Camembert baked with Figs, Pistachios and Chamomile Blossom maple syrup, a great appetizer for those nights of entertaining, or even a nice quiet romantic dinner for two.
Camembert baked with Figs and Chamomile blossom maple syrup, is a beautiful dish that is visually stunning, and stupendously delicious! I think this one would be a winner at any party you have planned, with its velvety, plump, and crunchy textures, along with those vibrant flavors. An appetizer that will have you going for seconds.
Camembert has to be one of my wife’s favorite cheeses, and Figs another to add to her list. Put these two together and we have total success in Nicoletta’s eyes.
Nicoletta and I really enjoy each other’s company, from shopping to strolls in favorite areas of the city. One in particular is the 104th street downtown area. I always say I would love to have a loft in that area, and there are quite a few. I remember when I was part of a native drumming circle and we used to have the gatherings in this old warehouse called the Mercer building. No one wanted to buy the building at that time. This would have made a perfect loft design condominium, and guess what, someone had the same vision, bought the building and developed it into commercial space, and lofts. I had envisioned exposed brick, high ceilings, and old post and beam design, a modern meets rustic kitchen, with a space for a studio and music area, a beautiful canvas to call home. It has not happened yet, but I always leave it open. Let’s see what happens. I have stepped off the path a bit day dreaming again, but back at her with this recipe of Baked Camembert with Figs, Pistachios, and Chamomile Blossom Maple syrup.
Our usual Saturday market run took us to the 104th street market, and in particular Cavern, a cute place located in the basement of an old building that houses incredible deli products like cheeses and cured meats and also a great menu either for breakfast, lunch or a nice dinner. The staff there always very professional and knowledgeable, and products of high quality and taste. We decided on a Camembert as in our minds we knew that those figs that were in season would be a great flavor to add to the rich buttery texture of this cheese. As usual we had a good bag full of goodies for the week and excitement between Nicoletta and I to create this wonderful Camembert recipe.
Stocked with nice ripe figs from the Italian Center Shop, the Camembert from Cavern, and chamomile blossom maple syrup from Duchess Provisions, among various other ingredients like pistachios and fresh pomegranate, we are ready for this simple and quick appetizer that will be ready in minutes. This dish is absolutely wonderful with some sliced toasted baguette slathered with extra virgin olive oil.
Stepping into the realm of Baked Camembert with Figs, Pistachios, and Chamomile Blossom Maple Syrup!
This recipe is so easy you can put it together in just a few minutes as the oven is preheating. On an oven safe dish or with some parchment paper place the Camembert in the center. Layer the figs which have been quartered. Next the pistachios shucked from their shells and cut up a bit but not too much want to put some of that great texture into this dish. Last, before it hits the oven, a drizzling of this chamomile blossom maple syrup. I have to say something about the syrup. As I said before we purchased it from Duchess Provisions. They used to be located on 124th street another street that has so much to offer in respect to food and art in many forms. Duchess has a bakery café there, which is world renown, always lined up and always hosting many great sweets to try along with a coffee bar and a presence of distinction and poise. Provisions was next door to the bakery, and has moved to another somewhat industrial area revived, sandwiched in between their new bistro Café Linnea, and their baking school. In this store you will find anything under the sun that has to do with baking. It is a toy store for Nicoletta and I, and we love going there to find anything that may enhance our baking and cooking experience.
Back to the recipe!
After you have drizzled that maple syrup over the Camembert, figs and pistachios, place it into the oven and wait for the magic to begin. The heat slowly softens the Camembert, caramelizes the figs, and toasts the pistachios. A quick check with a finger against the Camembert to feel if it has warmed and softened enough to be taken out. I also brush a nice baguette that has been sliced into medium thick pieces and place them into the oven with the Camembert till they are toasted to a golden brown color. When everything is done, out of the oven things go. The baguette slices onto a serving plate, and slip a good firm spatula under the cheese to move it on the serving dish.
The final step, some fresh pomegranate seeds to add its wonderful color, texture and taste. A lot of people have trouble with pomegranate, eating it or using it. My method goes something like this. I take a spoon and lightly tap the exterior of the shell, making sure to tap all around. What this does is it loosens the morsels of pomegranate, so that when you open it up they are easily removed, and savored. I would be careful as the juices of this fruit are vibrant and red and can easily stain clothing or surfaces.
Now it’s time to try this creation of beauty. As your knife goes into the Camembert it just starts oozing and falling forth. The maple syrup adding its shimmery light to the sheen of the cheese. I grab a crostini and place a nice portion of the Camembert, fig, pistachio, and pomegranate. The first bite is the clincher. The baguette nicely toasted and infused with the oil, the silky, buttery texture and flavor of the Camembert along with that marmalade of caramelized figs, and the maple syrup with its subtle hints of chamomile lingers. Little crunches of toasted sweet pistachios, and those explosions of tartness, sweetness and freshness of the pomegranate, hitting you at every angle and bite, leaving you with a craving of another, and another…………..! So, if you have a party planned, or even better, you want to have a wonderful sensual romantic dinner with the love of your life, this Baked Camembert with Figs, Pistachios, and Chamomile Blossom Maple Syrup would be a great starter to a most wonderful dinner, and evening, also a beautiful way of saying thank you!
Song of the day: “Thank you” by Dido. P.S. This one holds a special memory for Nicoletta and I.
- 170 g L'Extra Camembert
- 3-4 small figs
- a handful pf pistachios, chopped
- 2 Tbsp chamomile blossom maple syrup (or pure maple syrup)
- a handful of pomegranate seeds
- 10 baguette slices, about 1 cm thick
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Pre heat oven to 350 F.
- On a baking sheet lined with parchment, place the Camembert in the center.
- Cut the figs into quarters and place evenly over Camembert.
- Sprinkle chopped pistachios over figs and cheese.
- Drizzle with some of the chamomile blossom maple syrup, leaving some for garnishing.
- Take the baguette slices, brush with extra virgin olive oil and place on a baking sheet.
- Place both camembert and baguette slices into the oven and bake camembert for about 15-20 minutes, checking its softness with your finger. The bread slices should be done in about 10 minutes.
- When Camembert is done, take out of oven and sprinkle with fresh pomegranate seeds and a bit of the maple syrup and it is ready to serve with the baguette slices.
We had this dish with a platter of Italian meats, olives and cheeses which we felt were perfect pairing with the Camembert recipe.
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