Rosh Hashanah

Fresh Fig, Walnut, and Rosemary Upside-Down Cake

October  2, 2009
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

  • Serves 8
  • 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
In This Recipe
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F.
  2. 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.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine sifted flour, baking powder and salt, and stir.
  4. Using a hand mixer, in a metal or glass bowl, beat egg whites at high speed until fluffy. Set aside.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
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