Seasonal Southern Cooking

Grilled Figs with Homemade Lavender Crème Fraîche

By • August 19, 2013 • 9 Comments

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Beth Kirby of Local Milk carries her Southern heritage -- and the ingredients, dishes, and recipes that come with it -- with her wherever she goes. Every other Monday, that place is here. 

Today: Grilled figs that are waiting to be your next dessert -- plus the best crème fraîche you'll ever taste.

Grilled Figs from Food52  

This is how I start fig season: I go to the market and buy a bag of green figs with rosy tips, figs the size of tennis balls from “the oldest fig tree in Chickamauga.” I take them home and stand at the kitchen island alternately dunking my fingers in sorghum and taking juicy bites of fig while singing "Figgy, Figgy, Figgy can’t you see…sometimes your ways just hypnotize me." And that’s a true story -- because I love figs. From that first bag on, I buy them every week anywhere I can find them.

Maybe I’m an enthusiast because, despite abundant fig trees in Tennessee, the only fig I knew as a child was a Newton. So fresh figs are still a bit of a revelation. As the season progresses, I get a little bit more free-wheeling with my figs; I become sated and willing to venture out in the world of cooking with them (as opposed to the world of serenading them and eating them straight out of the bag). 

Grilled Figs from Food52

And that’s where hickory chips, my Weber, a mason jar of homemade lavender crème fraîche, and some haphazard drizzles of dark wildflower honey come in. I first got the hankering to make homemade crème fraîche when reading about it on Phyllis’ blog Dash and Bella. I never knew how simple it was. You just set a jar of heavy cream and buttermilk at a 2:1 ratio on your windowsill, uncovered. And you let it sit. And funk up. And stir it. And taste it. You do this for about two days, and when it’s as thick and tangy as you please, you stick it in your fridge…and voilà!

Since I’m sort of an infusion junkie and happened upon a large bouquet of dried lavender this Sunday market past, I figured why not let some lavender hang out during the thickening process. And I’m so glad I did. Once you strain it, add some good honey (I go with a local dark wildflower variety), and whip it -- you'll have the perfect topping, the perfect honor, for luscious, smoky grilled figs. Or fresh figs. Or fig pie. Pretty much fig anything. Finish with a drizzle more of honey, and try to resist skipping the fork and digging right in, finger licking and all, like I do.

 Grilled Figs from Food52

Grilled Figs with Homemade Lavender Crème Fraîche

Serves 2 to 4

For Lavender Crème Fraîche:

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons dried lavender buds
2 tablespoons dark wildflower honey or other dark honey

For Grilled Figs:

1 pint fresh, ripe figs, halved lengthwise
Olive oil, for brushing
Dark wildflower honey or other dark honey, for drizzling
1 small bag hickory, cherry, or applewood chips

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Beth Kirby  

Jump to Comments (9)

Tags: seasonal southern cooking, southern, seasonal, recipes, figs, grill

Comments (9)

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over 1 year ago Leia

We have 9 fig trees and all are different in taste. We have frozen figs and are now de-hydrating figs for sale and future use. This weekend will be a marathon of fig jam. Everyone should have their own fig tree-they are so delicious. And fig cake is to die for!!

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over 1 year ago Scribbles

I love figs! am searching for them in WNC with no joy....

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over 1 year ago JadeTree

Wow - this reminds me of David Olney's Fig Salad with mint-infused thick cream.

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over 1 year ago Phyllis Grant

oh my god i love it

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over 1 year ago Beth Kirby | {local milk}

an honor : )

Me

over 1 year ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Managing Editor of Food52.

I'm not sure yet, but this crème fraîche may have just changed my life.

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over 1 year ago Beth Kirby | {local milk}

If such a thing can be life changing, this one is. I feel special having it in my fridge. Seriously.

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over 1 year ago Rochelle Bilow

Everything about this looks light, lovely, fresh & feminine! Can't wait to make it.

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over 1 year ago Beth Kirby | {local milk}

It's lady food that's dude approved! I tested it : )