Hello, my friends! This week, we’ve got a fun recipe with photography by commercial food photographer Brie Passano (you can catch her work on the cover of the latest issue of Edible Capital District!). Brie was visiting the SF Bay Area from New York City, and we wanted to create something fun while she was here. Afterward, I showed her around SF and all my favorite dessert places, including Fraîche, an all organic yogurt place that now offers the magic chocolate shell!
Anyway, it is always interesting to see your own world through someone else’s eyes. Brie was interested by some parts of our kitchen I don’t usually give thought to, like the recipes we’ve posted on our cabinets for easy access (for things like pancakes and chocolate cake . . . yeah, sweet ones), or the bunch of carrots hanging up over the sink. She worked methodically and quietly. I felt privileged to watch! From here on out in this article, all photos are taken by Brie, except for the ones of her taken by me!
When Brie told me she was coming to SF, she mentioned tasting a baked brie with whisky, and that we could do something like that. I did not have such a recipe on hand, so made it up. About 2 days before she was due to photograph, I halved about a dozen dried mission figs and covered them in Kentucky bourbon. By the time she knocked on my door, I was ready.
Without further ado, Baked Brie With Honey, Toasted Pecans, and Bourbon-Soaked Figs
Baked Brie With Honey, Toasted Pecans, and Bourbon-Soaked Figs
Active time: 25 minutes
Inactive time: overnight
1 dozen mission figs, halved
1 round of Camembert, or about an 8 oz wedge of Brie
2 sprigs of thyme (optional)
½ cup pecans or pecan halves
4 Tablespoons honey (I used French Blossom Honey from Corsica [affiliate link];I love its rich molasses quality)
The night before (or earlier if you want to do really soak those figs well), cut all of the mission figs in half, put them in a small bowl or jar, and just cover them with the bourbon. Cover the bowl and set it aside until the next day.
The Next Day:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place a small frying pan on the stove and set the heat to medium.
Score the top of your cheese, and put it in the oven for 10 minutes. I have a camembert baking dish, but other baking dish options are: a ramekin, a makeshift “dish” of aluminum foil with the sides folded up, and the original wooden box.
While the cheese is baking, if you are using whole pecans, cut them into halves. Toast the pecans in the heated frying pan (no extra oil is needed), turning regularly, until lightly toasted and fragrant. This should take about 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn them.
Turn the heat down just a bit, and add the honey and one sprig of thyme (optional) to the nuts, stirring consistently. It will caramelize fairly quickly. You can add more honey if you’d like! Add the figs and the bourbon they have been soaking in, while constantly stirring.
By this time, about 10 minutes have passed. Remove the cheese from the oven, pour your fig and nut mixture on top, and return everything to the oven for another 4-5 minutes.
When the time is up, serve your cheese immediately with some crusty bread! You can add a thyme sprig for garnish if you’d like.
Brie and I thoroughly enjoyed tasting this simple and tasty entertaining dish, and M. Cheesemonger was content to eat the leftovers for the next few days!
THANK YOU, Brie, for your friendship, your photography, and your creativity! I had so much fun working with you on this, and hope you visit SF again soon!
See more of Brie’s work from this session below!
The honey in this recipe was provided by my affiliate sponsor, the French Farm.
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