Phyllo Cups with Pepper Jelly and Brie - delicate phyllo pastry filled with pepper jelly and brie, baked and topped with pecans, country ham, and jalapeno.
I always think that it's nice to have a spicy appetizer to serve with cocktails. My feeling is that a tiny bit of heat enhances the taste of a great cocktail. Not so much heat that it assaults your tastebuds, but just enough to awaken your senses.
That's what I was trying for with this appetizer and, according to my chief taste tester (a.k.a. BeeBop), this recipe for Phyllo Cups with Pepper Jelly and Brie is a keeper! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
How to Make Phyllo Cups with Pepper Jelly and Brie
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
I really enjoy recipes that allow me to showcase our uniquely Southern ingredients. Take "country ham" for instance. It's certainly pork, but it's so much more than that.
A country ham is salt cured and has a flavor that I can only describe as "tangy." If you can't get country ham, proscuitto is a good substitute.
We can purchase country ham in the South in packages with just a few slices so when I need some for a recipe like this, I don't have to make an investment to purchase an entire ham. I only used a few ounces out of this package so I still have plenty to put between some biscuits for breakfast this weekend :-)
Place the pecan halves and ham on a baking sheet. Bake until the pecans are golden brown and toasted (7-8 minutes). I line my baking sheet with parchment, but that's just because I'm lazy and it makes clean up easy. You don't have to do that if you don't want to.
Remove the pecans and return the ham to the oven to continue cooking until the edges begin to curl (4-5 additional minutes). A little crispness around the edges is a good thing.
Set the ham aside until it's cool enough to handle then break it roughly into small pieces.
In each phyllo cup, place ½ teaspoon pepper jelly and a ½” cube of brie.
Note: I used Braswell's brand red pepper jelly for this recipe. It's a mildly spicy pepper jelly and that's what I'd recommend. There are others, such as jalapeno pepper jelly, that are much hotter but those will overwhelm the delicate taste of the brie used here.
Bake until cheese is melted (approximately 10 minutes).
Optional only if you want to add a tiny bit of heat to the recipe for those who enjoy it. While the phyllo cups bake, slice the jalapeno paper thin using a very sharp knife or mandolin.
I can't over emphasize how important it is to slice the pepper paper thin. You'll see some slices in the photo that are a little thicker and some that are so thin you can see through them. We tried the recipe with both and found that the thicker slices really over took the entire taste and were just too much. The tissue thin slices were just right!
Remove the phyllo cups from the oven and allow to cool for approximately 5 minutes. Top each with a piece of ham, a pecan half, and a slice of jalapeno if using.
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Phyllo Cups with Pepper Jelly and Brie
- 15 pecan halves
- 2.5 ounces country ham
- 15 phyllo cups (from the frozen section in your grocery store)
- 8 teaspoons red pepper jelly
- 4 ounces brie rind removed
- 1 jalapeno optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the pecans and ham on a baking sheet. Bake until the pecans are golden brown and toasted (7-8 minutes). Remove the pecans and return the ham to the oven to continue cooking until edges begin to curl (4-5 additional minutes).
- Set the ham aside until cool enough to handle then break into small pieces.
- In each phyllo cup, place ½ tsp. pepper jelly and a ½” cube of brie.
- Bake until cheese is melted (approximately 10 minutes).
- Optional - while the phyllo cups bake, slice the jalapeno paper thin using a very sharp knife or mandolin.
- Remove the phyllo cups from the oven and allow to cool for approximately 5 minutes. Top each with a piece of ham, a pecan half, and a slice of jalapeno if using.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.