Since I’ve moved to Murrayville, I have been incredibly fortunate to have plenty of neighbours who have fruit trees. And even more fortunate that said neighbours are also very generous. It was because of this that I had my first taste of figs. And boy was I smitten.
I was in a baking phase then so my immediate thoughts were: can I bake with this?
Turns out I can. And boy was it worth it. I brought my first fig cake ever to school and it got demolished by my colleagues in record time.
Fresh Fig, Walnut, and Rosemary Upside-Down Cake
1/2 cup butter (8 tablespoons)
1 cup brown sugar
10 fresh, ripe figs of your choice, tips removed, halved
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped, divided
2-3 tablespoons walnut pieces, or as many as needed
1 cup flour, sifted*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 180c.
2. Add butter to a 9-inch-round baking pan, and place inside of a warm oven until melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the butter. Add figs, flesh side down, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the rosemary. Fill in the nooks and crannies with walnut pieces.
3. In a medium bowl, combine sifted flour, baking powder and salt, and stir.
4. Using a hand mixer, in a metal or glass bowl, beat egg whites at high speed until fluffy. Set aside.
5. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add lemon juice, zest, vanilla extract, and remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary, and beat well. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, and beat until well combined. Fold in the egg whites with a rubber spatula. Pour cake mixture evenly over the fruit, and smooth with the spatula.
6. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a blunt knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert carefully onto a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Note: Sifting the flour creates a lighter cake.
So good. You really need to get onto this if you are a fig lover!
Me, I’m going to go sit in a corner with a slice of this cake and dream of an all inclusive holiday. Mmm.