Gratin of Grapefruit and Figs
Chef Francis Chauveau is celebrated for his skill at bringing the taste of Provence’s delicate herbs and flowers to the table. In this dish he combines citrus, almond, honey, and rosemary, all signatures of the Mediterranean region. Rosemary honey is difficult to procure; it is honey produced by bees feeding on rosemary. Try steeping a jar of fine honey with a sprig of rosemary until the honey takes on a very delicate scent of rosemary to approximate the flavor.
- Rosemary Honey Ice Cream
- Milk - 1/4 cup
- Light Cream - 2 tablespoons
- Rosemary honey - 1 cup
- Egg Yolk - 2
- Almond Cream
- Butter - 2 ounces (1/2 stick), at room temperature
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 3/4 cup
- Almond powder - 3/4 cup
- Egg - 1
- Creme Fraiche - 1 cup
- Grapefruits - 4, peeled and segmented, white membrane removed
- Figs - 5, (preferably bellone), quartered
- Rosemary Sprigs - 4
To make the ice cream: In a heavy saucepan, combine the milk, cream, and honey and bring to a boil over medium heat. In a large heatproof bowl, thoroughly beat the egg yolks. Beat a large spoonful of hot milk into the eggs. Continuing to beat, slowly add the remaining hot milk in a small steady stream until all the milk has been added; return the mixture to the milk pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve, cover with plastic wrap, and let cool to room temperature. Put in an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.
To make the almond cream: Slowly beat the butter until it has the consistency of paste, then slowly add the sugar and almond powder until blended. Add the egg and slowly beat until the mixture is completely blended.
In a small deep bowl, whip the creme fraiche at high speed until light and fluffy. Gently fold a large spoonful of whipped creme fraiche into the sugar-butter mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whipped creme fraiche.
To finish the dish: Preheat the broiler to high. Drain the grapefruit sections. Cover the bottoms of four heatproof rimmed dishes with a thin layer of almond cream. Divide the grapefruit segments among the plates and arrange around perimeter of the plates. In the center of each plate position fig quarters to form a tulip shape. Place under the broiler just until the surfaces begin to bubble and brown. Place a scoop of rosemary honey ice cream in the center of each fig “tulip.” Garnish each with a sprig of rosemary.