Hello, Amy here playing with the last of the summer fruits. My mom’s Black Mission Fig tree, planted by my grandfather so many years ago, yields two crops a year, early and late summer. The flowers open and are self pollinated inside the developing fruit. This baby fig tree had its first two fruits this year.
We mostly eat them fresh, the entire fruit with skin, seeds and all, leaving only the stem. They dry beautifully on screens outside, or in a hot car.
I wanted to do something special with the figs, so I consulted Sweet Simplicity: Jaques Pépin’s Fruit Desserts. Broil the figs!
I halved the fruit and decided that they were plenty sweet. If they weren’t, I would have sprinkled with sugar as suggested. After a few minutes under the broiler, they were even sweeter and the flavor concentrated, but still moist and easier to eat than dried.
Jacques made a sauce with strained peach preserves, but I had a few tiny fresh peaches from higher elevation southern Arizona.
I seeded and chopped the peaches, skins included. So much color, nutrition and fiber is in the skin. Plus I like varied textures.
The peaches simmered with a tiny bit of water for a few minutes, until soft.
I pureed the peaches and seasoned with a squeeze of lemon and a splash of rum.
That worked! So when someone gave me a handful of little plums, I immediately consulted the same book to show off the little treasures.
Here is my version of the Plum and Almond Cake
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup almonds
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup heavy cream
14 little plums
1/4 cup apricot jam
2 teaspoons hazelnut liqueur
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 inch or similar size baking dish. Grind almonds in a food processor until powdered. Add the rest of dry ingredients and process. Add the wet ingredients and pulse into a batter. Spread batter into prepared dish and nestle in the whole fruit. Bake for 55 minutes or until the cake is browned. Mix the jam and liqueur and brush on top of the cake. Warn the eaters of the pits and enjoy!