This Season there is an abundance of figs in Thane market. I used to eye the fresh piles longingly on my way to office but they would get over by the time I returned in the evening. Last weekend I decided to go in the morning all the way to the market just to get these thinking I would make icecream. You know I am crazy about fruits so one by one all the figs ended up the same way – chomped raw. All in all, it is difficult to save up fruits for desserts!
At last I devised a fool proof plan to make a fig kuchen. I kept the ingredients for the base and the crumble ready some evenings back and then asked P to get the figs. They were quartered and pressed into the dough. They smelt delicious and tasted incredible when baked. I made a second batch next morning for my friends at work. They loved it and could not guess it was vegan! In fact even the crumbs did not last and I had shared my recipe by the end of the day. That explains the quick photograph shared here.
I found the recipe for my kuchen in Alpineberry and veganized it adapting it along the way. The original recipe contains plums and walnuts and does not have a crumble on the top. I like walnuts only with chocolate and do not like the imported plum variety that we get these days so mine became a fig kuchen. I also made this because I like the sound of the word ‘kuchen’. The name makes all the difference in my kitchen! I also made a wholewheat pflaumkuchen sometime later and this is how it looked.
Tasted equally good but I somehow felt the juicy figs did a better job.
Kuchen it appears is actually a yeasted/non-yeasted sweet crust filled with a creamy custard. This however is not custard like but is more akin to a tea-cake with a tasty crust.
Recipe: Fig Kuchen (that is koo-kan or koo-gan or coo-hen)
Serves: 8-10 pieces
Oven temperature: 180 deg. Celsius
Tin: 9 inch round pan
fresh figs washed, de-stemmed and quartered – 7-8
All purpose flour / Refined flour / Maida – 2 cups
Baking powder – 2 tsp.
Salt – 1/4 tsp.
Sugar ground with 1/2 a vanilla stick – 1/2 cup
Canned coconut milk + 1/4 cup if needed – 1/2 cup
Sunflower oil – 1/2 cup
for the crumble topping :
1/2 cup APF + 2 tbsp sugar + 1 tbsp oil
Place the flour, baking powder, salt and ground sugar in an airtight container. The mix should occupy only half the container and leave space for mixing when shook. Shake well to aerate the flour and mix up everything. Empty into a mixing bowl.
Blend the oil and half of the coconut milk together in a mixer till it forms a thick cream, the consistency of yolk.
Pour this in the dry mixture. Cut and fold well with a wooden ladle.
If needed add the rest of the coconut milk (a tbsp. at a time) till the dough moves from a crumbly texture to a soft batter (not pourable but one that will fall in a single plop).
Pour this into the prepared tin and with wet fingers spread it evenly.
Arrange the figs pressing them a little.
Optional: Mix the crumble ingredients together with your fingertips till they just gather when held and break when left, into breadcrumbs.
Sprinkle this evenly on top of the cake.
Bake in pre-heated oven for 40-50minutes till golden on the sides and lightly brown on the top. The scent of figs are sure to pervade your rooms to let you know they are done!
Cool completely before cutting to wedges.
The next day I distributed the batter in little rings and tart moulds instead of a pan to make bite sized desserts.