First off, I want to apologize for the instagram photo (courtesy of @sofascinating) as he was the one taking photos of all the food I made for my New Year's Eve Party! The next time I make this - and I'm sure it will be soon - I promise to upload a better quality photo.
UPDATE (01/27/2014): new photos!
This recipe is a guaranteed winner around our household. It's so good my mom asked for the "recipe."
And I say "recipe" in quotation marks because it's hardly a recipe.. more like an assembly process. Warning: this is NOT a healthy recipe.
Make sure you get a bigger wheel of brie than you think you can/should eat. Trust me, you'll eat it all. And then wish for more. The other mistake I have made on occasion when I'm not paying attention in the grocery store is to accidentally grab puff pastry instead of phyllo. It definitely still works but it's just not quite the same as all those crispy, paper-thin, flakey, buttery layers of pastry.
Baked Brie with Figs and Walnuts
- 1 (large) wheel triple cream brie
- 1 package phyllo pastry
- 1/4 cup honey
- fresh figs (dried if not in season)
- large walnut pieces
- 3/4 cup of butter, melted
- fresh baguette
- olive oil
- ground sea salt / pepper
Thaw your phyllo pastry and bring it to room temperature as directed on the package. Before you open the phyllo, make sure you have all your ingredients ready to go. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
To be honest, I usually bake this in my toaster oven and do the baguette in the big oven at the same time.
Slice your figs in half, they make for a better presentation. Fresh figs would be amazing, but I used dried since they were not in season. My grocery store has two different kinds of dried figs - these beautiful golden skinned ones and other ones that look more like dates. I've tried both and the golden ones are the way to go. But, if you can't find them, the triple cream brie will more than make up for the difference!
I crush the walnuts slightly as they come in very large pieces at my grocery store. Leave them big enough that they give a good bite, but there's really no magic to this.
Once your butter is ready, unwrap the phyllo. Cover the open phyllo with a damp towel to keep it from drying out as you work.
You are going to layer your phyllo pastry, brushing it with butter and wrapping it around the wheel of brie. I typically use around half the package of pastry. Load up on that butter! Make sure you brush the outside of your little brie package with butter as well.
Place it in your preheated oven and back until golden brown and delicious. Depending on your oven, this could be anywhere from 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice your baguette. Again, there's really no magic to this. I slice on the diagonal then brush each slice with a little bit of olive oil, sprinkle with just a tiny bit of ground sea salt and pepper, and broil for a couple minutes in the oven. The oil/salt/pepper is totally optional.
When the brie is beautifully golden (trust me, you'll know), remove it from the oven. Stack your figs and walnuts over the top and drizzle generously with honey. When some of the figs and walnuts fall off, call it a rustic presentation!
Serve warm. There's nothing like seeing all that cheese ooze out and hearing the phyllo crunch when you slice into it. Be careful not to burn yourself on the very hot melty cheese or eat yourself into a food coma.