26 September 2013

Fig Upside-Down Cake

 

I was recently given a box of fresh Black Mission figs and was deciding what to do with them, when I cut one in half and knew I had to do something that would show that beautiful profile. Ah, I thought, a fig up-side down cake. So I dug out my pineapple upside-down cake recipe that I'd developed many years ago and quickly stirred one up using figs instead of pineapple.
 
According to the California Fig Advisory Board, most of the nation's figs are grown in California. They actually have quite a long season, but check with your grocer to see when they are available in your area. Some people even order them online. Two of the guests I served this to had never had fresh figs, so I have a feeling a lot of people probably haven't. If you haven't, do give them a try!

Wish I'd taken a photo of the whole cake, but I was trying to sneak a photo at the same time I was serving guests, so I was a little discombobulated. Notice the perfect texture--light and tender, but not so much so that it could collapse under the weight of the figs.
 
 
If I were going to try another version, I've got my eye on SippitySup's fig upside-down cake.
 
Fig Upside-Down Cake
 
(Makes one 8-inch cake, 8 servings)
 
10 (about) small figs, halved
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided

6 to 8 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 packed cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon mace or 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg
 
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the microwave, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in an 8-inch round Pyrex baking dish. (If you're using a metal 8-inch round pan, you can do your butter melting in a separate dish.) Swirl the melted butter to grease the sides of the pan. Add the brown sugar to the butter in the bottom and blend. Spread mixture evenly. Place fig halves, cut side down, in a pleasing pattern. Set aside.
 
2 In mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for one minute to blend. Add the 5 tablespoons softened butter, milk, and vanilla. Mix on low speed for 1 1/2 minutes, then add the egg and mix 1 1/2 minutes longer.

Or do it by hand, as I did this time. Just whisk together the dry ingredients; use your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients; add the milk, egg and vanilla; beat by hand for a couple minutes. Couldn't be easier!
 
3 Spread the batter evenly over the figs with a rubber spatula. Run a knife through just the batter, not disturbing the figs, a couple of times to break up any large air bubbles. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven, loosen edges with knife, and invert immediately onto a platter. Replace any figs that did not release from the pan. Let cool a bit before serving with whipped cream.

18 comments:

Cranberry Morning said...

This looks simply amazing! I love figs. This was definitely a must-pin!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Judy! I still haven't figured out all this "pinning" business, but I'm working on it.

ImSoVintage said...

Sounds really delicious. :)
xo Laura

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Laura! And it's so easy - fits right into "the simple life."

Jenn S said...

The cake does look wonderful!! I just found my love figs this year, if you can believe that!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Jenn, thanks! Glad you found the love this year!

Joanne Young said...

I love that you wanted to show how beautiful the figs are in profile! Well done.:)

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Only someone who can spell discombu…discumbo…dis – that word – could possibly invent the fig upside down cake. (And I thought Newton invented all that fig stuff.) Anyway, I’m not sure I can swallow upside down, so I’ll just admire the picture. There is something biological about those sectioned figs. They should be in an anatomy book. I’m thinking you should extend your food processing to animal husbandry and all the rest of it, i.e. raise, package and prepare, taking photos all along the way. You could be the Audubon of the abattoir with your images. OK, I’ll stop. But don’t you stop. Another great article, and a step forward in your journalistic odyssey.

Angie Schneider said...

A wonderful fig cake, Jean. We love figs, my husband said that fig tastes almost as good as his favourite fruit banana.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Joanne! I once read somewhere that a fig isn't, technically, a fruit but rather a flower turned in on itself.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Sully, I'm the last person you'd want in the abattoir - I'm quite squeamish about, shall we say, non-vegetable foods! Newton, eh? Now you've got me ready to run down to the natural foods store to pick up a package of Fig Newmans.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Angie, thank you. Though I've never grouped figs in with bananas, they do have some qualities in common - very sweet and mellow and *something* about the texture.

yummychunklet said...

Ooh, I bet the figs tasted great!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

They sure did, yummychunklet! Hope I can get some more soon.

Mary Frances said...

This looks heavenly!! I LOVE figs! You might also like my fig clafoutis post and recipe from Food and Wine last year. http://lovethesecretingredient.net/2012/09/16/looky/

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thank you, Mary Frances! And I'll check out that clafoutis - hope I can get some more figs soon!

Brooks said...

Jean, the first home I purchased had a mature fig tree. I sure wish I had this recipe then. You have a lovely cake here!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Brooks, thank you - that's such a compliment coming from THE cake man!

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