It’s a gross and rainy Sunday evening, so I thought it was a great time to share these amazing fig bars since they always brighten my day!
I’m a huge fan of figs and I’ll eat them any way I can get them, but I don’t bake with them very often as I have trouble finding fresh figs anywhere. Lucky for me, these fig rolls only need dried figs – in fact, it’s best to use dried figs over fresh ones as they need cooking down into a jam. Perfect! I’m a big, big fan of fig rolls (or fig newtons as they’re known as in the US) and they were my inspiration for these, but these ones are soooo much better. They’re like fig rolls older, cooler brother!
When I think of Figs I think of my days at University and eating my body weight in Jacob’s Fig Rolls while I wrote last minute essays at 3am and somehow that still brings back warm and fond memories! Despite my love of figs I have never actually baked with them and when I came to that realisation I decided I had to fix that fast!
These fig bars aren’t your typical fig rolls (or fig newtons as they’re called in the US), they’re so much better! They have a pastry like crust then lots of yummy fig filling and have an nutty, oaty topping. I made these with dried figs as they don’t really come into season until Autumn and they’re hard to find when they are in season due to their short shelf life, besides you’re going to be cooking them down so I would recommend dried figs either way to keep the moisture. If you don’t want to make the filling yourself you can always use a fig butter or jam, I’ve heard good things about it if you get it from Trader Joe’s (for you American folk) so I’m sure they’ll be just as yummy. However if you do it like that they may be a little on the overly sweet side!
My favourite thing about these is the secret ingredient, orange! It really brings out the flavour of the figs and although it’s not a necessary ingredient I wouldn’t omit it, it brings them to a whole new level of tastiness! One of the great things about this fig bar recipe though is they’re so easy to make, they do require baking in stages but it’s so simple to do you won’t mind. And you can make the fig filling while the crust bakes, then you just quickly whip up the crumbly topping, sprinkle it on top and stick them in the oven for 15 minutes. It takes about 45 minutes start to finish! You will want to let them cool before you eat them though, as hard as that may be, that filling is going to be very hot!
[recipe title=”Fig Bars”]
For the crust:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup plain flour
For the filling:
1/4 cup caster sugar
Juice from 1 orange
1 cup boiling water (you will not need the whole cup)
9oz dried mission figs, chopped
For the topping:
1/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbsp cold butter
1/4 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
Zest of 1 orange
Preheat over to 350F/170C. Grease and line a 9″ square pan.
For the crust, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla on a medium speed until combined. On a low speed, beat in the flour until a soft dough forms. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan and bake for approx 15 minutes, until the centre is set and it is just turning a light golden colour
While the crust is baking, make the filling. Pour the juice of the orange into a measuring jug and fill up with boiling water until you reach 1 cup.
In a small saucepan heat all the filling ingredients over a medium/high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until figs are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Don’t be afraid to cook it for longer is need be, you want a jam like consistency, just make sure you keep stirring so it doesn’t burn. Spread it over the cooked crust and set aside.
Now make the topping. In a small bowl mix the flour, brown sugar and butter using a fork or pastry blender until you have a crumbly streusel like texture. Stir in the oats, walnuts and orange zest. Sprinkle over the filling.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden brown. Leave to cool completely before cutting into bars.
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