Fall is in full swing in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve been having almost non-stop rain in Portland for the entire month of October. As we enter in to the month of November, Katie and I are still eating bounty from our garden and enjoying the fruits from the trees. I’m especially happy about the crop of fresh figs we have this year. Last year the tree was loaded with fruit, but none of it ever ripened. This year it’s falling on the ground, there is so much of it!
That being said, what does one do with so many fresh figs? Well, some of them get sent to work for our co-workers to enjoy. I made some fig bars one weekend, mostly to try the recipe and then ship off to our respective jobs. Everyone approved. During this week I cooked a bunch of figs down with some added honey and sugar. Not having a plan for this fig jam, I just let things evolve, as I do. This morning the fig jam had a purpose.
As most of you know, I love Ruth Reichl. I am still sad about the demise of Gourmet magazine. It was far superior to Bon Appétit, in my humble opinion. Thank goodness I held on to tons of my old Gourmets. One thing I am especially happy I saved is the Letter from the Editor page that I ripped from the December 2001 issue. It is safely wrapped in a protective plastic sleeve and inserted into my binder of often used recipes.
One usually does not find a recipe on the Editor page, but good ol’ Ruth shared this one from Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book. It is a very straightforward, simple, delicious coffee cake. The addition of fig is my contribution to the recipe.
FIG COFFEE CAKE
2 STICKS UNSALTED BUTTER
1 CUP SUGAR
2 ½ CUPS ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
2 TEASPOONS BAKING POWDER
1 TEASPOON BAKING SODA
1 TEASPOON SALT
1 CUP SOUR CREAM
5 TEASPOONS VANILLA
Pre-heat oven to 350° Cream butter and sugar together in the bowl on a standing mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add this to the butter mixture. Stir sour cream and vanilla together and add to the batter. Mix just until everything comes together to a smooth, thick batter.
Grease a non-stick 10 inch bundt pan. Spoon half of the batter into the pan, smoothing evenly. Make a sort of ditch in the center of the batter. Fill the ditch with fig jam. Spoon the remaining batter over the top and spread evenly. Bake for about 45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes; remove cake from pan. You can serve this warm or at room temperature.