Author Notes: Figs! I love figs. Straight from the tree (or the farmers market) and into my mouth. This was truly a lesson in self control for me, as I usually consume most of the figs before even making it home. I liked the sound of Mark Bittman's Almond Cake/Tart/Fritatta, but thought it might be too egg-y for the figs. So my recipe is inspired by the Warm Almond Cakes With Grapes recipe from Gourmet's October '03 issue. Having spent a lot of time this week reminiscing about Gourmet, I thought this might be a nice way of using my figs - and remembering a great magazine. —mrslarkin
8 - 10
small ripe figs, stems removed, sliced in half vertically
cup slivered blanched almonds
cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on top of batter
zest of 1/2 large orange
cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
teaspoon vanilla extract
cup all-purpose flour
- Set oven rack to upper third. Preheat oven to 400 F. Butter an 8" cake pan and line with parchment paper.
- Process almonds, 2 Tablespoons of sugar and orange zest until finely ground.
- Beat butter and remaining sugar together at high speed until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla and combine. Add eggs, beating well after each addition. On low speed, beat in the almonds, flour and salt.
- Spread batter in cake pan. Place fig halves in concentric circles, evenly spaced, over the batter. Press in slightly. Sprinkle some sugar (about 2 tablespoons) over the entire surface. Bake on a sheet pan until cake is firm and nicely golden brown with darker edges, about 25 minutes.
- Cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Invert cake onto a dish, remove parchment, and re-invert onto a serving plate.