Fig, pistachio and honey tea cake

Our kitchen garden cook reveals her favourite recipes with figs.

Fabulously juicy and fragrant, figs are one of my kitchen-garden favourites. Incredibly versatile, they can be roasted, poached or used for chutney and jam, but if you’re like me and prefer them straight off the tree, then you’ll enjoy my recipe below, which uses fresh figs.

Fig, pistachio and honey tea cake (serves 6)

250g unsalted butter, cooler than room temperature
200g caster sugar
50ml honey
1tspn vanilla-bean paste
4 free-range eggs
2tspn baking powder
150g spelt flour
100g ground almonds
30ml buttermilk
5 figs
100g pistachios
30ml honey for drizzling

Preheat your oven to 170˚C/325˚F/gas mark 3. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat the eggs separately with the honey and vanilla before adding them to the mixture.

Stir the baking powder, spelt flour and ground almonds together and then add them to the bowl, mixing on medium until combined. Stir the buttermilk through the ingredients and then pour into a greased loaf tin. Bake for about 45–50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

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Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack. While it’s still warm, use a toothpick to make holes in the cake and then pour warmed honey over it (20 seconds in a microwave will make your honey pourable). Slice the figs and arrange on the surface before scattering chopped pistachios over the top.

Drizzle a little more honey across the cake to make it shine. Serve in generous slices with vanilla ice cream.

More ways with figs

Mini fig and rosemary pizzas
Mix together 450g plain flour, a 7g sachet of dried yeast, a splash of olive oil, 300ml warm water and a teaspoon of salt in a bowl and set aside for 20 minutes. Tip the dough out and knead it for 10 minutes before placing it in an oiled bowl. Cover with clingfilm and set aside in a warm place until it’s doubled in size. Flatten small balls of dough into small rounds. Top with a generous brushing of olive oil, a scattering of mozzarella, Parma ham, rosemary sprigs, and fresh, sliced figs. Cook in a hot oven for about 8 minutes and, once out of the oven, add seasoning and fresh rocket.

Fig, Parma ham and burrata salad with jalapeño honey
Take 2 figs per person, 4 slices Parma ham per person and allow one burrata per couple and arr-ange these ingredients over fresh rocket and basil. Place sliced jalapeños in a jar of runny honey. It will only take about 10 minutes for the flavours to infuse. Drizzle the spicy honey over the whole salad before dressing with simple olive oil, balsamic vinegar and seasoning.

Fig-and-almond crumbles
Mix together 100g ground almonds, 50g flaked almonds, 50g brown sugar and a teaspoon of ground ginger and dot with 25g butter. Place on a foil-lined baking tray and bake in a hot oven for 10 minutes, or until gently browned. Cut 4 figs into quarters and put a dollop of Greek yoghurt into each and then scatter them over the hot crumble. Serve after dinner with a delicious pudding wine. Serves 4.