Walnuts can be made up to 3 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in a cool place.
- 1 cup walnut halves
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 (1 pint) basket ripe figs
- 1 (8-ounce) piece triple-crème cheese (such as St. André, La Tur, or Brillat-Savarin), at room temperature
- Water crackers , for serving
2. In a medium skillet, combine sugar, 2 tablespoons water, oil, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and stir in walnuts. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar caramelizes and coats nuts.
3. Spread nuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet, breaking apart clumps while still hot; cool completely.
4. Remove stems and slice figs in half lengthwise. Arrange groupings of figs, cheese, walnuts, and crackers on a wooden board or platter. Encourage guests to combine ingredients on crackers.