Spanish Fig Cake (Pan de Higo)
Yields 8 small pieces
I first bought an expensive, imported version of this gourmet dessert and was hooked. And when I realized that it’s a cinch to make at home—no cooking required—I had to attempt it. So I combined several recipes that I found online to make this simple version that you can make without a food processor. In Spain, they pair the fig cake with slices of salty cheese such as Manchego.

8 ounces dried mission figs
3 tablespoons raw, sliced almonds
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon brandy or honey (optional)

Remove the stems from the figs by twisting them off with your fingers or chopping them off with a knife. With large chef knife, chop the figs into raisin-sized pieces. In large bowl, toss figs, almonds, cinnamon and allspice. Use your hands to form this into a large ball. If it’s too dry to hold together, add optional brandy or honey. (I didn’t need anything when I tried this at home.) Press the “dough” firmly into a shallow soup bowl. Place a small saucer on top and add a can or other weight to press the figs together for an hour or two. Uncover and let sit exposed to air overnight or even a day to dry. Slice and serve.