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Author Notes: I created this Fresh Fig, Walnut, and Rosemary Upside-Down Cake recently when I had a surplus of lush California figs. The recipe is an adaptation from my late grandmother's famous pineapple upside-down cake recipe. The sweet, ripe figs become encased in a buttery brown sugar crust, while the savory rosemary and tangy lemon balance the cake's sweetness. —Food Blogga
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 10 fresh, ripe figs of your choice, tips removed, halved
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, divided
- 2-3 tablespoons walnut pieces, or as much as needed
- 1 cup flour, sifted*
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- zest of 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F.
- 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 up, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the rosemary. Fill in the nooks and crannies with walnut pieces.
- In a medium bowl, combine sifted flour, baking powder and salt, and stir.
- Using a hand mixer, in a metal or glass bowl, beat egg whites at high speed until fluffy. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.