Our fig tree is 10 years old now. It took 4 years before it started bearing fruit. Since then we have had a decent harvest every year…except this year.
We actually have lots of figs on the tree…unripe ones that is. For some reason this year the tree didn’t start setting fruit until late in the season and now there aren’t enough warm, sunny days left to ripen the fruit.
I wanted to make a cake I saw in a magazine so I decided to buy some Kadota figs. They are the yellowish green ones laid out on the table above.
And since my own figs won’t ripen I decided to cut a few branches and have a little photo play with them.
I actually feel a bit of a kinship with this fig tree. This year I too am feeling like I’m a bit late to the party. My photo skills have developed to what I would consider professional level, finally. But, what to do with these new skills beyond amusing myself? Maybe that’s okay. Maybe I’m just in a feeling old funk. Maybe it’s my current state of health. I’ve had a relapse of the ear ringing, dizziness, and nausea I thought I had left behind several weeks ago.
I need to take my cue from the fig tree that hasn’t given up yet. I found these three ripe figs on the tree yesterday and it looks like I might get 3 or 4 more before the first frost.
Not enough for the cake that I did wind up making with the Kadota figs, but will be a nice snack!
Here’s the recipe for the cake
Cornbread Coffee Cake with Fresh Figs & Walnut Streusel
adapted from the recipe printed in Saveur Magazine, Summer 2016 issue and by Vivian Howard
For walnut streusel:
- 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
For cornbread cake:
- 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter + 2 teaspoons room-temperature butter
- 3 cups figs, stems removed, divided
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Whipped cream (optional)
- Make the streusel: In a medium bowl, toss together all the ingredients but the butter, taking care to distribute them all evenly. Add the butter and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a web crumb.
- Make the cake: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and butter a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with 2 teaspoons butter. Cut 1 cup figs into eighths. Cut the remaining 2 cups in half lengthwise and set aside.
- In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together 8 Tablespoons butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure the first egg is fully incorporated before adding the second. From this point forward, make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically with a spatula. Add the cornmeal, roughly 1/2 cup at a time, until it’s just incorporated. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another smaller bowl, whisk the buttermilk and vanilla. With the mixer on low, add the sifted flour and buttermilk alternately in three batches, ending with the flour. Using your spatula, fold in the sour cream and the cup of figs cut into eighths.
- Spoon half the corn-cake mixture into the bottom of the skillet and spread it out with a spatula. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top and finish with the remaining batter. Press the halved figs into the top, pink-flesh side up, taking care not to cluster them together at the center. Bake uncovered, in the middle of your oven, for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool completely and serve with whipped cream, if using.
This tasted super good and I must confess Brian & I over-indulged a bit on this! If you give it a try please let me know what you think.
Well that’s pretty much it for me. My last blog post was on 9/28/16 and I’ve been away from social media for almost two weeks as well so I kind of feel like this was a big accomplishment for me!
Hope you are all doing well. Thanks so much for stopping by.