Dorie's Fresh Fig Cake With A Ruby Port Wine Sauce

Fig season is short but glorious, so I try to take advantage of it every chance I can get my hands on some.  I've got 2 pints sitting in my fridge right now, and I'm trying to decide the perfect use for them...maybe this fresh Fig & Walnut Bread, or perhaps these Fig & Walnut Cookies?  So far this summer, I've made another batch of this Addictive Cinnamon-Fig Jam, and also this deliciously scrumptious Fig Cake from Dorie Greenspan.  
The great things about this cake are the additions of a small amount of yellow cornmeal to the cake batter, the ruby port wine sauce and the process of infusing the fresh figs with said ruby port sauce prior to scattering them across the top of the cake.  All of these elements produce a satisfying cake with a unique taste that's not super sweet and perfect for any fig lover in your life!
Dorie named this cake "A Fig Cake for Fall", and autumn is right around the corner...My favorite time of the year!  So, if it will be a few weeks before fresh figs are available in your area, be sure to bookmark this recipe.  You'll be so glad that you did! 
Bon Appetit, my friends!  :)

A Fig Cake for FallAdapted from:  "Baking: From My Home to Yours", by Dorie GreenspanMakes 8-10 servings
3/4 cup ruby port
1 cup honey, divided
2 thin slices lemon
16-20 fresh figs, stemmed and halved
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably medium grind
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
grated zest 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces, at room temperature
3 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:1. Stir the port and 1/2 cup honey together in small saucepan. Add lemon slices and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat. Add figs, cover, and cook 4-6 minutes, or until figs are soft but not falling apart. Using a slotted spoon, transfer figs to a bowl. Raise the heat to medium and cook the liquid for 15 minutes, or until slightly thickened; the syrup should coat a metal spoon. Remove from heat and let cool.

2. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the paper. Dust the inside of the pan with flour, tapping out the excess. Put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.

4. In a separate bowl, add sugar and lemon zest; rub together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist. Add butter. Using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Pour in remaining 1/2 cup honey, and the vanilla extract; beat for 2 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low, add dry ingredients, and mix until just incorporated. The batter will be fairly thick. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and jiggle the pan from side to side to even out the batter. Scatter poached figs over the top.

5. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before running a blunt knife around the edges and releasing the sides of the pan. Cool the cake slightly before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. Drizzle slices with wine sauce. 

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