I know I sound like a broken record, but I love cheese! All varieties of cheese for that matter, no matter the flavor or texture. I must admit that my favorite kind is Brie. It`s so delicious that it goes perfectly with any fruit or wine, though I take in consideration the fact that it could be all in my head! Given my declared affection, I`ve been waiting for a reason to post a recipe with Brie for a while now, and last week I found it.
As I was browsing through the Romanian edition of Good Food Magazine, I stumbled upon something that I could easily describe as “love at first sight”: a gorgeous photography and a mouth watering recipe for Baked Brie with Figs and Walnuts, that I decided to prepare for you guys, on the spot.
The recipe came at the perfect moment in time, since it`s fig season and I was planning to get some for a savory tart I wanted to bake. Yes, the tart was baked and it will soon be on a screen near you (soooooon!). Even tough figs are supposed to be everywhere about now, finding them turned out to be not as easy as I imagined. Eventually, after searching the farmer`s markets and 3 different supermarkets, I managed to find the most beautiful and ripe figs in town. And the only figs in town! They were not only beautiful but really sweet and delicious. On top, the health benefits are spectacular, as expected:
- Figs are an important source of potassium that helps lower high blood pressure. Because of that, figs can regulate the amount of sugar which is absorbed into the body after meals.
- Also, they contain high amounts of dietary fibers, having a positive effect on weight loss and cancer prevention.
- The natural substances in fig leaves make it an ideal component for a tea base. Fig leaf tea has been prescribed for various respiratory conditions like bronchitis, and it is also used as a way to prevent and lessen the symptoms of asthmatic patients. (source)
- Figs are rich in calcium, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
The list is so long, that I would probably need a post just for mentioning every benefit. So let`s be shallow about it and simply enjoy their beauty:
Besides the figs, the recipe called for brie, walnuts, wine, honey and thyme. What a combination! Trust me, it will be love at the first bite. I`s basically a very interesting cheese platter for your wine party, but fancier, even though it`s very easy to make and not so expensive as making a plateau with 5 or 6 cheese varieties.
You will want to chose a red dry wine, since it goes perfectly with the Brie and walnuts. The figs are sweet and the addition of honey really takes things to a whole new level.
I didn`t change much in this recipe, since I was so mesmerized with the image I saw in the magazine. I added more wine and less vinegar (for the obvious reasons) and I used a special honey that I bought from Greece, made from thyme. It was a specialty in Lefkada and somehow I knew the day would come when I would need it (I bought 2 jars).
The preparation is super easy. You just have to wash the figs really well, cross cut them, but not all the way, just enough to open them slightly. After baking the figs will be very beautiful thanks to this treatment.
Next, you`ll want to pour the wine and vinegar over the figs. Then, toss the walnuts and thyme all over the place, and drizzle the honey generously.
But, there is something that I wish I had done, and that is to put the cheese in the pan from the start of the cooking process. The recipe said that first you bake the figs and walnuts for 20 minutes and then add the cheese and bake for another 5 minutes. Well, the 5 minutes were not enough so the Brie cheese did not melt as it was supposed to. But lesson learned for the next try. Plus, I have a great tip for you guys on how to know when the cheese is ready so… all for the best!
The addition of the cheese from the start makes this recipe even easier to make. The prep time is about 10 minutes and then bam, in the oven for 20 minutes tops. Then, straight to the table, for everyone to enjoy from the pan. You won`t want to miss the wine and thyme sauce, I assure you! You can serve it with crackers or simple, because it is so delicioooooouuuus!
I am not sure if my photos are as convincing as the ones I saw in Good Food (I guess not), but it was amazing! And it looked so elegant, perfect for a wine party, if you`re into those sort of things! And because we enjoyed it so much, I already plan on making it again this week-end for some friends that are coming over, and I suggest you do the same thing!
You can also serve it as a late brunch on Sundays, as I have to admit we did. I had to make it in the morning because I needed good light for the photos and we could not wait to eat it in the evening with our friends. We decided that it`s perfectly normal to have Baked Brie with Figs and Walnuts for brunch! Right?
So tell me, are you going to try to make this awesome Baked Brie with Figs and Walnuts recipe? Leave a comment below and if you decide to give it a try, take a photo and share it with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, using the tag #broccoliandmuffins!
- 1 whole round brie cheese
- 8 Figs
- 50 g Walnuts
- 120 ml Red Wine
- 1 Tbsp Vinegar, I used balsamic
- 2 Tbsp Thyme Honey
- Heat oven to 180 degrees C.
- Wash the figs very well and cross-cut them but not all the way down to the bottom. Sit in a baking dish that should be big enough to accommodate the figs and the cheese, in a single layer. Place the figs cut-side up, together with the cheese.
- Mix together the vinegar and wine and pour all over the figs. Scatter over the walnuts and thyme. Drizzle over the honey.
- Bake for 15-20 mins until the figs start to become soft and sticky and the cheese is soft at touch. Do nut bake for more than 25 minutes and the inside will start to firm up again.
The nutrition facts are courtesy of Good Food Magazine.