Brie with Figs, Pistachios, and Walnuts

cuisine American
difficulty Moderate
season Fall & Winter
serves 6

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.

Kitchen Notes

It is important to use an oven to table serving vessel that fits the cheese and the topping comfortably. Too big and the brie loses its structure--it will still taste yummy but be a bit unsightly. A 1" space around the cheese is perfect. The STAUB 6" CAST IRON GRATIN ROUND BAKING DISH is the perfect size for a standard 9 ounce grocery store wheel of Brie. The same simple technique delivers consistent results with an apricot jam and almond combination (sliced dried ap. Allowing the brie to come to room temperature before placing in the oven shortens the cooking time and allows the plate to evenly heat and toast without burning the nuts.