Have you seen the beautiful fresh figs in the markets? What do you do with them? This is what I thought when I had the container of brown turkeys in my hand. I was between making a jam and making a cake. I started with the jam, because I thought that would require less work. My recipe is simple, and honestly, I did not really measure my ingredients, so what I wrote below are just approximations. You can do the same.
Fresh Fig Jam
12 fresh figs, hard stems removed, cut into a small dice
1/2 cup orange juice
1 star anise
1 tsp cinnamon
Honey or sugar to taste
1/2 cup golden raisins
Put the orange juice on the stove and bring it to a boil. Add the rest of the ingredients. Keep boiling. Remove star anise after 10 minutes (it has a strong flavor and can be overpowering if left in too long). Add enough honey or sugar to the mixture to make it sweet. Cook until figs are super soft and the mixture has thickened like jam. Then pour into a container to cool. Refrigerate until used.
After I tasted the jam, I thought that it had such a unique taste that using it on toast was not the way to go. A cake would be a better approach. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of recipes around that utilize fig jam. Instead, I used a banana cake recipe and substituted my fig jam for the banana puree.
The cake was outright delicious! The fig flavor was there but not completely identifiable. I used nuts, but I think it would have been better without them. This cake is best eaten the same day, or within 1 or 2 days. After that, the fig flavor is much less pronounced.
Here is the recipe for the cake:
Fresh Fig Cake
adapted from Carole Walter’s Banana Nut Cake recipe in Great Cakes
1 cup pureed fig jam
1/2 cup sour cream
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (preferably freshly ground)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Position rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter a 9” x 13” x 2” rectangular pan.
- Scoop the fig jam into the container of a food processor and pulse a few times until the mixture is pureed. Stir the puree into the sour cream.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg a few times using mesh sifter. Set aside
- Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and put them in the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Soften on low speed. Increase speed to medium-high and cream until smooth and light in color, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
- Add the sugars, starting with granulated sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, taking 6 to 8 minutes to blend both in well. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Add the eggs, 1 at a time at 1-minute intervals, scraping sides of the bowl as necessary. Blend in the vanilla.
- Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture alternately with sour cream/fig mixture, dividing the dry ingredients into three parts and the fig mixture into two parts, starting and ending with the flour. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 10 seconds longer.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a tablespoon. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until cake is golden brown on top, springy to the touch, and comes away from the sides of the pan.
- Remove from the oven and set the pan on a cake rack to cool. Just before serving, dust top with confectioners’ sugar. When ready to serve, cut into squares in the pan.
Storage: Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
So next time you see fresh figs, try this recipe!
My table decorations are fall inspired! Makes the house more cozy. Love it!