Grilled Figs with Homemade Lavender Crème Fraîche

August 17, 2013
4 Ratings
  • Serves 2 to 4
Author Notes

Luscious, fresh figs lightly grilled over wood chips find their perfect match in the easy to make revelation that is homemade crème fraîche infused with dried lavender buds and lightly whipped with wildflower honey. No wood chips or not feeling up to grilling at all? Don't be afraid to use gas, charcoal or even a grill pan, but the wood smoke really makes this the perfect dessert, where smoke meets fresh cream and fruit, for capturing those liminal August weeks as late summer bleeds in to early fall. Note: the crème fraîche takes about two days, so plan accordingly. —Beth Kirby | {local milk}

What You'll Need
  • 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 (green or purple, either works)
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • Dark wildflower honey or other dark honey, for drizzling
  • 1 small bag hickory, cherry, or apple wood chips
  1. Make crème fraîche: pour heavy cream and buttermilk into a clean jar, stir to combine. Add lavender buds and stir again. Let sit uncovered in a window sill, stirring and tasting occasionally for about two days or until thickened and pleasantly tangy. Skeeved out? Don't be. The acid in the mixture prevents bacteria from growing.
  2. Once the crème fraîche is thick and tangy strain out lavender with a fine mesh sieve. Store in a clean jar in the fridge until use.
  3. Grill figs: Lightly brush the cut side of the figs with olive oil and oil the grate of the grill well.
  4. Light the wood chips (I use the sort where you can just light the whole bag), and when the grill is very hot (you should only be able to hold your hand over it for a few seconds), arrange the figs cut side down on the grate.
  5. Wait a few moments, maybe ten seconds, and then start flipping the figs with tongs, starting with the ones that went on first. There should be grill marks, if not, leave them a moment longer. Grill on the other side a few moments more and remove to a platter.
  6. Lightly whip one cup of the cold crème fraîche by hand with two tablespoons of honey just until it reaches soft peaks.
  7. Divide the figs up amongst two to four plates (two big helpings or four light ones!), dollop the crème fraîche on top, drizzle with honey, and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Horto
  • Mi Budare
    Mi Budare
  • Beth Kirby | {local milk}
    Beth Kirby | {local milk}
A Southern writer with a cast iron skillet & a camera. Freelance food writer & photographer. Blogs at

3 Reviews

Horto April 19, 2014
do you make tour own buttermilk? or use powdered?
Mi B. August 17, 2013
It seems like a simple yet fancy idea! Also, like the photography work!
Beth K. August 19, 2013
Thank you. And that's exactly what it is. Elegant, luscious yet so humble & simple at the same time. My kinda thing.