Gettin’ Figgy With It

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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.

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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.

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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.

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And since my own figs won’t ripen I decided to cut a few branches and have a little photo play with them.

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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.

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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.

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Not enough for the cake that I did wind up making with the Kadota figs, but will be a nice snack!

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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)
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

xo

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About Carol

Thank you in advance for respecting my art. All the images and text posted to this blog are owned my me and protected by copyright law. Copying any of the content here without permission is against the law and you know, not cool. Many thanks again.
This entry was posted in Cooking, food photography, Gardening, Lifestyle and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Gettin’ Figgy With It

  1. Kelly Kardos says:

    Your photos are professional and magazine ready! What lens do you typically use Carol for these amazing shots? Hope you get to make your cake next year…and feel better. xo

  2. Ann Davis says:

    Carol,
    Your photography is amazing just like you. So happy you found a few beautiful figs on your tree what a lovely gift to share. This has been quite a year for both of you. Enjoy your few days away to renew and rest. Ann πŸ’•πŸŒΏπŸ’•

  3. Jana Vargas says:

    Your photography certainly is professional but you do so much more than amuse yourself with it. I cannot tell you how much I love getting a new blog post from you, from not only seeing your amazing photography skills, but reading your wisdom and insight into what you see and what you do with what you see, how you search for insight and wisdom in everything. I came across a quote a month or so so ago and wrote it out and put it on my desk to remind me to stop questioning what I do with my time and my life – seems appropriate to share here – “What you do matters far less than the love with which you do it.” – JBV

    • LeΓ³n says:

      Carol, this expresses my own feelings about your photos and your writing so well that I’m just going to say “Amen!” I hope you feel better. Please be sure to take good care of yourself, and don’t push too hard. xo

  4. Well I couldn’t agree more with Jana above. I love the quote she shared. You inspire me with every single image you post…so there’s more happening than you may ever think! So sorry to hear that you are not feeling well…it’s so hard having these ups and downs… Hoping good health for you both! That’s what’s really important! xo

  5. Totally agree with your one poster that left the wise quote. I think if it matters to you you don’t have to worry about what others think or feel. So go forth and create what you love, but it has to be what you love and not what others think you should love. Hey that is my quote to you today my sweet friend. πŸ™‚ Feel better.

  6. The recipe sounds wonderful. My son loves figs so maybe I’ll try it for him…thank you for sharing..
    Your photo’s are beautiful and as long as making them, makes you happy, just keep doing it…
    Enjoy your weekend Carol.

  7. Sandy says:

    Figs are just so danged cute. You made them look quite elegant.

  8. Aina Apelthun says:

    your pictures are really professional,
    i have never seen a fig tree, they sell them in the shop but i have never tried to bake a fig cake. Enjoy your skills , thats ok as long as it makes you happy
    happy weekend

  9. Sarah says:

    I understand the funk this year, I feel it to. I still work to improve my photography skills and honestly, I like having to push myself to try new things and learn. I never want to feel like I have arrived. You will find your way to what you are meant to do.

  10. Sharon Furner says:

    Like the fig tree, our bodies do have their own rhythm. Some years are great and others are, well, falling behind. Does great a frustration. But most serious is your health. I hope they find something to help that is lasting.
    I have not seen a fig tree that I am aware of. Only buy figs in a store or market. It is a beautiful tree with lovely colors.
    Wonderful images and a story with wisdom laced through it. smiles: sharon

  11. Max says:

    Fantastic photos, thank you so much for sharing!

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