Sorry, I haven’t been around for a while, but the allotment has been calling me during this sunny weather. It’s all dug now and planting of vegetables has commenced, so it’s time to get back in the kitchen baking (I’ve had quite a few grumbles from the family that there isn’t any cake in the house!).
After much deliberating over lots and lots of recipes, I found this lovely recipe in Miranda Gore Browne‘s book ‘Biscuit’. You may remember Miranda (I’m sure you will) from the first series of the Great British Bake-Off. She was the lady who made the wonderfully decorated iced biscuits, which I would so like to be able to do, but feel I’m a little too clumsy to make something so beautiful. Having made quite a few of the biscuits already in this lovely book, I was surprised to find that I had never made the Fig Rolls.
Fig Rolls take me back to my childhood (not that it’s that long ago…). I can remember my grandparents always had fig rolls to eat whenever we called round, usually with some ‘Dead Fly Biscuits’ (or Garibaldi, as they are rightfully known). I used to love Fig Rolls and don’t think I’ve had one for at least 20 years (perhaps my childhood is a long time ago).
Anyway, I know I had a bag of figs in the cupboard, as I had bought some to make a pudding with at Christmas, but plans changed and the pudding was no longer required. I think a trifle was made instead – much quicker and easier.
If you’re thinking, eurgh, yuk, fig rolls – hard, dry biscuits, no thanks not for me, then you really should give this recipe a go. Miranda has added a little twist on the original recipe, she’s added orange zest and apple which makes them so moist, definitely not dry, hard and dull.
- 125g softened unsalted butter
- 75g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 tsp ground mixed spice
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 150g plain flour
- 50g ground almonds
- 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp milk (to glaze)
- Demerara sugar for sprinkling
For the Filling
- 200g dried figs (finely chopped)
- 1/2 eating apple, cored and coarsely grated
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1 tbsp clear honey
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk.
- Add the spices, zest, flour and almonds and mix gently together until incorporated.
- Bring the dough together with your hands (I did find the dough quite sticky, but if may have something to do with the fact it was the warmest day of the year so far). Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or longer).
- Whilst the dough is chilling, put the fruit and zest for the filling in a bowl and chop even more finely using a pair of scissors. Add the honey and orange juice and mix well Cover and leave to steep until required.
- Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas Mark 3 and line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
- Place the chilled dough between two sheets of clingfilm – my dough still appeared to be slightly sticky even though it had been in the fridge for a couple of hours.
- Roll the dough out into a rectangle until about 3mm thick. Slice the rectangle lengthways into three equal strips.
- Spoon a line of filling along the middle of each strip. Brush one long edge with water and roll up. I found this quite fiddly as it was still far to warm to be fiddling about with cookie dough, but I eventually got there. To help firm the dough up if it is quite sticky as mine was, I rolled the rolls up in cling-film again and put them in the fridge for half an hour to firm up.
- Turn the ‘sausage’ so that the seam is underneath and using a sharp knife cut into pieces about 3-4 cm long.
- Using a palette knife, lift the pieces onto the prepared trays spacing them at least 3 cm apart. Brush the top of each roll with the egg/milk glaze.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside on their trays to cool for a few minutes, then using a palette knife transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
I couldn’t resist for long and had to try one whilst they were still warm. They literally melted in your mouth and reminded me in a way of Christmas. They won’t stay around for long, I’m sure, but if you don’t eat them quickly, you’ll be pleased to know that they will keep for up to a fortnight if stored in an airtight container. A fortnight I hear you all say, that’s what I thought too. I don’t think any of my bakes has every hung around for that long!