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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the molds.
In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt and Pierre. Add the olive oil, buttermilk, and cheese. Stir until incorporated.
Sift the flour mixture into the wet mixture, stir to combine, then fold in the figs and walnuts.
Spoon the batter into the molds, filling them about 2/3 of the way.
Bake until they puff up and are slightly browned, about 15 minutes.Cool briefly on a rack. I unmold them with the help of a spoon to lift them out.
This recipe makes 24 madeleines. I often make 12, and reserve the remaining batter for the next day. I then put 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a small cast iron pan on medium high heat. When hot, I spread the batter in the pan. It puffs slightly. I turn it, cook the other side, and have a delicious pancake.
I have substituted seasonal fruit for the figs: for example apples or pears.
One can also use mini-muffin pans instead of madeleine pans; the taste is the same, but I find the romance lacking.