Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cover raisins with water in a small bowl and allow to soak until ready to use.
Bring balsamic vinegar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Continue simmering, whisking occasionally, until it reduces to about 3 Tbsp (will take about 15 min).
While balsamic is reducing, melt butter in a medium saute pan.
Add the pressed garlic and sliced shallot and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes.
Add the chopped apples and continue cooking and stirring until apples are softened but not mushy.
Meanwhile, prepare the sourdough bowl by removing a large, round section from the center. Use the brie round as a form for your cutout to ensure it's large enough. (This should leave about an inch around the perimeter). Cut down far enough to remove all but about 1/2-2" of bread from the bottom of the bread bowl. Cut the removed bread into large chunks for serving or reserve for another use (like my Christmas Breakfast Strata recipe?)
Add the white wine, maple syrup, sea salt, and thyme to the apples in the saute pan. Drain the raisins and add to the pan, giving everything a good stir. Allow the mixture to cook for a few more minutes, then remove from heat.
Place the bread bowl on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Drizzle about 1 Tbsp of the reduced balsamic over the inside of the bread bowl.
Slice the brie in half horizontally (tip: leave the Brie refrigerated until this point for easiest slicing).
Score the brie by cutting 6-8 slits (about 1/2" each) around the edges of both halves.
Place one of the brie halves, cut side up, into the bottom of the sourdough bowl. I had to use my fingers to gently press it down into the bowl. Top with about half of the cooked apple mixture.
Place the second brie half on top, pressing it down into the bread bowl if needed.
Drizzle the remaining 2 Tbsp of reduced balsamic over the cheese, then top with the remaining apple mixture.
Bake on the bottom shelf for about 15 minutes, or until surface is golden brown.
While the Brie is baking, toast the almonds by heating them in a saute pan over medium heat. Stir often to ensure even browning. Remove from heat until ready to use.
Once the 15 minutes is up, place a sheet of foil over the top rack of the oven to protect from overbrowning on the surface of the Brie, and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes or so, until the cheese is melted.
Remove the cooked bread bowl from the oven and sprinkle with toasted almonds just before serving.
To serve, slice the entire bread bowl into wedges. Alternatively, use a serving knife to remove brie from the bread bowl and eaten with pieces of reserved sourdough, fresh fruit, or vegetable slices.