Figs and brie are a classic combination and with good reason! Add some spiced honey and toasted walnuts and you’ll have a fig appetizer worth searching out fresh figs.
The figs are roasted and soft and sweet. The brie melts on top from the warmth of the figs, making it just perfectly gooey. And then you have the fun of sprinkling honey, walnuts, and thyme about to bring all the flavors together. Hungry yet?
Figs and brie are one of my favorite combinations for cheese plates. I love getting a wedge of brie and some fig jam and putting out some crackers or good bread and having a little nosh. And a classic for our family Thanksgiving celebrations is to take a round of brie, top it with fig jam, and wrap it in puff pastry. Yum! So, this fig appetizer does one of my favorite things.
Takes a classic combo I already love and turns it on it’s head.
Instead of fig jam, we’re using fresh figs! Instead of having the figs on top of the brie, we’re having the brie on the figs. 🙂 Also, I’ve pumped up the flavor with some really awesome spiced honey I infused up, while keeping the savory flavors with the nuts and thyme. The result is an adorable, little canape (can I call them canapes even though there is no bread? gluten-free canapes maybe?) which is so much fun to serve at a dinner party! Or, honestly, something I would make for dinner along with a salad. We don’t need special occasions to eat tasty food, do we?
A few words about fresh figs.
- They are very tasty and wonderful, but also very perishable!! Treat them the same way you would fresh raspberries.
- Buy them shortly before you want to eat them. (No more than a day ahead.)
- Check them over when you buy them to make sure they are not overripe or moldy. (If they are in a container, open it carefully and look underneath the figs.)
- Put them in the refrigerator as soon as you get home. And store them carefully so they won’t get squished.
- These are all the rules I follow for raspberries too. When I don’t follow them, we are sad and have to throw out previously yummy fruit.
Follow the rules and don’t be sad. 🙁
When I was thinking about this recipe, first I thought I’d stuff the figs the with the brie and roast them together. However, it turns out that even when you add the brie right towards the end of cooking, the brie gets too warm and just runs out. Not good! And the figs open up anyway as they roast, so there isn’t much stuffing going on. Instead the secret was to take a piece of brie and lay it on top of the hot fig and let the warmth melt it just a little.
And the honey! I could have simply warmed some honey and drizzled it over, but thyme infused honey sounded so good that I wanted to try it, then warm spiced cinnamon-cardamom honey also sounded good, and – what the heck – lemon zest seemed really awesome too. What is food blogger to do? Add them all and see how it tasted. As it turns out, the combination tasted great.
Really great. In fact yummy, and I almost didn’t want to use it on the figs but rather eat it with a spoon. But resist as I did! Because it’s even better drizzled all over the figs.
With my Balsamic Grilled Peaches and this awesome fresh fig recipe, I seem to be in a fruit-based appetizer mood. In fact, I’m already working on another! Stay tuned for more sweet and savory nibbles to come.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 8 figs
- 4 oz brie cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- thyme leaves
Heat honey over low heat until just warm and very liquid, about 3 minutes. Add all the rest of the ingredients. Take the honey off the heat and let it steep for at least 20 minutes. Then strain the honey through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl. The spiced honey can be made the night before. If you are making it ahead, store it in a clean, air-tight container.
Preheat oven to 425F.
- Arrange the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 3 minutes. Set aside.
- Cut the stem off of each fig and then cut an X down the middle of the fig, stopping at about 3/4 of the way down. Put the figs on the baking sheet and roast them for 10 minutes. While they are roasting break the brie up into 8 portions, roll each portion into a ball, and then flatten it out a bit.
- Once the figs are done, immediately transfer them to the serving platter and top with the brie. The brie will soften and melt a little from the heat of the figs. Drizzle honey over and scatter walnuts and thyme leaves around serve. Serve while hot or warm.
- Warming the Honey: If you warmed the honey a bit too long and it seems overly thick as it cools, add in a tsp or two of water to thin it out.
- Walnuts: Be careful when toasting the walnuts. They go from perfectly toasted to burnt quickly at this temperature.
- Roasting the Figs: The figs will open naturally as they roast. There is no need to open them up before putting them in the oven.