Tag Archives: fig

Fig and Raspberry Cake

Fig cake tastefood

It’s a virtual baking weekend, since it’s simply too hot to turn on the oven.
Instead I’ll dream about this Fig and Raspberry Upside Down Cake and share the recipe with you from the TasteFood archives.

Upside-down baking is  irresistable to me, whether it’s in the form of a tarte tatin or a cake. The common denominator is a gorgeous, gooey caramelized bottom, which, once inverted, becomes the top. Nestled in the sticky caramel goodness are chunks of seasonal fruit, which release their juice and perfume the pastry, while studding the topping like jewels in a crown.

The other winning quality of upside-down desserts is that they are generously flexible with the seasons. In the fall, pears and apples are the fruit of choice. In the summer, stone fruit, figs and berries display their wonders. Mix and match to your taste. It’s impossible to go wrong.

Fig and Raspberry Upside-Down Cake

Semolina adds a beautiful golden hue and a little crumble to the cake.

Serves 10-12

1/2 cup plus 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
8 large figs, halved lengthwise
3 ounces raspberries
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup semolina
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 325 F.  Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment and butter the parchment. Tightly wrap the bottom of the pan with foil.
Melt the 1/2 cup butter and the light brown sugar together in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking to combine. Pour into the springform pan. Arrange the figs, cut side down in a circular pattern in the sugar. Fill in the gaps with the raspberries.
Beat the 1 cup butter and the granulated sugar in a mixer with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the buttermilk, lemon zest, and vanilla. Whisk the flour, semolina, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Add to the batter, mixing just to combine. Pour over the fruit and smooth with a spatula. Bake in the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes then invert onto a plate. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Figs and Brie

fig cheese tastefood

Figgy cheese – or would that be cheesy figs?

Simplicity combined with fresh ingredients is the essence of great summer food. There need not be a lot of fuss when produce is at it’s peak in flavor. Keep it simple so that nature’s flavors shine through. I made these figs as an appetizer the other night with a minimum of ingredients in 10 minutes. You can too.

Oven Roasted Figs and Brie with Thyme

Drizzle a little honey over the figs after they roast, if desired. These figs were so sweet and sublime I chose not to add anymore sugar. These figs are also delicious on crostini.

Makes 12

6 large ripe fresh figs, halved lengthwise
4 ounces soft rind cheese, such as brie, camembert, reblechon
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh thyme sprigs

Heat the oven broiler. Place the figs in a cast iron pan or baking dish cut-side up. Slice the cheese and cut in squares no larger than the width of the figs. Lay the slices in the center of the figs. Broil until the cheese is melted and lightly golden. Remove from the oven and drizzle with a little olive oil. Lightly season with a few pinches of salt and a grinding or two of black pepper. Garnish with fresh thyme. Serve immediately.

More fig inspiration:
Prosciutto Wrapped Figs with Goat Cheese and Rosemary from TasteFood
Grilled Figs with Honeyed Mascarpone from the Kitchn
Roasted Fig Flatbreads with Chevre and Greens from Annie Eats

Salame, Figs, Fennel and a Sandwich Showdown

  Figs, Fennel Salami, Goat Cheese, Arugula, Apple-Fennel Slaw
plus 1 Mystery Ingredient

Yesterday I participated in “TopWichSF” a sandwich-showdown hosted by San Francisco’s Colombus Salame and Sean Timberlake, author of Hedonia and founder of Punk Domestics. I am a big fan of Columbus products, and was more than pleased to be 1 of 3 bloggers invited to this event to promote Columbus’ new line of Farm to Fork Naturals salame. The setting couldn’t have been more perfect, outside on the sunny terrace of Hotel Vitale’s Cafe Americano, overlooking the San Francisco Embarcadero in the company of my formidable competition, John Mitzewich and Michael Procopio.

To begin with, Sean had created a sampling of small bites he created using Columbus products for us to taste. We were then introduced to the Colombus company, and given a little back ground on its 100 year history and the intricacies of flavoring and shaping various salame. I didn’t realize how important a role the casings play in distinguishing flavor – and, apparently, size does matter.


Before we donned our aprons, we were whisked across the street via Pedi-Cabs (picture a bicycle rickshaw with crossfit drivers) to the San Francisco Ferry Building, a bastion of glorious food purveyors, restaurants and specialty shops. We were given ten dollars and ten minutes to purchase the secret ingredient of our choice which would catapult our sandwiches to the highest level and propel one of us bloggers to the winning title. We then had a brief yet scenic trip back to the hotel where we returned to our battle stations on the patio, providing extra entertainment for the restaurant patrons at the nearby tables.

In 20 fast minutes, we had to create our sandwich masterpieces and plate for 5 esteemed judges from Chow, Tasting Table, SFWeekly, YumSugar and Columbus. No time to get nervous. And no time to taste my sandwich either – the time just flew by. After the judges compared notes and tallied scores, the winner was … John! He made a smoked turkey and soppressata sandwich embelished with a pluot and pinenut relish and harissa (no wonder). Michael’s  sandwich was beyond creative with grilled turkey and soppressata with apples, slathered in  bone marrow butter. (These guys are good). As for me, I kept things fresh and made a fennel salami, fig and goat cheese sandwich topped with fennel-apple slaw and a sprinkle of fennel pollen (my secret ingredient). John generously donated his cash prize to the San Francisco Food Bank, and I think we all won by experiencing a fun and fabulous day and opportunity to meet a few friends in the blogging community and the friendly faces behind Columbus Salame.

As for my sandwich, I’ve recreated it here – mostly for you, but also for me, since I never had a chance to take a bite of the one I made yesterday. Buon appetito!

Fennel, Fig and Salami Sandwich with Goat Cheese

Many specialty stores will carry fennel pollen with their spices, but don’t despair if you can’t find it. A little sprinkle definitely adds an extra boost of flavor, but this sandwich is equally delicious without. Alternatively, add 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon to the oil in place of the pollen. Makes one sandwich.

Mustard Fennel Oil:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1/4 teaspoon fennel pollen
Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Apple Fennel Slaw:
1/2 small green or fuji apple, thinly sliced in small matchsticks
1/2 small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt

1 ciabatta roll

2.5 ounces soft, fresh goat cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon fennel pollen, or to taste
1 – 2 figs, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 ounces thinly sliced fennel salami
Small handful fresh arugula leaves

Make the Mustard-Fennel Oil:
Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Make the Apple-Slaw:
Toss all of the ingredients together in another small bowl. Set aside.

Assemble sandwich:
Horizontally slice the ciabatta roll in half. Spread the bottom half with the goat cheese. Sprinkle with black pepper and fennel pollen. Arrange the figs over the cheese in one layer. Top with 2 layers of overlapping fennel salami slices. Top the salami with arugula, then top the arugula with some of the apple-fennel slaw (you may not need all of it). Spread the cut side of the top half of the ciabatta with the Mustard-Fennel Oil and cover the sandwich. Eat immediately.

Fig and Raspberry Upside-Down Cake



~
Upside-down baking is  irresistable to me, whether it’s in the form of a tarte tatin or a cake. The common denominator is a gorgeous, gooey caramelized bottom, which, once inverted, becomes the top. Nestled in the sticky caramel goodness are chunks of seasonal fruit, which release their juice and perfume the pastry, while studding the topping like jewels in a crown.

The other winning quality of upside-down desserts is that they are generously flexible with the seasons. In the fall, pears and apples are the fruit of choice. In the summer, stone fruit, figs and berries display their wonders. Mix and match to your taste. It’s impossible to go wrong.

~
Fig and Raspberry Upside-Down Cake

Semolina adds a beautiful golden hue and a little crumble to the cake. Serves 10-12

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1 cup light brown sugar
8 large figs, halved lengthwise
3 ounces raspberries
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup semolina
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 F. (170 C.)  Butter a 9 inch springform pan. Line bottom with parchment and butter the parchment. Tightly wrap the bottom of the pan with foil.
Melt 1/2 cup butter and light brown sugar together in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking to combine. Pour into the springform pan. Arrange the figs, cut side down in a circular pattern in the sugar. Fill in the gaps with the raspberries.
Beat 1 cup butter and granulated sugar in a mixer with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in buttermilk, zest and vanilla. Stir dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add to the batter, mixing just to combine. Pour over the fruit and smooth with a spatula. Bake in oven 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and cool 10 minutes. Invert onto a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.



Roasted Fig Crostini

Fig tf

Oh, how I want to love figs. I am attracted to their shape and color, perfectly plump little bulbs, striated in violets and yellows, or hued in light green and dark purple. Soft and sensual to the touch and mildly aromatic, perhaps it’s their mildness that confounds me. Faintly sweet, yet nutty and vegetal, I find the fig elusive in flavor, its softness shrouding it like a mysterious woman in a cloak. I know there is more to the fig, and I want to discover it. I want to love it.

So, I found a ploy, or really a method, to reveal its secrets. By roasting figs in the oven, their taste and texture take on a whole new dimension. The fruit is coaxed from its shroud of vagueness, its natural sugars oozing and caramelizing, while its plumpness is reduced to a crispy intensity that bursts with flavor. There is no coyness or ambiguity with a roasted fig. It’s sweetness and articulated flavor is a perfect match with other ingredients, such as goat cheese and basil. Try it, you’ll like it. In fact, you will love it.

Roasted Fig Crostini

Makes 8

Extra-virgin olive oil
4 figs, sliced lengthwise, 1/4-inch thick
8 slices of baguette, cut on the diagonal, 1/2-inch thick
6 ounces soft mild goat cheese
Runny honey
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 whole basil leaves

Preheat oven to 400 F. (200 C.)
Lightly oil baking tray. Arrange fig slices in one layer. Lightly brush tops with olive oil. Bake in oven until bubbly and beginning to caramelize, about 20 minutes. While figs are roasting, brush baguette slices with olive oil. Arrange on another baking tray in one layer. Bake in same oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes. To assemble crostini, spread baguette slices with goat cheese. Arrange 1-2 figs over cheese in one layer. Lightly drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with a basil leaf. Serve immediately.

Prosciutto, Fig, Arugula and Goat Cheese Roll-ups with Honey

Prosciutto Fig

It’s November and there are baskets of figs for sale in our market.  As a transplant from northern Europe, I find this positively decadent.  I was shopping yesterday for an autumn dinner, thinking of apples, braising meat, a turnip or two. I rounded the corner in the produce department, and there they were:  baskets and baskets of plump purpley-green tinged figs  And they didn’t even look sad or weary from lengthy storage or intercontinental jet travel.  These were the real ripe deal – all perky, fresh and plump.  So, of course, I had to have them.

FIgs and Prosciutto
And this is what I made with what I had at home in my refrigerator:

Prosciutto, Fig, Arugula and Goat Cheese Roll-ups with Honey
Makes 16

8 slices prosciutto, cut in half horizontally
8 small figs, halved or 4 large figs, quartered
2 cups arugula leaves, washed and dried
1/3 cup soft mild goat cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Runny honey

Lay prosciutto slice on work surface.  Arrange 1-2 fresh arugula leaves at one end.  Place fig on top of arugula.  Spoon one teaspoon goat cheese over fig and arugula.  Sprinkle with a pinch of pepper.  Roll up prosciutto from end with fig.  Arrange on serving plate.  Repeat with remaining ingredients. (Roll-ups can be prepared 3 hours ahead of serving.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Allow to come to room temperature before serving.)  Lightly drizzle honey over roll-ups before serving.