Since ancient times and revered among many faiths, figs have symbolized security and prosperity. With its muscular and twisting branches and bright green tropical feeling foliage, this Mediterranean fruit tree yields a velvety skin, crunchy seed, and fleshy pulp that marries beautifully with creamy brie and crunchy nuts. Pistachios and walnuts provide texture and depth of flavor to a recipe that might be otherwise too sweet. To enjoy the fig's subtle taste, an inexpensive house brie is most definitely the cheese of choice. This is a guilty sensory pleasure type of appetizer that pleases nearly everyone. If fresh figs are available, cut two or three into quarters, toss in a small glug of olive oil, and place them on top before placing the prepared cheese in the oven.

Ingredients

6 tablespoons fig jam preserves 1 tablespoon water 2/3 cup dried figs, Mission & Turkish, sliced as thinly as possible 1/4 cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped 1/4 cup walnut hearts, roughly chopped 9 ounce wheel mild French brie (room temperature) Two fresh figs, sliced thinly, if available Olive oil, if using fresh figs

Directions

  1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2.  Place the fig jam preserves and 1 tablespoon water in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave for 30 seconds to thin (the jam should remain heavy but pour easily. Add more water to thin if necessary).
  3.  In a small bowl, combine the sliced dried figs with the nuts. Add half of the fig jam and mix well to coat the nut mixture.
  4.  Place the brie in an oven safe dish. Using a small spatula or spoon, coat the brie with the remainder of the jam.
  5.  Top the brie with the fig and nut mixture. Toss the fresh figs with a small glug of olive oil if using and put over and around the top of the prepared cheese (if available).
  6.  Place the brie dish on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the brie starts to ooze, but not melt.
  7.  Serve warm with sliced baguette or crackers.