(Mass Appeal) – Cookbook author and chef Betty Rosbottom shared with us her wonderful recipe for stuffed Camembert cheese.
Wheel of Camembert Stuffed with Dates, Dried Apricots, and Walnuts
A round of Camembert is halved horizontally, filled with a colorful fruit mélange, then reassembled. It is served with sliced apples, pears, or toasted baguette slices. The cheese makes a beautiful holiday appetizer, one that can be prepared two days in advance.
Camembert and Filling
One 8-inch round Camembert, chilled (See market note.)
4 tbsp chopped pitted Medjool dates
1 1/2 tbsp chopped dried apricots or dried cranberries or a mix of both
4 tsp fresh squeezed orange juice
Scant 1/2 tsp grated orange zest
2 tbsp walnut halves, toasted and chopped coarsely (See cooking tip.)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3 walnut halves
2 to 3 sage leaves, optional
Toasted baguette slices (Recipe follows.)
One apple (such as Honey Crisp, Gala, or Granny Smith) or one pear, quartered, cored and cut into thin slices, then tossed with the juice of 1/2 lemon
- In a medium bowl, toss the dates and apricots or cranberries with the orange juice. Let stand 10 minutes.
- Place the butter in another medium bowl; mash with a fork until it is very soft and malleable. Add the date/ apricot mixture and the orange zest, and mix well with the butter. Add the walnuts and mix again.
- Set the Camembert on a chopping board. With a large, sharp knife held parallel to the work surface, carefully halve the cheese horizontally so that you have two equal rounds.
- Place bottom round with cut side up on a dinner plate. Using your fingers pat the fruit mixture in an even layer on top of the cheese, pressing down so that the fruit adheres. Top with the remaining round, pressing down again with your fingers to help cheese adhere to the fruit. (Camembert can be prepared 2 days ahead; cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
- Bring cheese to room temperature 45 to 60 minutes before serving. Garnish top of cheese with 3 remaining walnut halves and, if desired, with some sage leaves. Transfer to a serving plate or tray and arrange baguette slices and apple or pear slices around the cheese. To serve cut a small wedge of the stuffed Camembert and spread on baguette slices or apple or pear wedges. Serves 8.
Market note: President brand of Camembert is available in many supermarkets and works well in this recipe
Cooking Tip: To toast walnuts spread on a rimmed baking sheet and place in a preheated 350° F oven until lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Watch carefully so nuts do not burn. Remove and cool. Chop coarsely.
Toasted Baguette Slices
20 baguette slices cut 3/8 inch thick
6 tbsp olive oil plus more if needed
Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and preheat over to 350 degrees F. Brush oil on both sides of baguette slices and place in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake until bread is just crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Cool toasts and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.)