figs sitting in the brown sugar and butter mixture
Fig and Thyme Upside-Down Cake
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 - 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme (this is to taste - I added almost 2 based off how the flour and thyme smelled together. I didn't want it to be overpowering but I wanted it to be noticeable)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature, divided
3/4 cup packed golden brown sugar
10 small figs sliced into discs (I covered my entire cake with discs of figs so depending on the size you might need more or less)
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
black pepper (optional)
Whipping Cream (optional)
pint of heavy whipping cream
sugar -to taste
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9-by-1 1/2-inch round cake pan.
2. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together. Stir in the thyme and set aside.
3. Melt one-fourth cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sugar has melted and combined with the butter. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan, spreading it to reach the sides.
4. Cut the figs, cut into discs and discard the stems. Arrange the figs in a circle around the cake pan, starting at the center and working outwards. Sprinkle with a dash of pepper (optional). Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
5. Beat the remaining one-half cup butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until soft and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl when needed. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk, beating after each addition just until combined.
6. Gently spoon the cake batter on top of the figs, smoothing out to the edge of the pan and making sure the cake batter fills in around the pears.
7. Bake until the top is a deep golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Place the cake on a rack to cool for 5 minutes in the pan.
8. Run a small spatula or knife around the edge of the pan and invert onto a cake plate, leaving the pan on the cake for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature
9. Make whip cream, pour pint of heavy whipping cream into bowl and add sugar to taste (usually 1-2 tablespoons) and whip with either hand mixer or stand mixer until cream becomes thick and fluffy.
10. Serve, wait for everyone's mouth's to drool while you're plating up this sugary, figgy cake and service with a big dollop of homemade whipped cream.
The only slightly sad warning is this cake doesn't last if you don't eat it past the second day. It might have lasted longer in the fridge but its so moist that it will turn before you can eat it all!