Baked Camembert With Dates

December 21, 2021
3 Ratings
Photo by MJ Kroeger. Food stylist: Kate Buckens. Prop stylist: Alya Hameedi.
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6, as an appetizer
Author Notes

It’s nothing new, but baked cheese is damn delicious. Instead of throwing a whole wheel in the oven and calling it a life, I cut the wheel into pieces in order to ensure that there are plenty of dates throughout (unlike in my life, heyo!). The flavors here veer outside the ordinary wheelhouse of hot fromage: funky Camembert, sweet dried fruit, earthy thyme, and to finish, a spiced oil that feels a little reckless over a soft, French cheese, but in a good way, obviously.

A note on that spiced oil: Warming the oil slightly allows the piment d’Espelette to infuse, but be sure to keep it from getting too hot—it’ll burn the delicate spice.

Reprinted with permission from À Table by Rebekah Peppler (Chronicle Books, 2021).Rebekah Peppler

What You'll Need
  • Baked Camembert
  • 1 (4- to 5-inch/10 to 12 cm) wheel Camembert, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
  • 8 pitted dates, torn into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Piment d’Espelette Oil (recipe follows) or chile oil, for drizzling
  • Crackers or crusty bread, for serving
  • Piment d’Espelette Oil
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon piment d’Espelette
  1. Baked Camembert
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  3. Tuck the Camembert pieces into a 4- to 5-inch (10 to 12 cm) ovenproof baking dish and add the dates in the spaces between the cheese. Sprinkle with thyme and bake until the cheese is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Drizzle with the piment d’Espelette oil and serve with crackers or crusty bread.
  1. Piment d’Espelette Oil
  2. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the oil until just warmed. Remove the pan from the heat, add the piment d’Espelette, and stir to combine. Set aside to cool and infuse. The oil will keep at room temperature in a tightly sealed container for 1 month.

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Rebekah Peppler is an American writer and food stylist living in Paris. Her clients include the New York Times, Real Simple, Food Network, and multiple cookbooks. Her next book, Apéritif: Cocktail Hour the French Way (Clarkson Potter) will be released in October 2018. She is also the author of Honey, a Short Stack Edition. You can find more on and

1 Review

carswell December 22, 2021
The touch of lightly hot pepper seems an excellent addition - I’m going to have to try this!