Yesterday, Cuesa's posted the most inviting photo of candy-like green striped fig to Instagram. I noticed it while posting to Instagram. I was posting a photo of this adorable brown Boston Terrier. But that fig photo stuck with me. I starting thinking about it in a sensual way. I began to salivate thinking about those figs!
The romance with figs and me began as a child. My grandparents would always have Fig Newtons to share. My sister and I loved them. True love. Then I moved to California and discovered the perfect fig at Monterey Market in Berkeley. Cooking with figs is wonderful because they can become so plentiful at summer's end.
During a trip to Paris, we stayed in an apartment atop a very chic bistro offering morning pastry & coffee. The chef made gallons of preserves made from perfectly ripened summer fruit. We had fig jam most mornings. It was the perfectly prepared version of fresh fruit. In preparation, the fleshy fruit requires careful handling and a delicate manner. I'll never forget that fig jam. It was absolute French and amazing.
On the way to lunch I began thinking about those figs. I needed to find those figs. I had a very structured day and couldn't really get to the Ferry Building and back in time to prep dinner. Would I be able to find a good fig in the Inner Sunset? It was Saturday. No farmer's market on Saturday. A corner market? No.
I parked in front of Andronico's and found three varieties of figs. All were pretty close to ripe or already ripened. I found a small pint that was perfectly ripened. At this point, I am feeling a bit like Goldilocks. Andronico's was a good source for our dinner of fresh wild local fish, Valencia paella rice, pitted Nicoise olives for the children, and perfectly ripened green striped figs.
After reading about figs on the Cuesa site, I better understand my romance with these fruits which are not actually fruits. Thought to be the first cultivated crop, the figs are an evolutionary anomoly. Reflecting a true marriage with its pollinators, the fig is actually an inverted flower with the perfect entry for the bee. All of this is so sexy. Honestly, I am a bit shocked to learn this.
It seemed the perfect fruit to serve to our dinner guests last night, who happen to be newlyweds. Also, my husband always loves perfectly ripened figs. Figs make everyone happy.
Sadly, I don't have a recipe to share with you for a cooked fig. We ate them simply sliced with this bruleed yogurt pound cake & whipped cream. We ate it up so quickly, I didn't get a photo of the final dessert. However, I am including a photo of a little Napoleon made with slices of this sophisticated pound cake.
Lemon-Yogurt Pound Cake
Yield: 1 9" cake pan or 1 12" loaf pan
3 each, Eggs
1/4 cup Yogurt
2 tsp Vanilla
1.5 cups Sifted Cake Flour (9 oz)
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 pound Butter, room temperature
2 cups Granulated Sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine liquid ingredients. Reserve.
- Sift dry ingredients. Reserve.
- Into a Kitchenaid Mixer, with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar. Add dry ingredients. Allow to gently blend.
- Add half liquid ingredients. Blend until incorporated.
- Add remaining liquid ingredients. Blend completely. Use rubber spatula to scrape bottom.
- Bake in parchment-lined pan for about 50 minutes. Turn cake halfway through bake time.