While you might not be fortunate enough to sample Palmieri’s figs, Dino shared this recipe for Soft Cake with Fresh Figs from his sister-in-law, Lorella, who lives in Italy. The recipe’s charming introduction is just as we received it. The recipe has been converted from metric to standard measurements.
“The soft cake with fresh figs is but a soft and gourmand donut enriched and decorated with delicious fresh figs. It is a simple and fast recipe with ingredients that are always present in our pantry. For the soft pie with fresh figs, you need ripe, juicy, and freshly picked figs. Fresh or dried figs are very versatile in the kitchen. They serve a lot of salty recipes and are well accompanied by meat. We can dry them, caramelize, and then enjoy them in winter when summer nostalgia will attack us.”
- Fresh figs to taste
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 10½ tablespoons butter (or 1 stick plus 2½ tablespoons)
- 4 eggs
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- Powdered sugar to decorate
Select fresh, ripe, unblemished figs. Wash them thoroughly and peel them. Using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter with sugar in a large mixing bowl until fluffy and well blended. Add eggs and milk to the bowl and continue to beat until smooth. Mix in the sifted flour, together with the baking powder, a little at a time. Add a pinch of salt and continue to mix at low speed until the batter is well blended. Pour the batter into a greased and floured tube cake pan or 9-inch or 10-inch bundt cake pan. Level the batter by slamming it onto your work surface. Place a quantity of fresh figs (as many as you like) on the surface of the batter and let them sink in a bit. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350° for about 30 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick. When the toothpick comes out clean, remove cake from oven, and let it cool for 20 minutes on a cooling rack. Remove cake from pan, then dust with plenty of sifted powdered sugar. Serve the soft cake with sliced fresh figs. To make it even more delicious, spray it lightly with a small amount of limoncello.
Editor’s Note: This recipe was tested using 10–12 medium figs, which allows for a nice layer in the batter, with some extra to be sliced on top. If you want to pack in extra fig flavor, bump up the number of figs used in and on top of the cake to 15.