Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fresh Fig Muffins

fresh fig muffins-1
When my husband and I purchased our home way back when, we were particularly thrilled that our backyard had a variety of fruit trees growing: orange, grapefruit, lemon, peach and fig.

During the summers, we would gorge ourselves silly with the bounty of peaches and figs that we harvested from our postage stamp sized backyard. I didn't do a lot of cooking and baking back then, so most of the fruit was eaten fresh, and what we didn't eat were shared with family and friends.
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Fast forward 10 years, and it was time for us to embark on a massive home remodel. For various reasons, we had to relinquish the fruit trees had to go to make our outdoor living space practical and accessible. It was truly a sad day when our backyard was demo'ed, and we bid adieu to our fruit trees.

I miss those fruit trees, especially the fig tree. I've grown to love the lush, juicy texture, the slight crunch from the seeds, and the earthy sweetness of the ripe fruit. When figs are in season at the farmers market (which is right now), I will pounce on baskets of this delicious fruit.
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I've always enjoyed eating figs very simply - fresh figs, chevre and honey is my favorite. Recently, I've started to explore cooking and baking with the fruit.

I've recently discovered that dried figs are a fantastic substitution for raisins and other dried fruits in recipes. Now, before the season is over, I want to explore recipes using fresh figs. fresh fig muffins-4
I thought that this recipe for fresh fig muffins would be a great start for me. These muffins are not fussy, and I like that.
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These muffins are soft and fluffy, and the figs basically melt into the muffin. The dark brown sugar and cinnamon provide a subtle spiciness to the cake, but still allow the flavor of the figs to shine.
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With the success of this recipe, I'll definitely be doing some more cooking and baking with figs with the few weeks left this summer. I found this list of "what to do with figs recipes" while surfing on the web, and I'm definitely going to take some of the suggested recipes for a test drive. If you have a tried and true recipe using fresh figs, I would love to hear about it!

Fresh Fig Muffins
adapted from The Craft of Baking by Karen DeMasco
makes 12 muffins

1 C AP flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 C buttermilk
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 C dark brown sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 C chopped fresh mission figs (5-6 figs)

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Generously butter a standard 12 cup muffin pan or line it with paper liners.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

In a second small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla.

Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar until well combined.

With the mixer at low speed, alternate adding the the dry and liquid ingredients - 1/3 flour mixture, 1/2 buttermilk mixture, 1/3 flour mixture, 1/2 buttermilk mixture, 1/3 flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix.

Remove bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the figs.

Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling them 3/4 full.

Bake until the muffins are a deep golden brown in color, 25-30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Then turn out muffins from the pan and let them cool completely on the wire rack.


Susan @ SGCC said...

Fresh figs are one of my favorite treats. My dad had the most prolific fig tree in his yard. Sadly, after he passed away, it never bore fruit again.
I love the idea of using fresh figs in muffins. They look wonderful! I'm going to check out that list too.

My Little Space said...

Ooo... these fresh fig muffins look awesome! Wish I can get the fresh ones here. I can only get the dried figs and it's very pricy too. Hmm... salivating already! Hope you're enjoying your day.
Cheers, kristy

Rachel said...

the muffins look great and your fig photos are beautiful!

The Food Librarian said...

Fresh figs are the best!!! Sad that your tree had to go...but lucky we have farmer's markets. Will I see you at HFM at 8 am on Sunday? Hope so! - mary

Linda said...

Mary -
I'll need a venti Starbucks, but I will see you there in first thing in the am!

The last time I browsed the cookbook sale, I got to the HFM at 10am, and the books were already picked over...argh. I vowed not to let that happen next time. :)

Eliana said...

WOW - these muffins look amazing. And your photos are great too.

Carol Peterman said...

I love figs! So sorry your tree had to go, but you might try finding a tiny space to plant another one. I just planted one after learning that they can be pruned and kept small like a bush and will still produce fruit. I'm not going to get fruit this year, but hopefully next!

Sue said...

I just made these yesterday and they are delicious! I didn't have buttermilk, so I looked it up and you add 1 TBL. of fresh lemon juice to a cup of milk. I only made 1/2 cup since that's what the recipe called. Will definitely make these again. So moist and the whole house smelled wonderful. I will probably double the recipe next time I have fresh figs.

Leyla said...

I made these last year but forgot about the recipe until our figs came and I was DREAMING of these muffins. Will be making these today, just wanted to say thanks for this delicious recipe <3

Anonymous said...

These muffins were moist and delicious! I added some orange zest and a few slivered almonds for a little more eastern flair. It was a great way to use up my buttermilk and some (not all) of my basket of figs as 5 diced up in the batter was plenty.

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