Before a trip out to the desert earlier this summer, I saw a recipe for cast iron skillet brie written in chalk on a skillet in REI. I was immediately inspired. Of course, I couldn’t help but make some tweaks to the recipe. Since my childhood experiences roughing it, “glamping” has become an acceptable–and popular–way to encounter nature, and food is part of the glamping experience.
You see, I grew up camping in the summers. My family (all four of us) would pile into a honda civic hatchback and load the trunk with duffel bags, a tent, as much gear as we could fit, and trek across the northern and southern parts of the country. We walked through caves, hiked mountains, and at the end of the day we would gather around the picnic table to eat whatever was cooked up on the campstove.
These days, I don’t spend as much time camping. I certainly don’t have the long stretches of time to roadtrip across the country visiting national parks and forests (I wish!) But occasionally, I can slip away from the grind of work life. August is one of those perfect times for me. It is undeniably still summer, with some of that urgency that comes right before something changes. Camping allows me to push off that urgency for just a little bit longer while I am caught in the slower pace of a tent, a campfire, and open spaces.
Unsurprisingly for someone who writes for a food blog, having something delicious to eat is higher on my priority list than fancy lodging. I can always go for practical food as well, but I wanted to experiment with a cheese recipe that is easy, as well as feeling oh-so special once you make it. I would suggest making this one within the first day or two, while your ice chest still has everything pretty cold and you can be confident the cheese isn’t too funky. Once made, pair it with some apples, or brioche toasts, or just plain eat it with a spoon, and enjoy.
- Wheel of brie (not a wedge!)
- Dark-colored honey (if you can find speciality honey avocado or eucalyptus would work well)
- ½ cup chopped pecans, minimum
- Mini-bottle cognac
- Get a good cooking fire going or fire up the camp stove. For those who want to make this at home, a regular stove will also work.
- Score the brie on one side, making 3-4 cuts at least an inch long and place in a cast iron skillet.
- Drizzle honey into the scored parts of the brie, and add half of the pecans, pressing gently.
- Warm the brie for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the heat of the fire and the distance of the grate from the flame.
- Flip the wheel of brie.
- Score and add more honey.
- Warm again.
- Just before taking off the fire, add remaining pecans, half the mini bottle of cognac to the top of the brie and light.
- Let burn 1-2 minutes, adding more cognac if you would like to.
- Remove from fire.
- Serve with brioche toasts, crackers, or apple slices.