Almond and Fig Torte

From chef Al Paris, Heirloom and Paris Bistro

4 ounces unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan

3/4 c. sugar

12 ounces almond paste

4 eggs

1 T. vanilla extract

1 t. baking powder

1/2 cup almond flour, sifted

1 cup dried black mission figs, stemmed, halved, and soaked in hot water

1/2 cut pine nuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch springform pan with butter. Add the remaining butter and sugar to the bowl of a standing mixer. With the paddle attachment, cream until fluffy. Add the almond paste, eggs, and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add the baking powder and almond flour and mix until incorporated.

Pour battre into prepared pan. Drain the figs and then arrange them cut-side up on top. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the figs. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the edges of the cake are browned and the center is set. (The cake will be dense and soft, with the texture of almond paste.) Turn the oven off, crack the door of the oven, and let the cake rest in the oven for 20 minutes more. Slice and serve.