My favorite four letter “f” word in late August is “Figs”. Finally we have some figs to play with. I have been watching the trees in the neighborhood, snooping around the farmer’s markets, just waiting, thinking on simple recipes using tree ripened figs.
Sitting with a group of food friends the other day we started talking about foods we really were not aware of when we were younger, foods that we now know and love. For most of us Southerners it seems fresh figs just didn’t make it onto our radars until adulthood. I am not sure why. Fig trees thrive around here so it seems that figs would have been a summer staple just like peaches & late summer pears. I think I will do a bit of research to figure out why I never ate fresh figs as a child. As an adult I relish the arrival of this little, lush four-letter word.
“Fresh Figs-Pine Nuts Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake”
The corn meal gives it a bit of a crunch as do the pine nuts. The caramelized fig topping drizzled with maple syrup is luscious.
Ingredients: 5 to 6 fresh figs, 2 to 3 cups self-rising white or yellow cornmeal (I used gluten-free); 1 tsp ground cardamom; 1 stick good butter (Kerry gold of course!); 1 cup brown sugar; (divided into two 1/2 cups; 1/4 cups toasted pine nuts; 2 eggs; milk; real maple syrup
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a cast iron skillet, preferably, over medium high heat. Add in 1/2 cup brown sugar stirring until melted.
2. Wash & dry figs. Cut each one in half lengthwise. Place cut-side down in skillet in a circular pattern. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts over figs. Turn heat to low allowing the figs to caramelize somewhat for about 5-8 minutes.
3. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients..cornmeal, second 1/2 cup brown sugar & cardamom. Add eggs & enough milk to make a batter.
4. Pour/scrape batter into the hot skillet with the figs on top of the stove. Transfer skillet to the pre-heated oven. Bake for about 20-30 minutes until cake is golden brown and set in the middle. Remove skillet from oven and let rest for about 5 minutes.
5. Place a plate over the top of the skillet and “flip” plate & skillet upside-down. Scrape any caramel left in the pan over the top of the cake. While cake is still hot drizzle generously with real maple syrup. Cool cake for at least 10 minutes before cutting. Serve slices with additional maple syrup on side if desired.
Bonus Recipe: “Figgy Pancakes”
Ingredients: Same as for the cake recipe with a few extra figs quartered.
It was morning when I was baking the cake and had a bit of batter left over after filling the skillet. While the cake was baking I whipped up some pancakes for breakfast!
Directions: 1. Heat some butter in a small non-stick pan or griddle over high heat. Add a few quartered figs.
2. Pour in batter. When batter is set on bottom and bubbly on top flip pancake and finish cooking til golden brown.
3. Serve immediately with real maple syrup. This was one good pancake recipe!
EXTRA, EXTRA BONUS RECIPE…SEE BELOW…THE EASIEST MOST DELICIOUS WAY TO EAT FRESH FIGS…….DON’T MISS THIS ONE!
“Sea Salt & Raw Sugar Dipped Figs”
Take some wonderful fresh figs. Cut them into quarters. Sprinkle some great sea salt & raw sugar on a saucer. Dip cut edges of figs in salt-sugar mixture and eat.
Doesn’t the word “fig” conjure up an image of Adam romping around in the Garden of Eden wearing a fig leaf?
I wondered what figs would be like after they were frozen?
FYI. Mushy, but aren’t they pretty frozen?
Some “f” word music I like. A little bit different, fun and peppy to help you get figgy.
Album, “The Figs”, The Figs, 2007 Valcour Records
Album, “What Keeps Me Up At Night”, The Figs 2008
Songs, “Jumbo” & “The Long Goodbye”, Marseille Figs, 2009 Figs of London
Eat good stuff.
34 thoughts on ““A Late August Four-Letter “F” Word To Savor!””
Liz, thanks so much.
You always find a way to make even foods I dislike look delicious!
I LOVE FRESH FIGS TOO AND I ALSO ONLY STARTED TO ENJOY THEM AS A GROWN UP! BEFORE THEY WERE ONLY DRIED AVAILABLE.
Greta, that is all I remember ever eating…dried figs…I did not like them as a child and am still not a big fan unless they are hidden in a muffin or cookie! Thanks so much for checking in from Ascona.
Teresa: You have outdone yourself. This is my favorite post to date. The photographs are beautiful, the cake is so sumptuous. Looking forward to cooking with you soon!
I know…we will have a fun time here in Nashville…the only weekend in Sept that is not good is the weekend of the 29th…other than that my fall is your fall.
love figs in the skillet!
1.how did we get to, “i don’t give a fig?”
2. how come i didn’t get any of the fignesses?
I don’t know or give a fig about #1 and as to #2 you got a frittata so far this week! Maybe figs next Sunday for the Times if you are in time.
What a beautiful, yummy way to start the week!
Sara, I would love to style some figs for you to shoot. Hope you are well and great to hear from you.
It always warms my soul when a kinship is formed through the love of the same foods…especially when figs are mentioned.
During my Italian childhood summer vacations…I would spend my time getting rashes from the fig’s milk…and having Mom yell at me to get down from the fig tree 😉 Memories with a doubled edged sword. LOL
I love your gluten-free cornmeal based cake…it’s will be made in my kitchen for sure…especially since gluten-free goodies are what I strive for the most in my baking experimentation.
Loved this post…very well done Teresa ;o)
Ciao for now and happy continued fig hunting.
Claudia, thanks for your kind words. I envy your childhood eating “fresh figs”! Ciao to you as well.
Teresa this looks incredible and exactly like the short of thing I could inhale while blogging… I’ve been watching for figs at the market but I’m not sure when they come into season for us here – or if we we even grow them! As soon as I see some, I’m on this 🙂
yummy, i am a lucky man
i like to have a big print out of the first two fig shots
I miss the figs in Tunisia and Italy where I used to live. The smell of those fig trees permeating the air.
I have some stone ground corn meal from Cape Cod that would lend an amazing texture to this unique recipe of yours!!
Nicole, thanks for stopping by. I just paid your fab blog a visit and signed up. I like the suggestion of using a more coarse cornmeal for this recipe. I will try that the next time I make it. I think I have some yellow coarse ground from Bob’s Red Mill. Ciao
We have a large fig bush in our back yard. They are slow to come this year. I have great memories of my Grandmother in a dress and apron, climbing her fig tree in Macon, GA.
Turn on the broiler, split fresh figs and lay cut side up on a baking sheet. Top with crumbled blue cheese, Gorgonzola, etc, and broil until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browning. Pull the figs and drizzle with a nice balsamic. Let rest a minute or two and enjoy. Quick and easy for lazy people like me!
Bob, what great images your story conjures up for me…I think your recipe sounds divine and I shall try it with some figs this weekend. I love easy recipes using fantastic ingredients. This recipe is actually one of the longest I think I have ever posted. I am the queen of quick and delicious. Thanks for stopping by to visit. Come back soon. T
Kathi, so great to hear from you and thanks so much for stopping by.
happy that you had good luck fetching figs—the wondrous tree at Wedgewood Urban Garden was stripped bare by fig filchers! so my fig love will have to be sated by looking at this lovely post. sigh.
That cake is simply gorgeous. You know I love figs too!
I am sure you can come up with some fab fig uses in your kitchen of delights. Thanks.
Found my way here via Nancy @ Good Food Matters. I’ve been a little fig crazy myself lately. The Brown Turkey Figs I’ve been buying have been heavenly and I’ve simply eaten them straight up or with bits of blue cheese. Your pancakes and upside-down cake look excellent! Thanks for the great ideas.
So happy to have been found and please come back. T
Love this Teresa, you are making me miss my fig tree in San Diego but I am home in Dublin and stocking up on Kerrygold instead. Can’t believe it’s almost a year since Nancy and I visited you in Nashville!
It is obviously time for another long weekend visit down South. Have a wonderful time in Dublin…I am encouraging Jill at Relish to get us a press trip to Ireland sponsored by Kerrygold as I insert it into every blog and Relish recipe I can….we’ll see…..
Teresa! I don’t have an email address to contact you – but… you might have some good news waiting for you @ my blog:
Send me an email when you can love…. onewomansadventures [at] gmail [dot] com.
That fig dish looks amazing. Love love the addition of pine nuts. Great stuff! Geoff
this is sooooo amazing. The only thing I can;t eat is egg. Otherwise it looks divine. Do you think if I substitute flax seeds for eggs, will that work just fine?