Back in high school I was a lithe vegetarian with health problems who generally thought eating got in the way of doing things I’d rather be doing. I mainly survived due to grilled cheese sandwiches. It was something that was fast and cheap and I could make it myself. To this day grilled cheese sandwiches are a favorite comfort food of mine and are a pretty safe bet for when you find yourself in a questionable sort of diner. If they can’t fry butter, bread, and cheese together, there’s not hope for them.
I love these sandwiches so much I even bought a book called Great Grilled Cheese* so I could explore the myriad of cheese, bread and filling options. Although the recipe for this sandwich doesn’t come from the book it is directly the result of an evening I spent flipping through its pages and drooling.
This is of course less of a recipe more of a suggestion of what you should put in your mouth. My Uncle has several fruit trees in his yard and in addition to a plethora of plums he passed on a few figs. Isobel had chosen pears as her special fruit while we were at the store and I picked up some bread and brie because my stomach had been bothering me lately and I needed something comforting.
(Generally it is not recommended for pregnant ladies to eat cheeses like brie while pregnant but for this I have two answers: 1.) I made this weeks ago and didn’t know I was pregnant at the time and 2.) if the problem comes down to worries of bacteria in the cheese I’m not sure why — the FDA does not allow American grocery stores to sell cheese that hasn’t been pasteurized, even if it’s imported.)
- A soft, crusty baguette – if you want to use a firm country-style baguette you’ll need to scoop out some of the insides so the cheese and fruit will fit. A softer loaf will just allow everything to smoosh together.
- A few very ripe figs
- Half a pear, sliced
- Butter or spray oil (I used spray oil)
- Room temperature brie cheese, sliced
- Heat your panini press or skillet to medium heat. You want everything nice and hot so start that process now.
- Scoop out the insides of your figs and add them to a bowl. Mash with a fork.
- Cut your bread in half lengthwise and spread the mashed up figs over both sides like it’s jam.
- Add slices of pear and brie, over lapping each other so the cheese becomes a glue that will hold it all together.
- Drizzle cheese with a little bit of honey.
- Assemble sandwich and butter or spray with oil. Cook in a panini press for about three minutes, until golden. If using a skillet cook for the same amount of time but turn once halfway through.
*This link will take you to my Amazon Affiliate shop. A small percentage of any order made here will go towards funding future grilled cheese sandwiches.