Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and place the shelf in the centre of the oven.
Unroll your puff pastry, on the paper if came wrapped in, and use a rolling pin to form a square that’s at least 25cm (10 in). Cut a circle using a large bowl or cake tin as a guide. You will need to do this twice, keep the puff pastry covered as you work.
Place your brie in the centre of the puff pastry and cover with a small bowl that allows for a small border around the cheese.
Spread the filling over the puff pastry in a thin layer, going almost to the edge. Remove the bowl.
Cover with the second puff pastry sheet, you might want to drape it over a rolling pin to transfer and position it.
Gently smooth the pastry over the cheese and then use the bowl to press down around it. Remove the bowl and prick around the cheese with a fork.
Use a knife to score the pastry into eight sections and then cut up to the border. Cut each section into half to create 16 sections. If your pastry gets very soft, transfer onto a tray and pop in the fridge to chill.
Twist each section a couple of times in a single direction.
Brush the entire tart with egg wash and then grate a little mature cheddar cheese over it. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and a little coarse salt.
Transfer to a heavy baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and crisp.
Cool the tart on the baking tray for around 10 minutes before serving.
Transfer to a serving platter and use a small knife to remove the puff pastry lid over the cheese. Tear off the ‘rays’ and get dipping!
You can use any of the following as your savoury fillings: pesto, olive tapenade, sun-dried tomato paste or pesto, onion jam, cream cheese – basically anything that can be easily spread over the puff pastry in a thin layer.
Replace the filling with cranberry conserve for a Christmassy version of this recipe!
If you are making this recipe on a hot day you might need to chill the tart after slicing the pastry so that it is firm enough to twist.