Here’s a classic and crisp shortbread pastry, which is wrapped around a rich fig filling. Other than lemon juice, the natural sweetness and full flavor of the dried figs need little embellishment to add a zesty tang.
Ready in: 1hr 20min (Prep: 1hr 5min, Cook: 15min)
- Plain white flour – 115 g (4 oz)
- Plain whole-meal flour – 115 g (4 oz)
- Unsalted butter, cut into small pieces – 150 g (5½ oz)
- Light muscovado sugar – 65 g (2¼ oz)
- Pure vanilla extract – 1 tablespoon
- 2 egg yolks
- Ready-to-eat dried figs (finely chopped) – 250 g (8½ oz)
- Lemon juice – 2 tablespoon
- Sift the flours into a bowl, and ti in any bran left in the sieve.
- With your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture looks like a breadcrumb.
- Add the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract, and mix to a firm dough,
- Add 1–2 teaspoon water if necessary to bind. (Alternatively, you can blend the butter and flours in a food processor, then add the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla, and blend briefly to make dough.)
- Wrap the dough in cling film and chill it for 30 minutes.
- Put figs in a heavy-based saucepan with about 6 tablespoon water.
- Bring to the boil, and then reduce the heat.
- Cover it and simmer gently for 3–5 minutes or until the figs have absorbed the water and plumped up slightly.
- Now Transfer it to a bowl and mash it lightly with a fork.
- After mashing, add the lemon juice and stir thoroughly.
- Then allow it to cool.
- Preheat the oven to about 190ºC (gas mark 5).
- Roll out the dough on a floured (lightly) surface to a (50 x 15 cm) rectangle.
- Cut the rectangular dough in half (lengthways) to make 2 strips of it.
- Evenly spoon half the fig purée along each strip, near one of the long sides.
- Bring the other long side up and over the filling, in order to form a ‘log’ shape with it, and then press the edges of the dough together to seal.
- Flatten each log slightly. And using a sharp knife, cut across each log into 10 biscuits.
- Transfer the cut biscuits to a greased baking sheet.
- With a fork, prick each biscuit or score with a sharp knife.
- Then Bake in the preheated oven for about 12–15 minutes or until slightly darkened in color.
- Transfer the shortbread to a wire rack, and then allow it to cool.
TIP: They shortbread can be kept in an airtight container for about 2–3 days.
Also note that the shortbread might become soft if mixed with other biscuits.
In order to make apple and cherry rolls, gently simmer 100 g of dried cherries in a saucepan with 5 tablespoon water, and 1 cored and finely chopped dessert apple. Simmer until the water is absorbed. Use thise instead of the fig filling.
NOTE: Dried fruits are useful sources of iron in the diet, specifically for those that are eating little or no red meat.
In addition to iron, dried figs also provide good amount of calcium.
Just 3 dried figs of about 55 g will offer around 20% of the reference daily intake (RNI) of calcium and 17% of the RNI of iron for women aged 19–50.
Also, each serving offers useful source of vitamins A and B6.