Fresh figs are addictive eating for Italians; they are the best dessert. But when they are out of season, there are always dried figs to munch on or to add to this delicious country cake.
15 dried California figs, stemmed and cut into quarters (1 cup
orange liqueur or orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons
Filippo Berio olive oil
medium size eggs
whole seedless red grapes
Butter a 9 x 2 inch round cake pan and line it with parchment paper. Butter the paper. Set aside.
Place the diced figs in a bowl and cover with orange liqueur or orange juice. Let stand 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar and olive oil. Fold in half the flour mixture until well blended. Add half the buttermilk, and stir in. Add the remaining flour mixture and fold in, then the remaining buttermilk.
Add the figs and their liquid and fold in well.
Pour the batter into the cake pan. Press the grapes into the batter.
Bake 45 minutes or until the cake is nicely browned and a cake skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool the cake on a cake rack until it reaches room temperature. Run a butter knife along the inside edges of the pan and invert the cake onto a cake dish.
Remove and discard the parchment paper. Serve the cake plain, with a puff of whipped cream or a sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar.
Note: If using the whipped cream, pipe it out along the side of the cake and add a whole dried fig for garnish.
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