My first taste of fresh figs was years ago. I’d bought some from the supermarket out of curiosity. Without knowing any better, I bit into an unripe one which tasted so terrible that it left me with a distaste for figs for a long time.
Then a few months ago at the Auckland Food Show, my new friend Jyothi and I tasted some fig jam from Te Mata Figs and they knocked my socks off! So freaking delicious. I bought a jar and made up excuses to eat a spoonful every now and then and worse- hid them from my husband in the far corners of the fridge! (Shh… he still doesn’t know)
Now, whenever I buy figs I’m reminded of that fig jam and I’m aware that figs are best eaten when they are soft and very ripe. But I’ve my doubts about figs that are sold in plastic boxes as they’re probably harvested way before they’re even ripe. To make up for this lack of natural fig goodness, I bake them drizzled with honey (see my Instagram post) or stud them on this yoghurt cake, drizzle with a little honey to bring out their sticky sweetness and bake. With pistachios as its companion, this adaptation of a french yoghurt cake highlights the figs’ qualities without any fuss.
To me, the appeal of this cake is in how easy it is to make and rustic looks. I was inspired by the flavours of the middle east but you could keep it really pared down with just lemon zest and vanilla as flavouring. It is a perfect afternoon delight with tea and best eaten within a day or two after its made.
Pistachio Fig Yoghurt Cake
- 1.5 cups / 188grams plain flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 0.75 cup/ 150 gram granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 0.25 cup butter/ 50 gram butter, melted / almond oil
- 0.5 cup / 143 gram greek yoghurt
- 1 tsp rosewater/ vanilla extract
- 8-10 figs, quartered
- Large handful of toasted, crushed pistachios
- Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F. Grease and line with parchment an 8 inch / 20cm cake tin with removable bottom/springform pan.
- In a kitchen mixer, beat eggs and granulated sugar until mixture is pale, slightly thickened and no sugar granules can be felt when you rub the mixture between your fingers.
- In another bowl, sift plain flour, baking powder, ground cardamom and sea salt. Mix in grated lemon zest.
- Add eggs, greek yoghurt and melted butter/almond oil to egg-sugar mixture. Mix until just combined.
- Add flour mix to wet mix. Add rosewater/ vanilla extract. Combine until just mixed. You could also use a rubber spatula for this so as not to overmix the batter at this stage.
- Pour cake batter into prepared tin.Arrange quartered figs on top of cake without pressing into cake batter too much. Drizzle figs with a little honey.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until inserted comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack. Scatter with handful of toasted, crushed pistachios.
- Serve on its own or with a dollop of yoghurt on the side.