Saturday, May 2, 2009

Fig and Lemon Olive Oil Cake and a photo tip

After conversing over the blogosphere with her for the last several months, I finally met Stacey of "Stacey Snacks" face-to-face.
Stacey's recipes and photos gets me drooling first thing every morning, and I borrowed this recipe for fig and lemon cake from her blog. Lucky for me she lives in New Jersey and comes to Princeton fairly often for business. She was also kind enough to teach me a new function on my little point and shoot Canon camera that I'll share with you now.

This shot of a bowl of frozen figs thawing out was taken indoors in my kitchen at night, with regular tungsten light bulbs overhead. Little did I know that you could change your camera's setting to adjust for the light source, including florescent lighting. Here's what my photo looked like before I changed it to the tungsten light bulb setting. It had been set on the default setting that came with the camera and doesn't look so great with that yellow-y overtone does it?
A couple of little clicks on the back of the camera where you set it to a little icon that looks like a lightbulb and you've got this instead. What a difference. Thanks Stacey.
Now that it stays light longer into the evening, I will try to use natural light more often, but it's great to know that my camera has this function for those times when I'm relying on indoor lights. If you've got Photoshop (which I don't), you may also be able to change the white balance in the editing.

On to the cake! Stacey used dried figs for her cake, but I had stashed some fresh figs in the freezer last September and I figured it was time to use some of them. I had both the purple and the green kind put away and used a little of each variety. The cake was delicious with the fresh figs, but I have a feeling that for this recipe, the dried figs might be even better, with their concentrated sweet flavor and chewiness.Here's the finished cake. Stacey's recipe follows.Fig & Lemon Olive Oil Cake: (inspired by Martha Stewart)
Stacey's recipe calls for a removable bottom tart pan, but I used a ceramic tart pan instead. Just make sure to grease it thoroughly first.

2/3 cup olive oil, plus more for pan
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

8 oz. package of dried figs, chopped (I used about 1 1/2 cups of frozen figs that had been thawed)
zest of one lemon
1 tsp of fresh chopped rosemary

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (or a cake pan lined with parchment paper) with oil; set aside.

In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together oil, milk, and egg; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk mixture, and stir with a rubber spatula just until smooth (do not over mix).

Gently fold in figs and lemon zest and rosemary.
Spread batter in prepared pan; set pan on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.


  1. It looks perfect!
    I hope everyone likes it.
    I am jealous of that bowl of frozen figs....and I never knew you could freeze fresh figs.
    It's a done deal.

  2. That's an awesome recipe and hello to Stacey!

  3. Thanks for the tip and for the fantastic recipe! I love olive oil cakes, I wish they were better appreciated in North America. Figs are my hands-down favourite fruit, if only their season was a bit longer... *sighs*
    Have a good weekend :)

  4. The cake sounds great, I saw Stacey's too. I just have to make it.
    Good photo tips!

  5. Wow, what a different. Thanks to you and Stacey for this useful tips. Hmm, Fig cake sounds so delicious!

  6. Wow, looks great! Love figs...could not stop staring at the pictures...

  7. Linda, It's so nice that you and Stacey got to meet you both look gorgeous! I wish I was there with you both, how fun!

  8. you should also check out the manual white balance feature on the Canon as well!

    We also made that cake recipe of stacey's and loved it, although her date and nut loaf is still my favorite.

  9. Thank you for this great recipe which I'll try this summer. And for the tip of freezing fresh figs - why hadn't I ever thought of that????

  10. Hum, il donne l'eau à la bouche, ce gâteau !!!
    En France, en Provence, nous mangeons les figues avec du fromage de chèvre et un bon petit vin rouge, nous adorons ça !
    Délicieux !
    Kisses from France,

  11. stacey telling secrets again - great looking cake - I love figs I should probably make this cake...

  12. Hi Linda...the cake looks delicious but I love the camera tip...what a difference between the two shots...very good to know..We went to the street fair last Saturday and it was such fun...the streets were packed, we couldn't believe all the people and all the food! thanks for telling me about it...Sue.

  13. Oh how luscious! My grandfather had a fig tree (in Queens, NYC) and I dream about it. In Minnesota, there are none to be had.

  14. Great tip! What a nice picture of you and Stacey.

  15. I've met that gal...I met Stace last year in NYC and she's a great gal, can converse with the Greeks and I consider her a friend. The cake is light, speaks to my Greek tastes.

  16. You both look so pretty! I was going to ask where you were able to buy fresh figs this time of year, and then I saw that you froze them! Great idea if I ever have too many, but I doub that as my husband eats the ones from our tree as quickly as they ripen :-)

  17. Wow, you froze your figs! Why have I never thought of that!!!!

    I'd love to try this cake next year.