The author and cook, Heather

Baked Camembert with Walnuts, Figs, and Whiskey Gastrique

Drinking French

We finally made food from the Drinking French book!

If you like brie, camembert has a similar flavor and texture, so it's an easy transition. The sweet/sour gastrique sets off the nutty flavor and the walnuts provide a nice crunch to go with the creamy cheese. You can serve this on slices of baguette, toasted or not, or on a hearty cracker. (Or you can eat it with a spoon, I won't judge.)


[00:04]: hello and welcome to cooking the books
[00:06]: with heather on today's episode we are
[00:09]: going to be working from
[00:10]: david david leibovitz's uh drinking
[00:13]: french book and we're going to make a
[00:14]: snack
[00:15]: out of the book today we're going to be
[00:18]: making
[00:18]: baked camembert with walnuts figs and
[00:21]: whiskey yestery
[00:22]: now it's not fig season here but that's
[00:25]: exactly what we need because we
[00:27]: need dried figs for this recipe
[00:30]: i found just like a bag of dried figs
[00:35]: that i ordered and we are going to
[00:38]: trim off the very top and then
[00:41]: quarter them i'm going to just put them
[00:44]: back
[00:44]: in this bowl because we are going to
[00:48]: basically
[00:49]: rehydrate these uh
[00:52]: with some boiling water and we have to
[00:54]: do this first because
[00:56]: these have to sit for at least 10
[00:58]: minutes and
[00:60]: everything else is kind of um
[01:04]: takes less well less time than that
[01:07]: and everything it's just the best time
[01:11]: to do this
[01:12]: because it can sit for longer if we need
[01:14]: to we're trying to re-plump them
[01:16]: rehydrate them
[01:18]: i don't i doubt that these are the same
[01:20]: kind of figs that he uses because they
[01:22]: don't really look
[01:23]: the same but i'm sure that they will be
[01:27]: fine i didn't go for anything super
[01:32]: fancy here and i'm sure in france he can
[01:35]: find
[01:37]: lots of different kinds of dried figs
[01:39]: but
[01:41]: i was lucky that i could find any here
[01:45]: um so uh
[01:48]: i'm just gonna kind of make them
[01:50]: separate them a little bit so they'll
[01:52]: hydrate better
[01:53]: and i'm gonna get boiling water i just
[01:55]: boiled in the microwave because i don't
[01:56]: have
[01:57]: an electric kettle which is the perfect
[01:59]: way if you have make a lot of tea an
[02:01]: electric kettle is a good investment
[02:03]: you don't like hot tea so so i just made
[02:05]: sure that this was still boiling
[02:07]: and as you can see it is and we're going
[02:09]: to pour this over
[02:11]: our figs to cover make sure your bowl
[02:14]: is capable
[02:17]: to hold boiling water i mean it won't
[02:19]: shatter this one
[02:20]: won't it's fine so we're gonna let this
[02:22]: sit for about
[02:24]: 10 minutes and while this sits
[02:28]: we're going to start making the uh
[02:33]: the whiskey yestery basically that we're
[02:34]: going to put the figs and the walnuts
[02:37]: in i'm going to combine the things
[02:40]: the ingredients in the pan and then
[02:42]: we'll get it simmering
[02:43]: first but when we're ready to add things
[02:47]: to it we'll go ahead and meet you over
[02:48]: there
[02:49]: let me get the pan so i've got a
[02:51]: relatively shallow pan we're going to be
[02:53]: um making this pretty
[02:57]: we're going to be thickening these
[02:58]: ingredients
[02:60]: i keep forgetting things so
[03:03]: we're going to combine some
[03:06]: uh what's what they look a lot like some
[03:09]: apple cider vinegar
[03:15]: some bourbon this is not quite all of
[03:18]: the bourbon in the recipe
[03:21]: but it was very easy to tell how much to
[03:23]: use
[03:24]: and then um there's some honey
[03:29]: and let's just make sure okay
[03:32]: uh we are going to get this
[03:35]: simmering on the stove for about five
[03:38]: minutes
[03:40]: and at that point we are going to
[03:44]: add our figs to this and it's going to
[03:47]: simmer for a little while but we'll see
[03:48]: you when we're ready to add the figs
[03:51]: i'm going to get this simmering and then
[03:52]: we're going to prepare
[03:55]: the camembert and also we have some
[03:58]: walnuts either whole or coarsely chopped
[04:01]: we had some
[04:02]: sort of coarsely chopped ones um and we
[04:05]: toasted these just in a dry pan
[04:07]: on the stove until they smelled toasty
[04:11]: so those are all ready they go in at the
[04:13]: very end
[04:14]: so i'm gonna get this simmering and then
[04:16]: i'll be back to prepare
[04:18]: our camembert okay so while
[04:21]: our guest streak gets started i'm gonna
[04:23]: go ahead and prepare the camembert
[04:25]: um you're going to use this sort of
[04:28]: wooden
[04:29]: uh well i think it's probably
[04:35]: i think ours is probably cardboard but
[04:38]: we're gonna we're gonna try it
[04:39]: um his is obviously probably great
[04:42]: quality better quality than ours
[04:45]: so you remove it from its wrapper
[04:50]: and you put it back into the round and
[04:53]: that'll sort of keep it from
[04:55]: oozing out
[04:58]: and he says that if you feel like it's
[05:01]: not going to stand up
[05:02]: to the heat you can wrap it in twine
[05:06]: just to keep it together wrap the wooden
[05:09]: thing in twine
[05:10]: you can also put it directly in a small
[05:13]: baking dish
[05:14]: if you're really afraid to put this
[05:16]: whatever yours is in in the oven
[05:18]: it didn't come in wood i guess i don't
[05:20]: know i don't think i've ever seen
[05:21]: camembert not
[05:22]: in something like this so um you want to
[05:26]: put it in a small baking dish that's not
[05:27]: much bigger than it that'll kind of
[05:29]: keep it together um
[05:33]: so we've done that and now i think we
[05:37]: have to poke some holes in it
[05:40]: um take a paring knife and poke
[05:43]: six or seven deep holes in it
[05:51]: okay
[06:05]: all right that's good and then we have
[06:08]: the rest of the bourbon that we're just
[06:10]: going to
[06:11]: spoon over top
[06:14]: i didn't measure that out because
[06:18]: it didn't go in the rest in with the
[06:20]: rest
[06:21]: so we're going to just
[06:22]: [Music]
[06:28]: hopefully that will stay on top and
[06:30]: maybe go into those holes
[06:34]: i think we're gonna be okay i'm gonna
[06:36]: not move this
[06:38]: uh for until we're ready to put it in
[06:41]: the oven my oven is
[06:42]: preheated at 350 degrees
[06:45]: but we have to get the gastric ready
[06:48]: before we
[06:48]: are ready to put this in the oven
[06:52]: so we'll meet you back at stove now our
[06:54]: figs have been
[06:56]: uh plumping here for about 10 minutes
[07:00]: approximately and this has been
[07:02]: simmering for about
[07:03]: five at this point and what i'm going to
[07:05]: do is just drain my figs
[07:07]: i'm just going to drain them into this
[07:09]: pan that i used for
[07:13]: toasting the walnuts because it was
[07:16]: already dirty so
[07:17]: why not and so you want to drain these
[07:20]: pretty well
[07:22]: and then we're going to put these into
[07:25]: the gas streak and we're going to cook
[07:28]: this for another
[07:29]: six to eight minutes
[07:33]: until it kind of is the consistency of
[07:37]: warm maple syrup so we still have to
[07:40]: cook this for a little while
[07:42]: and um so while we're doing this i'm
[07:46]: heating up some baguette
[07:47]: to serve this with to you know
[07:51]: put this on we're probably going to
[07:55]: toast it slice it and toast it to have a
[07:57]: nice sturdy
[07:58]: base for our um creamy melty cheese
[08:04]: he says you can also serve it with
[08:05]: crackers which we may do as well
[08:09]: but we'll we'll try it out i just got
[08:12]: some take and bake
[08:13]: baguette that you know like the grocery
[08:16]: store near me doesn't have great
[08:18]: baguette
[08:18]: and it's you know i didn't really it's
[08:21]: hard for me to find one around here
[08:23]: close to home some of the other grocery
[08:25]: stores have great ones
[08:26]: so find one that you like toasting it
[08:30]: will make it
[08:31]: that much better honestly uh so we're
[08:34]: gonna let this go for another six to
[08:36]: eight minutes
[08:36]: until he says the um
[08:40]: bubbles start to widen and that's when
[08:43]: it starts to get thicker you know you
[08:45]: notice
[08:46]: if you know if you've ever made fudge
[08:47]: the bubbles start getting bigger
[08:50]: as it gets thicker as the temperature
[08:52]: goes up
[08:53]: so that's kind of what we're going for
[08:56]: the beginning stages of that
[08:58]: so i'm gonna not touch it too much and
[09:00]: i'm gonna clean up a little bit while
[09:02]: this simmers for another
[09:04]: six to eight minutes and
[09:08]: we'll be back and show you what it looks
[09:09]: like then okay i
[09:12]: think it's done warm maple syrup is
[09:14]: still pretty runny and this is
[09:18]: pretty runny so i'm hoping that i'm not
[09:22]: taking
[09:22]: this off too early but if so i i really
[09:25]: can
[09:26]: put it back on um
[09:29]: but for now uh what we're going to do is
[09:31]: turn off the heat
[09:33]: oh you could see that the bubbles were
[09:35]: starting to get bigger so that's what i
[09:36]: talked about before
[09:38]: turn off the heat add in the walnuts
[09:42]: and i'm just going to stir that in and
[09:43]: we should probably take it off the heat
[09:45]: but since i'm not 100
[09:47]: sure that we're there yet i'm going to
[09:49]: leave it on the heat
[09:51]: and when it cools down a little bit uh
[09:54]: it should be the consistency of honey
[09:57]: i believe so we'll check it then
[10:00]: but then i'm gonna take my bread out of
[10:02]: the oven and i'm going to
[10:04]: put the prepared camembert in the oven
[10:08]: for 12 to 15 minutes
[10:11]: and he says that you really need to to
[10:14]: think about the
[10:15]: texture of the cheese rather than the
[10:18]: time that it's in the oven because you
[10:20]: want it to be
[10:21]: basically warm and melty and not
[10:25]: still cold and hard
[10:28]: so we'll try it for 12 to 15 minutes and
[10:32]: we'll show you what it looks like at
[10:34]: that point and whether we're done or not
[10:35]: and let you know
[10:37]: how it looks how long it takes for us um
[10:40]: so i'm gonna do that right now and we'll
[10:42]: be back when we take it out of the oven
[10:46]: so i think i set my timer for about 12
[10:48]: minutes and my
[10:49]: i think my um camera bear is slightly
[10:52]: smaller than he calls for but
[10:54]: what you're going for is soft supple and
[10:56]: warm and you can kind of see
[10:58]: it looks sort of liquidy underneath
[10:60]: there so that is exactly what i'm
[11:02]: looking for
[11:04]: and now i'm going to plate this up i'm
[11:07]: going to take it off of here
[11:09]: oh that's great okay i need a spatula
[11:19]: we'll see there we go
[11:22]: just need to get up under
[11:27]: get up underneath it there we go
[11:31]: all right so i'm going to plate it up by
[11:33]: basically just
[11:35]: putting uh all scraping all of this on
[11:38]: top
[11:38]: you can see that it got sort of much
[11:41]: thicker it should be about the
[11:42]: consistency of honey
[11:43]: and it is so i'm just going to
[11:47]: scrape all of this on top of here
[11:53]: and let it sort of fall down to the
[11:55]: sides and
[11:56]: when we make up our toasts
[11:60]: we will make sure we get a little bit of
[12:01]: everything
[12:04]: on uh on our cracker on our toasts
[12:07]: whatever
[12:09]: there we go okay
[12:13]: and that is the recipe
[12:18]: and the gastrique is sort of a sweet and
[12:21]: sour
[12:22]: very sweet from the honey sour from the
[12:24]: um
[12:26]: from the apple cider vinegar but
[12:29]: there you have it and we'll just serve
[12:31]: it with um
[12:32]: probably a cheese knife or a butter
[12:33]: knife maybe a spoon we'll see what works
[12:35]: best
[12:36]: and make sure we get everything on our
[12:38]: toasts and we'll show you what it looks
[12:40]: like
[12:40]: and let you know we think what we think
[12:42]: of it in just a minute
[12:52]: all right so the kids are gonna be
[12:53]: trying baked cam and bear with
[12:56]: walnuts figs and whiskey gastrique
[12:60]: not a lot of alcohol in it i don't think
[13:02]: anyway so we're gonna be trying it i
[13:04]: don't think they'll like it but they
[13:05]: might
[13:06]: it's cheese and bread i will not and
[13:10]: fruit
[13:11]: all right take a bite both of these fish
[13:14]: even told us there was
[13:15]: alcohol take a bite of this side please
[13:20]: no side with the stuff
[13:25]: take a bite take a bite
[13:29]: take a bite it's so
[13:34]: the bread is very tasty which is good
[13:37]: when you have the the stuff on it the
[13:41]: cheese and everything that's very melty
[13:42]: and
[13:43]: uh a bit wet take a bite
[13:48]: no okay no electronics at all
[14:01]: their lives are so difficult it's so so
[14:04]: difficult
[14:05]: that's a lot of cheese yeah
[14:08]: not a lot of cheese i got a lot of
[14:10]: cheese mm-hmm
[14:12]: what did you think yuck why yuck
[14:16]: because it is big is mushy
[14:20]: and alcoholic this could kill me you
[14:23]: know
[14:26]: i would not feed it to you if it would
[14:28]: kill you what did you think
[14:30]: since you actually ate all of the bits
[14:32]: on top
[14:33]: the sawyer just got cheese honestly
[14:38]: what did you think it's hard to bite
[14:40]: into
[14:43]: what did you think of the the fruit and
[14:46]: the
[14:46]: the sort of syrup like fizz
[14:50]: it did is that bad
[14:53]: but i like the cannon bear with the
[14:55]: bread because there's a camera there
[14:57]: hanging off the side
[15:01]: there you have it not one for our kids
[15:05]: that's all right we'll enjoy it thanks
[15:07]: for watching
[15:09]: i don't like fancy food
[15:15]: we're gonna be trying baked cam and bear
[15:17]: we the kids are going to be trying baked
[15:20]: cam and bear
[15:21]: with fig
[15:25]: sorry just dog problems besides this dog
[15:29]: problem
[15:30]: please edit this out daddy sawyer did
[15:33]: i throw away my trash um
[15:37]: that's fine also daddy can edit it out
[15:41]: also one more thing if you don't edit it
[15:44]: out daddy
[15:46]: please leave that i can see the tickets
[15:48]: to the trustees
[15:55]: [Music]