Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Louisiana Gentlemen Recipes -- Kane

Pint of Fig Preserves from Mom
Recipes were included as lagniappe in my the Louisiana Gentlemen series, published 1998 – 2002. Since that time, I've had hundreds of letters and emails about KANE, LUKE, ROAN, CLAY, WADE and the novella, ADAM -- the majority from people who had lost track of the books but wanted the recipes again! Posting them here will make them available once more for everyone. Slight adjustments have been made to the originals for clarity and consistency.

2 cups self-rising flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
3 eggs
1 cup cooking oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fig preserves
1 cup pecan or walnuts (optional)

Grease and flour a 9 ½ x 13” baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift dry ingredients, including sugar and spices, into a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, oil and buttermilk. Mix thoroughly. Add vanilla and fig preserves. Mix until figs are chopped into the batter, though some chunks may remain, according to taste. Fold in nuts as desired. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Optional: Caramel Frosting shown below.

Note: The traditional fig preserves of the South are made with Celeste figs, an old-fashioned, candy-sweet variety that turns dark brown when preserved. With the addition of the spices, they give the cake a distinctive rich brown color. My fig preserves are made by my mom, but I’ve been asked a number of times for commercial suppliers. The following companies had them in the past, though I’m not sure that’s still true. If all else fails, check the Internet! 

Sunny Side Produce
508 S.W.R.R. Ave.
Hammond LA 70401,
Phone 504-542-5300.

LaDON'S Kadota Whole Figs from:
Gourmet Spices by LaDON Ind.
PO Box 384
Gonzales LA 70707

2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heavy cream, as needed

Place 1 cup sugar in a heavy saucepan and caramelize slowly over low heat until it turns brown. In a separate pan dissolve milk and remaining 1 cup sugar, then bring to a boil over medium heat. Add caramelized sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, until a soft ball forms in cold water. Place butter in a separate bowl and pour hot mixture over it. Stir. Add vanilla and pecans, and thin slightly with heavy cream until it is of spreading consistency.

Since publishing her first book at age 27, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Jennifer Blake has gone on to write over 65 historical and contemporary novels in multiple genres. She brings the story-telling power and seductive passion of the South to her stories, reflecting her 8th-generation Louisiana heritage. Jennifer lives with her husband in northern Louisiana.


No comments: