Baked Figs with Goat Cheese and Lavender Honey
I have always had a weak spot for figs. I loved fig newtons as a kid (and still do, honestly) but never saw a fresh fig until I was in culinary school. Mary Jo, as some of you may know, does not like fruit. It’s mostly a texture thing with her. When we are in France, she eats foie gras regularly and her favorite condiment is, of all things, Fig Jam.
I have over 40 fig trees growing at my farm in Maine and I can’t get enough of them. I started them from cuttings just over a year ago and most of them are about 5-feet high. I have 12 planted outdoors (I am looking forward to seeing how they survived the winter) but the rest of them are growing in my greenhouse. Today, April 8th, I picked a ripe fig from my Madeira Island Black fig tree and it was pretty amazing; I’ll include a few photos. Warmer temperatures are required to sweeten the figs and allow them to reach their full potential, so I am looking forward to what the summer will bring.
Some of my favorite fig recipes include figs baked in phyllo dough with Brie cheese, sous vide chicken breast with a foie gras-fig and port wine cream, white and dark chocolate ganache with dried figs and pistachios, and this recipe from our foodie trips to Provence, Baked Figs with Goat Cheese and Lavender-Infused Honey.
The combination of fresh figs, goat cheese, honey, lavender and thyme make for a pretty amazing appetizer. It is stunningly beautiful, the flavors are sweet, tangy and herbal and the textures from the crunch of the fig seeds to the creaminess of the goat cheese will impress all.
Baked Figs with Goat Cheese and Lavender HoneyCourse: AppetizersCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Medium
Make the Lavender-Infused Honey well in advance.
18 fresh figs
6 ounces fresh, young goat cheese
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
6 Tablespoons lavender-infused honey (recipe below)
- Lavender-Infused Honey
1 cup honey (use lavender honey if available)
1 teaspoon dry culinary lavender
- Preheat oven to 325-degrees F.
- Place the figs, stem side up on a cutting board. Cut an X in the top of the figs, cutting most of the way through the figs, leaving a small portion of the bottom uncut, to hold the figs together.
- Gently open the X on the top of the figs and stuff with some of the fresh goat cheese.
- Place the stuffed figs on a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle with the fresh thyme leaves.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow the figs to cool slightly. Place 3 figs on each plate, surround with additional goat cheese if desired, and drizzle the plates with the lavender-infused honey.
- Sprinkle with a few lavender leaves and thyme sprigs for a final garnish and serve with sliced baguette or toasted baguette slices.
- Lavender-Infused Honey
- Place the honey in a small saucepan over low heat and warm to about 150-degrees F., stirring regularly.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the lavender. Allow the honey to infuse with the lavender for about 8 hours or overnight.
- Reheat the honey slightly to thin it. Pass through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the lavender. Cool to room temperature and it is ready to use.