What can I say to describe the absolutely crazy yumminess of figs? They are like the great sex of fruit! Soft, sensual and sweet, you can eat them right from a tree…but you can make them into these gorgeous fig bars and enjoy them this way as well.
Makes 16, 2-inch squares
2 cups coarsely chopped dried figs
½ cup port wine
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 cup sprouted whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup quick oats
½ cup ground blanched almonds
2/3 cup brown rice syrup
Generous pinch ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons vegan butter substitute
Unsweetened organic almond or soy milk
Preheat oven to 350o and lightly oil an 8-inch square baking dish.
Combine figs, wine, juice and a pinch of salt in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook until figs are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Transfer figs to a food processor and puree until smooth. Spoon into a bowl to cool while preparing the pastry.
Place flour, oats, almonds, a pinch of salt, rice syrup and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse until oats are finely ground. Add ‘butter spread’ and pulse until a coarse meal forms. Add a small amount of milk, slowly stirring in until mixture holds together. Firmly press one half the pasty mixture into the prepared baking dish. Spread fig mixture evenly over the pastry. Sprinkle remaining pastry mixture over top the figs, crumbling with your fingers, allowing some fig filling to peek through. Press gently into place.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until the topping browns. Cool completely before cutting into squares.