Words and Images by Fiona Hugues
This, my friends, is the perfect dish for sitting out under the stars, rugged up around a fire or BBQ, welcoming in the new season. Easily made in a cast iron pan on the BBQ or in the oven, it transforms even the waxiest, most unripe Brie into unadulterated delight – I’ve added roasted fruit and candied walnuts because we eat it as a sort of sweet savoury dessert, but it also makes a damn fine appetiser for guests to dig into at parties.
1 whole Brie, or 2 stacked
a bunch of seedless grapes, cut into smaller bunches
2 pears, halved
olive oil for drizzling
¼ cup or so of runny honey, plus extra or fresh honeycomb to serve
small handful of walnuts, halved, or whole almonds
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
crostini, thinly sliced baguette or good quality water crackers to serve
Place your pears and grape bunches on a lined tray and drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Bake at 190°C fan bake for around 15 minutes until slightly softened and beginning to golden and blister.
The day I shot this it was raining, so I just baked my Brie on a piece of baking paper on a tray in the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes, but placing them in a cast-iron pan on grill rack in a BBQ and closing the lid works just as well on a balmy day.
When ready to eat, drizzle your brie with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Throw on the nuts and tuck a few grape bunches around. Scatter over the thyme and drizzle the lot with honey.
Bake as above or grill on medium heat under the hood of your BBQ until the cheese is warmed through and feels melted and gooey in the middle, around 10–15 minutes depending on your BBQ.
Tuck in the baked pears, drizzle over more honey if needed and a shower of sea salt.
Devour immediately whilst the cheese is warm and oozy.