Grilled Cornmeal Pound Cake with Roasted Figs & Strawberry Ice Cream

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Recipe from Joe Burns, pastry chef

Waters Fine Foods & Catering

1105 West Morena Blvd., Bay Park


125 S. Hwy. 101, Solana Beach


Creating elegant, imaginative and frankly scrumptious desserts and pastries is all in a day’s work for chef Joe Burns. Now head of pastries and desserts at Waters Fine Foods & Catering, Burns oversees all pastry, dessert and bread production for Waters’ catering division and two gourmet shops. He joins the veteran team of skilled chefs at Waters led by chef/owner Mary Kay Waters for over 22 years.

Cornmeal goes great with figs and adding it to a pound cake reminds pastry chef Joe Burns of Waters Fine Food and Catering of being back home in the south. He also likes this recipe because it is a simple and easy to prepare dessert without a lot of components and makes use of great local seasonal produce. He says that it is wonderful at any outdoor event or picnic where a grill is available. Joe calls this a great “comfort” dessert — simple, appealing and tasty. We’ve included Burns’ recipe for homemade strawberry ice cream but you can also simplify by buying your favorite brand.

Grilled Cornmeal Pound Cake with Roasted Figs & Strawberry Ice Cream

Serves 8

Pound Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
Pinch of salt
5 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Cream the butter and sugar until light in color and fluffy.

2. In a separate bowl add flour, cornmeal and salt together and mix.

3. Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time.

4. Add the vanilla to the butter mixture.

5. In two stages add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix just long enough so that everything is well incorporated.

6. Pour mixture into a sprayed 9-inch-by-5-inch pan and bake at 325 degrees F. for 60 minutes or until a golden color.


Roasted Figs

24 figs
3/4 cup light-brown sugar
3/4 cup honey
Juice of 3 oranges
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt


1. Clean and cut figs in half.

2. Place remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix until sugar dissolves.

3. Toss the figs in this mixture. Be sure to coat them well.

4. Place figs skin side down on a sprayed baking sheet and roast, about 10 to 15 minutes until figs become soft and caramelized.

Strawberry Ice Cream

3 cups half & half
3/4 cup sugar (divided use)
10 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pint cleaned and hulled fresh strawberries


* Have an ice bath and strainer ready before you begin*

1. Place half & half and a 1/2 cup of sugar in a pot and heat to scalding

2. Temper in yolks by adding a little bit of the half & half to them while mixing and then pour back into half & half mixture.

3. Gently heat mixture up while stirring until it would coat the back of a spoon.

4. Immediately pour over strainer into ice bath.

5. Place the strawberries, vanilla and remaining sugar into a blender and blend until smooth. Strain into the ice-cream base and mix until well incorporated.

6. Chill overnight and freeze per your ice-cream maker’s instructions.


To Assemble

1. Take a slice of the pound cake and brush with butter. Grill on both sides.

2. Place a big scoop of strawberry ice cream on top of the pound cake.

3. Add roasted figs to the dish and drizzle any roasted liquid over top of the ice cream.

Categories: Food & Drink