or similar amount of Brie, cold
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp water


1. To make the pastry, pulse the flours, salt, butter, cheese and half the thyme leaves in a food processor until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Add the water and pulse until the pastry just comes together. Divide it in four pieces, shape each into a ball, wrap in foil and flatten to a disc. Chill for 2 hours.

2. Halve each Camembert horizontally with a sharp knife. If using Brie, halve it horizontally and then cut into pieces that can be put together to form a rough circle or a square. Keep it cut side up.

3. Roll out each ball of pastry to a round about 18cm (7in) in diameter, dusting with flour if it sticks. Place them on a sheet of parchment lining a baking sheet and return to the fridge for 20 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7.

5. Place the cheese halves in the middle of each pastry crust or arrange the Brie pieces tightly in a round, rind side down, cut side up.

6. Fold the edge of the pastry over around the cheese forming an open parcel. Sprinkle the cheese with thyme. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg.

7. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the cheese bubbling.

8. Remove from the oven and let it stand for a few minutes before serving.

Originally published: Fri, 3 November, 2017

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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