In Lebanon, we grew up eating tree ripened figs from our grandparents’ backyards. I preferred the yellow-light-green ones and later learned that my husband’s favorite were the Brown Turkey and Black Mission varieties. The small willow baskets full of freshly picked figs patiently waiting on the kitchen counters: One of the best visual memories of those Lebanese summer days. We enjoyed the figs raw, sun dried or in jams but I don’t recall having them baked in a dessert.
Buying fresh figs here in South Florida seems like mission impossible. When I find nice ones I do not hesitate and probably buy more than I should given their short shelf life. Like the banana cake to save the sad bananas, here is the recipe for the languishing figs: Fig Raspberry Cake.
The dessert is easy to prepare and looks pretty too! The soft cooked fruits contrast with the cake texture and give it a very attractive feature: a “built-in” filling! The raspberry and orange flavors balance the sweetness of the figs.
The cake is great with your morning coffee, or for dessert, afternoon snack… Who needs excuses?
Fig Raspberry Cake
recipe credits: Rafaella Sargi
Serves 6 to 8
6 ½ oz (185 g) Unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (155 g) Granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups (330 g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
6 fresh figs, quartered
6 oz (170 g) fresh raspberries
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
You will need one round springform (removable base) cake pan 7 ½ inches (20 cm), a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, two medium bowls, a strainer (or sifter), a silicone spatula, food safe plastic wrap and a cooling rack.
Scale and prep all the ingredients.
Heat the oven to 350F (180C).
Butter and flour the cake pan.
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt and sit aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar until well combined and completely homogenous. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla and beat again. Using a silicone spatula, scrap the bottom of the mixing bowl from time to time making sure all the ingredients are well combined.
Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix gently until combined. Do not over mix the dough. It is not runny like usual cake batter but denser and feels more like a butter cookie dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the figs, raspberries and orange zest. Mix lightly without braking the fruit. Set aside.
Equally divide the cake dough in two.
Evenly spread the first half of the dough at the bottom of the prepared cake pan using the best utensils you have: your hands!
Add the fruit mixture on top and cover with the second half of the dough. Sprinkle with 1½ tablespoon of granulated sugar.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is lightly golden.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before taking it out from the pan and placing it on a cooling rack to cool completely.
adapted from Marabout: Desserts.