Fig Carrot Mini Bundt Cakes with Honey Cream Cheese Drizzle

Every year, we crave carrot cake around this time of year and this is a carrot cake recipe to hold onto. Instead of serving tall slices of layer cake, we’re opting for mini bundt cakes, full of sweet California Figs and honey cream cheese drizzle on top. Spring forward on this festive dessert to share at celebrations and with carrot cake lovers.

Fig Carrot Mini Bundt Cakes with Honey Cream Cheese Drizzle is going to be your favorite carrot cake recipe.

Fig Carrot Mini Bundt Cakes with Honey Cream Cheese Drizzle

Course Dessert
Servings 12 mini bundt cakes

Ingredients

Carrot Mini Bundt Cakes

  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon® Orchard Choice® or Sun-Maid® California Figs, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 cups shredded carrot, about 8 ounces (shredded with large holes of box grater)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped, toasted walnuts

Honey Cream Cheese Drizzle

  • 6 ounces 1/3 less fat or regular cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons orange juice

Instructions

  1. Grate orange peel to make 1 teaspoon zest. Halve orange and ream to make juice. Combine figs and ¼ cup juice in microwave safe bowl (reserve remaining juice for Drizzle); cover with vented plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Set aside.

  2. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 350° F. Coat 12 mini-bundt molds with baking spray or oil. Dust with flour and tap out excess.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves.

  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, granulated and brown sugar until blended. Slowly beat in oil, vanilla and orange zest. With spatula, mix in fig mixture and carrots. Gently fold in dry ingredients, just until combined.

  5. Spoon batter into bundt molds. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Run a thin knife around edges if needed to help release cakes.

  6. To make Drizzle: beat cream cheese and butter with electric mixer until blended. Beat in honey, vanilla and enough orange juice to make a frosting of drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled cakes. Sprinkle with walnuts.

Recipe and photo by Lorelle Del Matto

Fig Brown Sugar-Glazed Ham with Carrots

This Fig Brown Sugar Glazed Ham recipe is a ringer for the holidays. It's super easy to make and delicious.

This is the best ham I’ve ever eaten. If you always host during the holidays or this is your first holiday meal to make from scratch, you will love how easy this is to make for this Easter ham recipe is. The fig brown sugar glazed ham leftovers are great in hash for breakfast the morning after. We always make ham sandwiches or ham roll-ups with them and they’re great in my deviled ham spread too.

Fig Brown Sugar Glazed Ham


Course Main Course
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon® Orchard Choice Mission Figlets or Sun-Maid® California Mission Figs, stemmed (divided)
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup grainy mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 pounds bone-in ham
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled
  • 1/2 cup apple juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.

  2. Make the glaze: combine ½ cup California Figs, Dijon, grainy mustard, and honey in a food processor or blender. Process well—the mixture will have some chunks in it. Set aside.

  3. Place the ham into a large baking dish. Add the carrots.

  4. Slather the glaze over the ham. Sprinkle with brown sugar, pressing it into the sides of the ham.

  5. Top the carrots with the remaining California Figs.

  6. Drizzle the juice around the bottom of the pan.

  7. Seal tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour (15 minutes per pound).

  8. Remove the ham and place it in a serving dish. Strain the sauce from the baking dish into a gravy boat to serve alongside. Nestle the carrots and figs drizzled with pan juices along the side of the serving dish.

Recipe and photo by Debra Clark

Preserved Lemon Chicken with Almonds and Figs

Preserved Lemon Chicken with California Figs and Almonds is a perfectly delicious main dish for Passover.

This Sephardic-inspired dish is one of our favorite chicken recipes for Passover Seders. With preserved lemon, a hint of sweetness from California figs, and warm spices of cinnamon and allspice, this dish of chicken with almonds is great the rest of the year too. Serve with quinoa or mashed potatoes to soak up the fragrant sauce.

One of the first fruits to be cultivated by people, figs are as meaningful and symbolic as they are sweet and delicious. Jews consider figs to be particularly holy because they were one of the seven staple foods, known as the Seven Species, eaten by Jews in the land of Israel during Biblical times.

Preserved Lemon Chicken with Almonds & Figs

Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole cut-up chicken, about 4 pounds
  • 3 shallots, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon diced preserved lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Figs
  • 5 sprigs thyme plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Pat dry the chicken pieces and season well with salt and pepper.

  2. Place the chicken pieces skin-side down in the skillet and cook until the skin is golden brown, about ten minutes. Turn and brown the other side.

  3. Remove chicken to a plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan.

  4. Add the shallots, garlic and preserved lemon to the pan and sauté over medium heat until softened, about five minutes.

  5. Add the cinnamon and allspice and sauté a few additional minutes until fragrant.

  6. Add the chicken broth to the pan and, using a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet.

  7. Return the chicken pieces to the pan, arranging them in a single layer. Add the figs and thyme and raise the heat to high.

  8. Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover the skillet and turn heat down to low. Simmer until chicken is cooked through and registers 165 degrees on a meat thermometer, about 20 minutes.

  9. While the chicken is cooking, toast the almonds in a dry skillet for a few minutes until golden and fragrant - watch carefully so that they don't burn.

  10. To serve, arrange the chicken and figs on a platter. Spoon sauce over chicken and top with toasted almonds. Garnish with a few additional sprigs of thyme if desired.

Recipe Notes

Note: A staple of Middle Eastern cooking, preserved lemons add a unique pickled tanginess to North African-inspired dishes such as this one. You can find jars of preserved lemons in good grocery stores or Middle Eastern markets or make your own. If you are not able to source preserved lemons, you can substitute cooked fresh lemon. Combine one thinly sliced lemon with a half cup of fresh lemon juice and two teaspoons of kosher salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until lemon slices are tender, about ten minutes. Cool and chop.

Recipe and photo by Emily Paster

Green Smoothie with Avocado & Dried Figs

If you haven't tried a green smoothie with avocado yet, you don't know what you're missing. They're creamy and dreamy with dried figs.

If you’ve ever craved dessert that won’t wreck your best healthy eating intentions, there’s a good chance this simple green smoothie is for you. This green smoothie with avocado is creamy and simply dreamy with the addition of sweet California Figs. We use golden figs to keep the color nice and perky green, but feel free to use Mission Figs instead. While this milkshake alternative is great as a dessert, it also makes a good drink for breakfast, as it’s chock full of fiber, or sip one after working out.

Green Smoothie with Avocado & Dried Figs

Course Drinks
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup stemmed, chopped Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Golden Figs
  • 1 cup almondmilk
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Freeze the figs for 15 minutes. Place the almond milk, spinach, avocado, water, lemon juice, and figs into a blender in that order. Puree until smooth.

Recipe and photo by Annelies Zijderveld

Spinach, Brie Grilled Cheese with Figs

Get your greens in with this spinach Brie grilled cheese.

Who doesn’t love a grilled cheese? Something about this cheese sandwich makes us want to melt. But, have you ever tried a Brie grilled cheese? This is a delightful way to dress up a familiar sandwich and the addition of spinach is a great way to get your greens in. We have a hunch that one taste of this spinach grilled cheese with Brie and our California Figs will make this a new family favorite.

Spinach, Brie Grilled Cheese with Figs


Course Main Course
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, sliced
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups baby spinach, rinsed and drained
  • 8 slices sourdough or boule bread
  • 8 ounces Brie cheese (more or less to taste)
  • 1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Figs, stemmed and thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, melt 1/4 tablespoon butter. Add onions and salt, and cook over low heat for 7-10 minutes. Remove onions and set aside.

  2. In same skillet, melt 1/4 tablespoon butter. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add spinach and stir until wilted.

  3. ONIONS OPTION: You can skip cooking the onions separately. If so, then DICE the onions, and add them to the skillet 2-3 minutes before adding the garlic.

  4. Lay 4 slices of bread on a flat surface. Spread cheese equally across all 4 slices of bread. Top with figs and then spinach mixture, all spread equally across bread slices. Cover each with top slice of bread, and butter the outside of the top slices.

  5. Turn on heat to medium. When skillet is warm, add sandwiches, buttered side down.

  6. Place another clean skillet on top of sandwiches, and press down. You should hear a little bit of sizzle. Toast bread for 3 minutes. Remove top skillet, and butter the bread. Carefully flip sandwiches over, and replace the clean skillet on top. Toast for another 3 1/2 minutes.

  7. Remove sandwiches and repeat with remaining sandwiches. Slice sandwiches in half, and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

NOTE ON CHEESE: I use 2 ounces of cheese per sandwiches. Of course, you can use more or less, to taste. With 2 ounces you won't get the dripping, melty cheese, but the cheese still melts beautifully into the sandwich.

Recipe and photo by Karyl Henry

Sweet & Savory Kale Hash with Figs

Sweet and savory kale hash with figs is perfect for brunch or if you like breakfast for dinner.

This one pan kale hash dinner combines the naturally sweet goodness of dried California Figs with skillet browned potatoes, and sausage. The apple cider vinegar and whole grain mustard glaze coats the sausage hash to bring the flavors together for a sweet and savory combination.

Sweet & Savory Kale Hash with Figs

Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings (1 3/4 cup per serving)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound gold, white, or red potatoes, peeled if desired, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (10-ounce) package cooked chicken sausage, cut into half-moons
  • 6 ounces (1 cup) Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, stemmed and quartered
  • 1 (5-ounce) package baby kale

Instructions

  1. Bring an inch or two of water to a boil in a saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Add potatoes to the steamer, cover and cook until the potatoes are just barely tender when pierced with a fork, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove the steamer from the saucepan.

  2. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and cook, stirring often until they are starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, stir vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper together in a small dish.

  4. Stir the sauce, sausage and figs into the potatoes. Top with kale and cover. Cook, stirring to mix in the kale as it wilts and continue cooking until the kale is completely wilted, the figs and sausage are hot and the vinegar mixture forms a glaze over the potatoes, 3 to 4 minutes.

Recipe and photo by Katie Webster

 

Natural Products Expo West: Taste the Best Golden Figs & Mission Figs

Heading to Natural Products Expo West? Visit us in booth 687 to taste the best golden figs.

Traveling to Anaheim for this year’s Natural Products Expo West? Make a plan to visit Valley Fig Growers at booth 687 where we will be sampling our luscious Mission and Golden dried California Figs along with delicious fig spread and cheese pairings. Come taste the best golden figs and mission figs grown in the Central Valley of California, sold under the Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid brands.

Cook with California Figs

Bring your restaurant or recipe development into the know with California Figs. Our dark purple Mission Dried Figs offer deep sweetness that works with everything from salty prosciutto to tangy blue cheese. To start: try pairing them on pizzas or salads. Our Golden Dried Figs lend a more mellow sweetness and nuttiness that’s a wonderful addition in baked goods like cookies, blondies or upside down cake. They seriously are the best Golden Figs you will ever taste. And our fourth generation of California Fig Growers that are currently farming our cooperatives’ figs aren’t at all biased.

California Figs and Nutrition

Add nutrition deliciously into your meals with California Figs. Did you know our dried figs are a great source of fiber and provide potassium and calcium? Figs and nutrition go hand in hand. They also make a healthy snack or dessert eaten on their own. Or, try them chilled or frozen, blended in smoothies to add a bit of texture and a natural boost of fiber.

Find out why 2018 is the year of the fig. Whatever your reason, California Figs fit into your lifestyle. See you soon at Expo West!

Sweet February Sweepstakes

Blondies with California Figs

Cocoa, vanilla extract, and California Figs are a match made in heaven. We like them paired up in California Fig Babka, Fig Swirl Chocolate Buns, Chocolate Brie en Croute, and those little beauties from Rodelle Kitchen above: Cocoa Fig Jam Thumbprint Cookies. On Valentine’s Day, we’re bringing you something sweet indeed! Taste the goodness of California sun in our California Figs, adding them to your favorite baking recipes made to be shared with family and friends. We’ve teamed up with our friends from Rodelle to bring you a Sweet February sweepstakes that will make your month sweet indeed. Enter by 02/28/18 to qualify!

Prizes:
Enter below for a chance to win the Rodelle Kitchen prize pack. One lucky entrant will receive:

  • 1 (8-ounce) bottle Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) container Rodelle Gourmet Dutch-Processed Baking Cocoa
  • 2 jars (4 beans total) Rodelle Vanilla Beans
  • 1 (2-ounce) bottle Rodelle Pure Almond Extract

Enter in the widget below for the Rodelle prize pack by signing in with your Facebook account or email address.

And, double your chances of winning by visiting our giveaway over on Rodelle Kitchen for a chance to win the Valley Fig Growers prize pack below!

(Head to Rodelle Kitchen for the Valley Fig Growers prize pack.  Click here to enter).

Good luck in the Sweet February sweepstakes and tell your friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chocolate Brie en Croute with Dried Figs

Chocolate Brie en Croute with Dried Figs doubles as an appetizer or dessert.

At dessert time, some people have a sweet tooth and others go for a cheese plate. This Brie en croute appeals to both sensibilities or make it for a sweet appetizer. You can also add it as an unexpected addition to a cheeseboard. California Mission dried figs pair magically in this baked Brie en croute recipe with semisweet chocolate. Encased inside the pastry, slice into Marin French Cheese’s Petite Breakfast wheel, perfectly portioned to go inside croissant dough. We used the packaged croissant dough from Immaculate Baking Company, but use whatever packaged croissant dough is available, just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s oven temperature and cooking time on the packaging.

Chocolate Brie en Croute with Dried Figs

Servings 1 Brie en Croute

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (4.5-ounces) stemmed, minced Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon Rodelle pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate, divided
  • 1 tube croissant dough
  • 1 Marin French Petite Breakfast Brie wheel

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Cook the figs, water, honey, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has cooked off, about 8 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Stir half of the chocolate into the figs.

  3. Meanwhile, arrange the triangles of croissant dough on the parchment-lined baking sheet into the shape of a star or flower, pressing down to adhere the wide ends to each other, fanning out the long skinny sides like a flower. There will be an empty space in the middle, so fill it with dough, pressing down to adhere it.

  4. Spread 3/4 of the chocolate fig mixture into the middle and ¼ of the way up each "petal" of dough. It will resemble the middle of a sunflower. Set the Brie wheel into the middle. Spread the remaining chocolate fig mixture on top of the Brie. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate on top of the Brie—it’s okay if chocolate falls along the bottom of the Brie wheel. Fold up the petals of the dough into the middle, pressing the tips into one another well, at the top.

  5. Bake until golden brown, about 17-19 minutes. Transfer to a cheeseboard outfitted with fruit, nuts, and crackers.

Recipe & photo by Annelies Zijderveld

California Fig Chocolate Babka Recipe

We love making this California Fig Chocolate Babka recipe for French Toast, but you could eat it as toast at breakfast too.

If you’ve wondered how to make babka, this version of the popular bread with a ribbon of chocolate and California Figs running through it is a great place to start. Babka sometimes has one slice of the bread without any filling, but in our book every bite should have filling! By reserving the extra 2 tablespoons of the chocolate fig spread, you can ensure that flavorful swirl is in every slice. Bake a loaf of this babka recipe to serve at breakfast as toasted or French toast. You can even serve it for lunch as a peanut butter jelly sandwich—but make sure to wait and slice the bread once it’s completely cool, otherwise it will be gummy inside.

California Fig Chocolate Babka Recipe

Course Breakfast
Servings 1 9x4-inch loaf

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one 1/4 ounce packet)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, warmed to 110°F
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

Chocolate Fig Filling

  • 1 (6-ounce) bag Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice® or Sun-Maid® California Figs, stemmed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ounce (about 1/4 cup) dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon Rodelle Pure Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 large egg whites

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Pinch fine sea salt

Instructions

Make the Dough

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and warm milk. Let stand for 5 to 7 minutes until mixture is foamy.

  2. Add remaining sugar, egg yolks, and egg. Whisk together until well incorporated.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add half of flour mixture to mixing bowl. Attach dough hook to stand mixer and mix on low speed until dough resembles a shaggy mess, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running, add softened butter one tablespoon at a time. Add remaining flour mixture and continue to knead at medium speed until dough is smooth and no longer sticks to the sides of the mixing bowl, about 4 minutes.

  4. Transfer dough to a greased large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rest at room temperature for 70 to 90 minutes, until dough has doubled in volume.

  5. Punch down risen dough. Recover with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (up to 4 hours), until dough is cold.

Make the Chocolate Fig Filling

  1. Place stemmed figs and water in a small heavy-bottomed saucepot. Set over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow figs to soften, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain figs and discard water.

  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine warm figs, chocolate, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt. Process until mixture resembles jam. Scrape down bowl as necessary to ensure thorough mixing. Allow mixture to cool slightly before adding egg whites. Pulse 2 to 3 times until egg whites are just incorporated. Transfer to an airtight container and keep chilled in the fridge until assembly.

Assembly

  1. Working on a lightly floured surface, roll chilled dough to an 18x14-inch rectangle. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of chocolate fig filling. Spread remaining filling over dough, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges, so that it doesn’t ooze out. Beginning at the longer end, roll dough into a tight cylinder. Pinch the seams closed.

  2. With dough seam side up, spread the reserved filling over the seam. Bring one end of dough over to the other end and then pinch the ends together, thus sandwiching the filling, to create a log. You’ll see some filling on the outside.

  3. Gently twist the log, left hand going one way and right hand going the other, until it resembles a figure eight with swirls of filling peeking through. Place twisted roll in a greased 9x4-inch loaf pan. Gently press dough to distribute it to the edges of the pan. Loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at room temperature until dough is level with the lip of the loaf pan, about 70 minutes.

Egg Wash

  1. Whisk together egg, water, and salt until well combined.

Bake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly brush the top of the risen dough with egg wash. Bake for 45-50 minutes, rotating loaf midway through baking. Bake until the top of the bread is golden brown and the internal temperature of bread registers at least 190°F. Allow bread to cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan and allow it to cool to room temperature on a wire rack, about 1 hour. Allow bread to completely cool before slicing with a serrated knife.

Recipe and photo by Maryanne Cabrera.