This all started with a fig tree in Castrofilippo, Sicily. Many, many years ago, my father-in-law, somehow was able to bring a small part of that Sicilian tree back home with him to New York City after a visit there. It was planted In the back yard at 321 East 48th Street. Over the years, several cuttings were shared with his children. Our cutting has survived several of our relocations and is now thriving here in Georgia. Not only has it survived but through multiple cuttings over the years it has given birth to dozens and dozens of trees. And that’s for another story. However, our yield is such that even though we give so many away, I am always inventing fig recipes: cakes, pies, breads, crostatas, jam muffins and so on. Who knows, I might even work on one for ice cream.
Here is a recipe for our Fig Cake. FIG CAKE
2 12/ Cups Fresh Figs – stems removed and figs mashed 1 1⁄2 Cups Sugar
1⁄2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
3⁄4 Cup Shortening
4 Eggs – lightly beaten
2 Full Cups All Purpose Flour – and a little more if mixture seems wet
1 1⁄2 Tsps Cinnamon – or more to your taste
1⁄2 Tsp Nutmeg
1 Tsp Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
1 Cup Chopped Pecans or Walnuts
1 Tsp Orange or Lemon Zest – your choice
Set Oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together sugar, figs, and shortening. Stir zest into eggs and stir briskly for a few seconds. Add eggs to fig mixture and beat well. Mix flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, baking soda and nuts together. Add this to the fig mixture and spread in a well greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake for about 45 minutes until a tester comes out clean.