Brûléed figs are an excellent garnish for sweet and savory dishes alike, or make a tasty snack! They look elegant and fancy and have an elevated taste and texture, but are so easy and quick to make.
There are so many ways to use brûléed figs; in salads, canapes, main courses, or desserts. The most classic brûléed dish is, of course, crème brûlée but you can in fact brûlée anything as long as you have sugar and the means of torching it.
Ingredients for figs brûlée
As you may have guessed, you don't need many ingredients to make homemade brûléed figs! And if you have a fig tree in your garden then you're halfway there already. When I work in the South of France as a private chef in the summertime, I pick the figs fresh off the tree, but they are readily available in most grocery stores whilst they're in season from summer through to November.
- Figs: You can use any variety of figs for this recipe, like Black Mission figs, Violette de Bordeaux figs, or Bursa figs, but always ensure they are ripe for optimal taste and texture. Ripe figs are soft when gently squeezed, and unripe figs are hard.
- Granulated sugar: I use light brown sugar (or golden caster sugar) for the added molasses content, which helps give more caramel undertones. But you can also use white sugar if you prefer. Some recipes call for raw sugar (or Turbinado sugar), but it isn't strictly necessary.
- Salt: I like to balance the sweetness of this recipe with a tiny amount of salt, which also enhances the flavors.
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post to print out the full quantities and step-by-step instructions on how to make brûléed figs.
How to brûlée figs step by step
Slice figs in your preferred manner and arrange them on a clean oven tray. Remove any stalks from the top of the fig first.
Liberally prinkle sugar over the cut, flat side of the fig slices, and a pinch of salt, as the torch will blow off some, so you will need more than you think.
Use a kitchen torch to evenly brûlée figs so that the sugar melts and forms a hard, caramelized layer.
Carefully use a spoon to remove the figs from the tray to the serving plates, as the hot caramel can cause a nasty burn. Serve immediately.
If you do not have a kitchen blowtorch, you can put the baking tray of figs under the hot grill or broiler to brûlée the sugar. But they will burn very quickly, so you do need to watch them like a hawk and do not leave them unattended. Once you see the sugar start to bubble and turn to melting dark brown syrup, you probably have less than 5 seconds.
Making brûlée figs is the last thing to do before service. Plate up the rest of your dishes, and then quickly brûlée the figs and add them on as a garnish. I love using fresh figs in cooking, especially over the summer when I work as a private chef in the south of France. They grow everywhere! Here's me in my client's garden where they have several fig trees.
Wine pairing for brûléed figs
Learn more about food and wine pairing with my easy tips!
Here are some ways I like to serve brûléed figs; they really are such a versatile little dish to make.
- Canapes - Spread soft goat's cheese onto a crostini and top with a slice of brûléed fig.
- Salads - One of my favorite dinner party starters is whipped feta cheese and figs brûlée; it can be put together so fast yet always looks and tastes amazing.
- Cheese - Figs pair beautifully with other cheeses like creamy burrata or feta, and brûléed figs make an excellent addition to your cheeseboards.
- Desserts - Serve brûlée figs on top of Greek yogurt with some toasted flaked almonds for an easy and delicious dessert. They also taste great on top of cheesecake.
- Snacks - Alternatively, serve figs brûlée on their own with coffee after dinner or even with an aperitif.
You will need an oven tray and a kitchen blowtorch to make brûléed figs.
This recipe needs to be consumed immediately. If not, the sugar will soften, and you will lose that signature brûlée crack and crunch.
Fresh figs pair well with dairy. Try cheeses like feta or goat cheese for a sweet/savory dish, or serve with yogurt and honey for an easy dessert.
Figs are in season from summer through to mid-Autumn.
In Europe, you will mainly find Bursa figs, which are a Turkish variety. In the US, Black Missin figs are the most common.
No, you cannot use honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, or any other sugar syrup to brûlée. Only granulated sugar will work.
Other fig recipes
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
How To Make Brûléed figs
- 4 Figs (Black Mission, Bursa etc)
- 4 tablespoon brown sugar
- Slice figs and arrange on a baking sheet or other heat proof tray.
- Sprinkle an even layer of sugar over each fig that completely covers the surface.
- Brulee the sugar using a kitchen blow torch until the surface is bubbling and turns a golden brown. Alternatively, place them under the broiler/grill but do not leave them unattended, and watch carefully, or they will burn.
- Carefully remove from the tray and serve immediately.