I did not have cream and whole milk. I used skim milk and creme fraiche because that is what I had. It tasted fine but I should have put the creme fresh in at the end maybe, because it curdled a bit over the 1 hour of simmering.
It is ugly again but how can butter, milk, creme fresh and pearled barley be bad.
and I love figs… but with the caramel? It is not a combo that works for me here. I lose something because that wonderful almost metallic flavor of a fresh fig is killed by the caramel.
1. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pot, with flame at medium add the 3/4 cup of pearled barley and 1/4 tsp of kosher salt. Toast for 5 minutes until the the barley is about 2 shades darker. This step is important, don’t skip it.
2. Add 1 1/2 cup of water, cover, reduce to medium low and cook at rapid boil for 15 minutes. Barley should be al dente.
3. Add milk and creme fraiche to equal 3 cups. (original recipe calls for 2 3/4 cup of whole milk and 1/4 cup of heavy cream). reduce to low and simmer for 55 to 65 minutes. Yes, this is not instant oatmeal. You will need to plan ahead a little and be a little patient.
I already had the fig compote which I made earlier in the week. I just warmed it up.
1. Put 3 tablespoons of butter (unsalted), 3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar and 3 tablespoons of honey in a cast iron pan, cook on high heat for 1 minute to create a syrup, add about 1/2 lb or fresh figs (cut into quarters) and coat with syrup.
2. Place the pan under the broiler and caramelize the figs, swirl occasionally and remove after about 5 minutes.