Figs are everywhere at the moment; from the farmers market to instagram, the soft purple fruits are an autumn treat that are as beautiful on their own as they are in desserts or breakfast treats. I had a few leftover from making enough jam to get me through the dark, cold winter mornings, and I thought of making a tarte tatin or an upside down cake with them. Something where the figs slowly get caramelised and still look pretty.
But it was 8 in the morning, so maybe a little bit too early for a dessert - hence this pancake+tarte tatin+upside down cake hybrid. The figs soften without becoming mushy and the fluffy five spiced pancake soaks up all the delicious rose water scented caramel while baking.
I made two pancakes, but the recipe can easily be adapted to a larger pan for a larger brunch party. Or perhaps you can serve it with ice cream or creme fraiche for a lovely dessert.
Fig upside down pancake with five spice and rosewater
4 large figs
4 Tbsp. butter, divided
4 Tbsp. sugar, divided
2 tsp. rosewater, divided
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. Chinese five spice
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg
125ml whole milk
1 tsp. lemon juice
Quarter the figs, then cut the quarters in half. Melt together the sugar and butter in two 16cm/6.5inch cast iron skillets over medium heat. When the sugar is melted stir in the rosewater and arrange the figs in a circular pattern in the caramel. Leave to caramelise, while you prepare the batter.
Mix together flour, sugar, five spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together the egg, milk and lemon juice and with a hand mixer beat together the milk and the flour mixtures. Pour the batter over the figs in the two skillets and leave to cook until bubbles start forming on top and the bottom is set. Flip the pancakes and bake for another 2 minutes until baked through.
Serve warm sprinkled with powdered sugar.