Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt to the butter. Stir to dissolve.
While the liquid is heating, prep the apples. Peel them, core them, and dice them into approximately 1/2 inch chunks.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and add the chopped apples.
Cover the apples, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer 10 minutes.
Remove the lid and continue cooking until the apples are tender and the sauce is somewhat thicker, approximately 10 minutes. Set aside.
Assemble and Bake Brie in Puff Pastry
Preheat oven to 350F for a lighter bake, or 400F for a darker bake (I prefer 350F).
Cut the brie wheel in half lengthwise to make a top and bottom round. Leave the rind on (it is edible and will help hold everything together).
Roll out the puff pastry, with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper on top to prevent sticking, until it is 11 by 11 inches. Place the puff pastry on a piece of parchment or silicone baking mat that is on a baking sheet.
Place one half of the brie wheel in the center of the puff pastry, rind side down and cut side up.
Scoop the apple filling onto the cut side of the brie wheel. Add minimal sauce to prevent too much moisture oozing out.
Sprinkle the chopped pecans, if using, on top of the apple mixture.
Place the remaining brie wheel half on top of the apple mixture, cut side down and rind side up.
Pull one corned of the puff pastry up and over the brie, snuggly against the cheese.
Using a basting brush, brush the apple sauce from the apple mixture onto the puff pastry that is folded up onto the brie. This will help the following pieces stick together.
Repeat pulling edges of the puff pastry up onto the brie, brushing each section, all the way around the brie.
Remove excess puff pastry dough that has collected at the top of the brie wheel.
If desired, use small cookie cutters or pie dough cutters to cut shapes out of the excess dough. Apply the shapes with extra apple sauce under and on top of the shapes.
Brush the maple syrup across the top of the puff pastry.
Sprinkle the raw sugar on the wet puff pastry. Larger crystal sugar like raw sugar is best as it will bring more texture and color to the puff pastry, but regular granulated sugar will work just fine.
Bake the brie for 25-30 minutes until the puff pastry is cooked and golden.
Remove and serve immediately with crostini bread slices, apple wedges, or crackers.
I like to use apples that are crisp but not tart (Fuji, Honeycrisp, Gala), but you can use any apples you prefer, it just may change the taste or texture.This appetizer goes much further than 6 if you are serving other foods.Keep a close eye on the pastry as it is baking to ensure it is not getting too dark, especially if you are baking at 400F.