Marinated Figs
with Buttermilk-Honey Sorbet

Recipe from "The South: The Beautiful Cookbook:
authentic recipes from the American South,"

HarperCollins © 1996

Guenter Seeger, the German-born, Swiss-trained, Michelin-starred chef of the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead in Atlanta, developed his love of fresh, local ingredients at young age from his parents, who were in the produce business.

Today he bases his classic, yet whimsical, Euro-American regional creations on what is in season. In this recipe, Seeger creates a buttermilk, honey and citrus sorbet to showcase fresh figs, which have first been marinated in creme de cassis and then baked in buttered parchment paper.

  • 4 cups ( 32 fl oz/1 l) lowfat buttermilk
  • 1 cup ( 8 fl oz/250 ml) heavy (double) cream
  • 2/3 cup ( 8 oz/250 g) honey
  • juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
  • juice and grated zest of 1 orange

  • 3/4 cup ( 6 fl oz/180 ml) clarified butter
  • 2 lb ( 1 kg) fresh figs, cut in half and marinated in 1 cup ( 8 fl oz/250 ml) creme de cassis for 2 hours
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 6 equal pieces
  • 6 vanilla beans
To make the sorbet, in a large mixing bowl, blend the buttermilk, cream, honey and the citrus juices and zests. Pour the mixture into an ice-cream freezer and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions, to make a somewhat loose, creamy sorbet ( not as stiff as ice cream). Keep frozen.

To bake the figs, preheat an oven to 425* F ( 220* C). Brush six 12-in ( 30-cm) square pieces of parchment sheets in half and place equal portions of the figs on one half of each sheet. Top figs with a piece of lemongrass and 1 vanilla bean. Fold the other half of the parchment over the fig mixture. Then fold the edges over together or pleat and twist the corners to seal tightly.

Place the parchment parcels on a baking sheet. Bake until the figs are heated through, 6-9 minutes. Remove the figs from the oven. When cool enough to handle, cut open the parchment and remove and discard the lemongrass and vanilla beans. Carefully transfer the figs to 6 individual goblets or bowls. Top with sorbet.


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