Just the thing that hits the spot when you’re craving sweet, savory, and EASY, this brie grilled cheese with fig jam & apples is so scrumptious! This ooey-gooey grilled cheese recipe is made using real sourdough bread and I’ll tell you what to beware of when buying bread.
You can make a traditional grilled cheese (always a great choice) or you can go big and make this brie grilled cheese with fig jam and apples on sourdough bread. It’s killer.
The brie melts gorgeously and its flavor is mild enough to allow the fig jam and apple come through perfectly. The crispy, buttery sourdough is the best bread to use for this sweet and savory grilled cheese. It’s supreme comfort food.
The beauty of this recipe is that you can substitute ingredients based on what you’ve got at the ready for you and it’ll still be super delicious and just as easy. If you don’t have fig jam but you have some apricot jam or some lemon preserves, perfect. Maybe you’ve got some ripe pears in the fridge—those would be excellent! Cheddar instead of brie? Why not? Use it! It’ll be awesome. This recipe is made to be versatile so that you can quickly create something that tastes gourmet, that’ll also satisfy your craving, but making use of ingredients already in the fridge.
Is Sourdough Bread Healthy?
Compared to a regular loaf of bread you can make or buy from the store, traditionally-prepared sourdough bread is more easily digestible. Therefore, those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease may find that sourdough doesn’t aggravate them.
The reason being that true sourdough bread is made using a sourdough starter that contains naturally-occurring yeast from a previously-fermented sourdough. It doesn’t use quick-acting dry yeast as an ingredient. Instead, this naturally-occurring yeast and bacteria are allowed plenty of time to really break down the gluten in the dough, making it a lot easier to digest than dough that rises in only an hour or two (due to the addition of dry-active yeast) before baking.
So if you want to make sure you’re buying REAL SOURDOUGH BREAD then take a peek at the ingredients. If the ingredients list ‘yeast’ then put it back. Real sourdough uses a starter so you wouldn’t find added yeast as an ingredient by itself.
Traditional bread-baking methods didn’t make use of dry-active yeast packets. The true way to bake any bread was always to allow the dough to rise naturally and that takes many hours to allow the yeast and bacteria to produce enough carbon dioxide to form many bubbles in the dough so that it can rise properly. This naturally breaks down gluten and is simply easier on the digestive system.
You know that unmistakable tanginess that sourdough has? That’s also due to the action of the self-fermentation process led by naturally-occurring yeast and bacteria. That taste comes from the produced lactic acid, which helps better absorb naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals in the bread, by neutralizing phytic acid in dough (source). This lactic acid also helps maintain healthy blood glucose levels by slowing the release of glucose into the blood stream which prevents spiking insulin levels (source).
It seems that in our unending search for health, we really NEED to look back at how our ancestors (even recent) prepared and cooked their food. They did it right and we’re doing it wrong.
How to Choose the Healthiest Ingredients for this Recipe? And What to Stay Away from?
I’ve already talked about how to pick your sourdough bread so that you know you’re getting the real deal. But that’s not even the most important ingredient search you’ll need to do when you’re buying your bread (or even plain flour!).
If you close your eyes and point to a loaf of bread in the bread aisle at the grocery store, chances are that it’ll contain ingredients like riboflavin, iron, and folic acid. Those are healthy right? Well, maybe not so much.
First of all, our bodies need folate and NOT folic acid (source). In fact, folic acid will block our cells from from taking in folate because they use the same receptor and have a higher affinity for it than folate (source). So if you consume folic acid, you’re depleting your folate. EXACT opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish, right?
As for all the other added vitamins and minerals listed under ‘flour’ when you’re buying your bread? They are all just added in to make you think you’re being healthy and so you buy it. In other words—MARKETING TOOL.
Fortified? Nope. Not so much. Don’t fall for it.
Get your vitamins and minerals by eating foods that already have it naturally-occurring as opposed to added in. It’s potentially very dangerous to consume these added vitamins and minerals. Most people believe you can’t overdo it with the vitamins. News flash—YOU VERY MUCH CAN and you probably already are if you have that mindset.
Not only is there no benefit to your health with these added vitamins, they are actually filled with unnecessary risk (source). And unfortunately, children who are fed foods with added vitamins are at an increased risk for toxicity (source).
Iron has a very high risk of toxicity and unfortunately with these added vitamins, you may exhibit various chronic signs that you won’t be able to pinpoint to the exact cause (source). Eventually, too much of these added vitamins may even lead to scary things like liver damage and nervous system damage (source).
So when you go to buy your packaged foods, breads, and flours, make certain that there are no added vitamins in the ingredients list. Usually organic flour will not contain added vitamins and it has the added benefit of not having any pesticides and herbicides.
As for the rest of the ingredients, just make sure you’re buying organic fruit and/or organic jams, again, to avoid harmful pesticides and herbicides.
How to Make this Gourmet Grilled Cheese?
It couldn’t be easier to do and you can use whatever ingredients you’ve got on hand to achieve a tasty result.
You can either use store-bought jam (I recommend organic), or make some, easily an naturally, at home. To do that, all you do is add your fruit to a pot and for every pound of fruit, add a cup of sugar (or whatever natural sweetener you prefer). Add a squeeze of lemon and a splash of water and cook until it thickens, stirring occasionally. That is it. Easy peasy.
To make the grilled cheese, take 2 pieces of sourdough bread and top one piece with some sliced brie (or whatever mild cheese you like), some apple (or pear) slices, and some fig jam (or whatever jam you have). Add the other slice of bread on top.
Put some good butter in a pan over medium-low and don’t skimp on the butter. Add about 2 tablespoons of it. Once it melts, place the sandwich in the pan and cover it. Let it go until it gets golden on the bottom-side.
At that point, add more butter and flip the grilled cheese sandwich and let it get golden on the other side (lid on).
That’s it! It should be golden, melty, hot, and perfectly crisp.
If you love the sweet and savory hot sandwich combo, I bet you’ll LOVE this apricot chicken & cheddar croissant. It’s bursting with flavor too!
Brie Grilled Cheese with Fig Jam & Apples
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- 6 ounces brie cheese sliced
- 4 tbsp fig jam
- 1 apple sliced
- 4 tbsp butter
- Take two slices of the bread and add sliced brie to both slices. Then top with some sliced apples and spoon over some of that fig jam too. Don't be scared to add more or less of an ingredient. Make it to your liking.
- Place the remaining two slices of bread over the top of both sandwiches and melt two tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium-low heat. Place the sandwiches in the pan and cover. Allow to cook until golden on the bottom side.
- When the bottom is golden, add remaining butter and flip the grilled cheese. Cook with the lid on until golden on opposite side and the cheese has melted.