Figs, figs, figs! Enough to enjoy, not enough for making big batches of fig jam. I did make some sweet pickled figs in October and last week we enjoyed a lovely fig and sweet cheese galette. This time I went back to the best bake I ever have made with figs; the fig and ricotta cake. It is just so delish, I now call it THE Fig Cake. When I told my sister Karen I was making a fig cake she knew exactly which one; she and her hubby who is of Italian heritage loved it when I made it in September 2020 while visiting them and our mom for her big 100th birthday celebration. I made it about 3 weeks ago but last night I felt another ricotta cake was just the right way to use some of my last ripe figs from this season.
This recipe is a big favorite of Ina Garten; you can find it on her barefoot contessa website. I reworked it a tiny bit to make it gluten free. It has a lovely crumb and a delicate flavor that is delightful. I think this cake is definitely one I would like to try and make with other fresh fruit, cherries? Apricots? Plums? All seem like great possibilities.
You can use small figs like I did or get larger yellow ones. Which tastes better is definitely a personal decision! Dried ones will not work. I think orange zest might be a delicious substitution for lemon zest. I think you can use any cup for cup gf flour as long as it is meant for direct substitution in recipes.
Don’t forget to let the eggs and all dairy items come to close to room temp; cold from the fridge is not good for gf baking. DO not underbake the cake; the center needs to look firm not squishy. Better to bake 5 more minutes than have a soggy center.
I think this cake tastes great warm but once it is cool it is still delish; you can warm slices briefly in the microwave before serving; I did this once and loved it.
Fig and Ricotta Cake
10 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 extra large eggs; I just picked the three largest in my dozen large eggs
1 cup whole milk ricotta; also at room temp.
2 Tbsp. sour cream; room temp.
1 Tsp. vanilla extract
½-1 Tsp. fresh grated lemon zest
1 ¼ cups Bob’s Red Mill One for One Gluten Free flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 Tsp. kosher salt
8 large or 12 medium figs, stems removed! Quarter if large, halve if smaller
1 Tbsp. coarse sugar or finishing sugar
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour a 8 inch removable bottom round cake pan. Tap out excess flour.
Beat butter and sugar in stand mixer at medium speed for 3 minutes, scrape down as needed. Until it is fluffy. Then add eggs one at a time, beating well between eggs. Add ricotta, sour cream, vanilla, zest and mix until smooth. Mix dry ingredients in small bowl and add in thirds, mixing well between additions. Pour into prepared cake pan. Place figs, cut side up in pan; I started with a ring around the outside and worked my way inside pressing them in a bit. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 40-48 minutes until a cake tester in center comes out clean. I did 46 minutes. The top should be browned but not really dark. Cool on a rack for 15-20 minutes before removing side panel. Serve warm with whipped cream, crème fraiche or ice cream. I actually like it best plain so I can focus on the amazing flavors and texture. Enjoy!
This is a re-blogging of the recipe first published by my blog in Sept, 2020. Minor text changes and some new photos. Recipe unchanged.