This is a basic cake that I use for many of my desserts.
5 EGG YOLKS
5 EGG WHITES
1 ½ CUPS SUGAR
1 ¼ CUPS PASTRY FLOUR – sifted
1 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT or
½ TSP ALMOND EXTRACT
½ TSP FRESHLY GRATED LEMON ZEST
- Preheat oven to 375º.
- Butter and flour two 8 or 9-inch cake pans.
- Place egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until lemon colored. Add flour, a little at a time allowing it to blend in well. Add vanilla and lemon zest.
- In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold carefully into the cake mixture.
- Pour batter into prepared pans and bake in preheated over for about 35-40 minutes or util a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cake from oven, place on wire racks, let settle for 3 or 4 minutes and then turn out of pans onto wire racks to cool completely.
3 LBS FIGS – freshly picked
1 LEMON – cut in half
4 ½ CUPS SUGAR
2 TSPS VANILLA
1 ½ CUPS WATER
- Gently rinse figs and remove any little stems that are attached. Place figs in a large bowl filled with cold water and let sit for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make a simple syrup by boiling the sugar and water in a pot that is large enough to hold all the figs. When the syrup is thick and clear – about 15 minutes, gently add the figs, vanilla and lemon.
- Bring to a boil over high heat and let boil for a few minutes. Lower heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes.
- Once or twice during the process give the figs a stir to make sure none are sticking to the bottom of the pot. At this point I usually taste and adjust for sugar.
- When the figs are soft and the syrup has thickened, remove the figs from the stove and discard the lemon. Very carefully, using a large slotted spoon, add the figs to a blender jar and give a few pulses before adding more figs. (I put a towel over the lid and hold it down when pulsing hot stuff.)
- When all the figs are pulsed, add as much of the liquid as you wish to loosen the preserves and then pulse again. As the preserves cool, it will thicken. After all are blended, ladle into clean, hot sterilized jars.
- Let cool a little and refrigerate.
Note: The remaining juice is flavorful and sweet so I save it in the refrigerator and find other uses for it.
We have several fig trees in our yard and sometimes they ripen faster than we can eat or share them.
To save them from the squirrels, I pick and make preserves. They daringly pick a nice ripe fig and brazenly devour it right in front of us perched on the railing directly in front of our window and then leave us with just the pit!