Wednesday, June 20, 2007

sunday supper: it's not the figs fault

No really, everything I've read about E. Coli and most other types of food poisoning say that it is probably caused by something you ate 24-72 hours before the onset of the illness. So even though I must admit that the sight of these pictures from Sunday night's dinner makes my stomach turn slightly, I really don't think any of it is the culprit. Poor figs. I wonder if I'll never look at them the same way again.

I guess they are kind of weird looking anyway. But oh how I love fresh figs. Sweet, with the teeniest crunch of the seeds. It's a fruit that I was admittedly not very familiar with until just a couple of years ago. To me, a fig was usually found dried and meant for old constipated people or for stuffing into a Newton. Fresh figs were not on every supermarket shelf. But now I guess they are much more popular, considering that I found these in our local ghetto Key Food supermarket. This concoction is a Fresh Fig Cake, easy, delicious, and surprisingly light, it gets most of it's sweetness from the fruit.

It can't get much easier than whipping up some cake batter, slicing up the figs and simply laying them on top of the batter.

When it bakes, the cake puffs up around the figs, like a fluffy pillow cushioning the jewels of fruit. Recipe after the jump:

[adapted from Country Living, July 1998]

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup nonfat or lowfat vanilla yogurt
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
grated zest of a small lemon (optional)
about 12 black mission figs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch round springform cake pan and set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. Add the yogurt and eggs and beat until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Fold in the lemon zest if using. Pour the batter into the cake pan and level.

Remove the stem end of each fig and slice in half lengthwise. Lay the fig halves on top of the cake batter, beginning with the outside edge and alternating cut side up with cut side down. Continue until the cake is covered.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool for a short time, serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

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