Fresh Fig, Peach and Brie Crostini
It’s fig season! And peach season! And crostini season? Well….it’s no secret that I love a good crostini. It’s my ‘go to’ for entertaining because you can pile pretty much anything fresh and seasonal on some bread and call it a day. Right? Well almost. This fresh fig, peach and brie crostini dish is the perfect example of how balance is everything and using fresh, seasonal ingredients to make a beautiful bite for the senses is an art in itself. Less is more. It’s all about using the best, fresh ingredients you can find and not doing too much with them but bringing a balance of flavors.
I started with the fig balsamic reduction. Store bought is just fine but if you buy a whole pint of fresh figs then you might as well use a few to make your own reduction. It’s better and it’s usually a little thicker and sweeter. Plus it stores for weeks. This is the do-ahead step that will save you time when entertaining if you can plan it out and make it in advance.
Because the fresh fig balsamic is a little bit sweet from the fruit and sugar but still has some tanginess from the vinegar….I thought the overall dish needed some acid to balance it out. That’s where the lemon juice comes in. I decided to ‘lightly dress’ the fresh figs and peaches in lemon juice and zest. Try to do this right before serving so the juice doesn’t start to break down the fruit and make it mushy. Then the rest is easy! Using a pastry brush make a smear on the platter with your nice, thick balsamic reduction. Then assemble the crostini with brie, layering the fig and peaches evenly on top of that, a tiny sprinkle of sea salt (Maldon), fresh basil and a little more balsamic reduction. So easy. I made these for a wine-tasting afternoon and served with more fresh figs, Macrona almonds (store bought), and prosciutto. The salty prosciutto pairs really well wit the crostini, too, but works better on the side. Guess can add to their crostini if they want or nibble on their own with more crackers and cheese. Manchego cheese is another that would pair well with this platter.
Try this dish for your next wine & cheese night. The flavors will not disappoint and it’s so easy to do. Use a really fresh French baguette and make your own crostini for the ultimate bite!
- Fig Glaze
- 3 fresh Black Mission figs, roughly chopped
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1/4 lb good quality double cream brie cheese, sliced into pieces the size of the crostini (rind removed if preferred)
- 1 large peach
- 4-5 fresh Black Mission figs
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1teaspoon lemon zest * (about ½ lemon)
- 8 slices of crostini (any favorite bread sliced ¼ inch thick and brushed with olive and baked for 10-12 minutes on 350)
- 1 teaspoon Fresh basil, julienne
- Sprinkle of flakey finishing salt (Maldon)- optional
- *zest the lemon first using a micro plane or fine grater and then juice it
- Combine all the ingredients for the fig glaze in a small, heavy sauce pan and bring to a boil. Give it whisk to make sure all the sugar is combined. Then lower heat to a simmer and let it cook, uncovered, for about 20-30 minutes until the fruit breaks down and the mixture thickens. Check every few minutes and stir if needed. Remove from heat, pour through a fine mesh sieve and discard solids and reserve the glaze. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
- Slice the figs and peaches length-wise (skin on) into ¼ inch thick pieces. Toss with lemon juice and zest.
- Using a pastry brush put a little of the fig balsamic on the plate. Place the brie on top of the bread and alternate the fresh peaches and figs on top of that. Drizzle with the fig balsamic and top with the finishing salt and fresh basil. Serve immediately.