from one generation to the next
My Dad was a sociable sort of guy. I wouldn’t call him a party animal, but he loved both incisive conversation and social banter. He joined a Wine and Food society when I was a teenager, not because he loved wine, but for fun. The love of wine followed, red wine especially.
For the ensuing 15 years, Sunday lunch included a bottle of red and a cheese board. The Australian iconic wine labels were in their infancy then and local cheese very basic. Dad introduced us to the best of the imported cheeses available at the time, French brie and camembert, tilsit and roquefort, English stilton and cheddar, Italian gorgonzola, provolone and pecorino. Dutch edam and gouda, we tasted cheeses from around the globe, all picked up from the Vic Market during his lunch break on a Friday.
We still love cheese (and red wine) but we have moderated our consumption significantly, so having friends around to help us through a round of excellent Aussie camembert gave me the ideal opportunity to put my gorgeous new French cheese baking dish to use.
The fridge was overflowing with local plump Bing cherries so they were a natural choice as a topping for the cheese, to add a sharp fruity note to the creamy oozy camembert.
Choose a baking dish into which your cheese will fit snuggly. I have a specialty dish I use, but Spanish terracotta tapas dishes work perfectly.
1/4 cup chopped cherries
1/2 tablespoon brandy
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon finely chopped almonds
Preheat the oven to 180C and lightly butter the baking dish.
Put the cheese into the baking dish and piece the crust all over with a sharp knife.
Put the cherries in a small pan over a low heat and cook them until the juices have evaporated.
Stir in the brandy and cinnamon, then pour over the cheese.
Sprinkle the almonds on top.
Bake for 20 mins, uncovered or until the cheese is oozy.
Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving so the intense heat dissipates.
Serve with oatcakes