12 tablespoons unsalted butter
cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
8 to 10 fresh figs, stems removed, cut in half
1 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
teaspoon kosher salt
cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
cup whole milk
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch cake pan with 2-inch sides. Line bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter the parchment. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat or in the microwave oven, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Stir in the brown sugar and honey until smooth. Pour the sauce into the prepared cake pan. Arrange figs, cut sides down, in concentric circles over the sauce. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat remaining 8 tablespoons butter with sugar and vanilla until lightened in color and texture, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating until well-combined after each addition. Beating on low speed just until combined after each addition, add dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with milk in 2 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Spoon batter evenly over figs.
Bake cake until golden and a skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer cake to a rack and cool in the pan for 50 minutes. Run a thin knife around the sides of the pan to loosen. Place a serving platter on top of the pan and invert the cake. Gently lift off the pan and remove parchment paper. Spoon over the cake, any of the sauce that has run off and serve warm.
Yield: 8 servings
Source: Outstanding in the Field, by Jim Denevan with Marah Stets