Violet Figs from the Var (+ Fig and Almond Gratins)

Well, it’s been hot, hot, hot in the South of France as we ride out what the French call a canicule – heatwave. And as I’ve just had my first day back to work after the traditional August vacation period, it’s hard not to want to escape to the beaches with the rest of the “extended” holiday-goers.

But as much as summer is a gorgeous season in Provence, I’m also very excited about the approaching fall. In September & October, you’ll find much the same weather with a lot more space to lay your towel on the plage. And while I love (love) the foods of summer, nothing beats tasting hearty Provençal soups & stews when the temps start to dip.Fig Collage

And then of course there are the food festivals. Even though summer’s not quite over, the first wave of food fêtes is on its way.

This weekend kicks off fig-season in the south with the Fig Festival at Sollies-Pont. The department where we live, the Var, is responsible for 75% of fig production in France. Sollies-Pont is known for its violet figs (which even hold their own Appellation d’origine contrôlée or AOC)  and after attending last year’s festival it was clear that the village takes great pride in its purple beauties.

Besides the copious jams, the festival is a showcase for all things fig – tartes, macarons, chutney, and fig wine & liqueur.

We’re also able to get figs from Sollies at our local market, so this week I tried my first fig recipe. I’m sharing it here and hope to have more “fig-tips” after this weekend’s festival… or at the very least, some of that that fine fig wine…

Mini Gratins de Figues à l’Amande  (Fig & Almond Gratins)


4 ripe figs

1/2 cup of cream

3 teaspoons of almond powder

1 egg

6 teaspoons powdered sugar

3 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds


Preheat the oven to 350 ° F. Gently wash the figs and cut them into quarters. Butter 4 mini-casseroles and place four of the fig pieces in each casserole. Mix together the egg and cream, add the sugar and ground almonds. Pour this mixture over the fig pieces. Put some sliced almonds on top of each casserole.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Can be served warm or cold.

*recipe credit: Journal des Femmes  

19 thoughts on “Violet Figs from the Var (+ Fig and Almond Gratins)”

  1. Your pictures make me want to run out and buy figs! Can’t wait to try your recipe – thanks for sharing. I just adore figs, and two years ago was very fortunate to visit Pepiniers Baud (grower and supplier of figs to local restaurants), in Vaison la Romaine with a Chef from our village. Monsieur Baud gave us a wonderful tour – I had no idea that there were so many varieties of figs – all delicious!


    1. Ohhh, your fig visit sound wonderful… I’d love to do a similar tour in our area and before “researching” this post I had no idea about all of the different types of figs either. For now I’m stuck on the violet ones from Solliès, but I’d love to try this recipe with other varieties! Many thanks for your comment and enjoy your weekend 🙂


  2. I totally agree with the other poster — I know there were figs at the market yesterday and I want to get some to make this recipe!


    1. HI Jennie, thanks for your comment and hope you get a chance to try the recipe… it’s fairly easy to make and the almonds complement the figs very nicely! Bon weekend to you 🙂


  3. The fig festival sounds like heaven Tuula….I loooove figs!! We’ve a while to go before we can have figs here but I’m keeping your recipe for then! Have an extra punnet for me!!


    1. Thanks Jenny & I appreciate your comment! I know, I feel like having access to the figs here is such a luxury… Honestly, I don’t think I ever tasted a fresh fig before moving to France… hope you’ll find some in you area and have a great weekend 🙂


  4. Dear Tuula, we just came back from Atlantic side holidays and found our white fig tree full of gorgeous juicy figs, your article is very timely ! Thanks for your recipe ! Claire de #Provence Hand Made


    1. Yum, sounds delicious Claire… I’d love to have a fig tree on day … for now I’ll just have to stock up at the market 🙂 bon weekend to you !


    1. Thanks Holly 🙂 And the gratin is supposed to be a dessert… it’s a bit sweet for an entrée but maybe if the sugar was reduced.. bon weekend !


  5. You are right that the arrival of figs is a sign of the passage of time and seasons and the approach of fall. I can’t wait till October and our return to Sablet and Provence for a few weeks.


    1. October is a great month to be in Provence… I can’t wait to eat more of the fall foods and am most looking forward to tasting a hearty daube. Many thanks for your comment Michel 🙂


  6. Oh how wonderful, Tuula. 🙂 I love fresh figs SO much and cannot wait for our summer to roll around so I can taste them again. 🙂 Your recipe sounds delicious. 🙂


    1. Merci Jen 🙂 I can’t get enough of your recipes on the blog… such creative combinations, sure figs would fit in very well !


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