I think my love of figs started with a Fig Newton back when I was a kid. Maybe it was the catchy jingle in the commercial that drew me in, or maybe it was the chewy ooey rich and gooey inside, wrapped in a golden flaky tender cakey outside, who knows? But there was definitely something about a Fig Newton I really enjoyed.
Today, I am always looking for delicious recipes to make with fresh figs because I have a couple of trees in my backyard, and they are loaded with them. During the season, I can hardly pick my figs fast enough, so you might want to get friendly with your neighbors, and bum some off of them. Fresh figs are brighter in flavor than dried figs, but you can make fig jam with either of them, I just prefer using fresh. It’s quick and easy to dice up a few baskets of figs and cook them down into a thick burgundy jam for the filling. This luscious jam is so spectacular, you’ll probably want to make another batch to spread on toast, or dollop over a bowl of vanilla ice cream.
As far as the crust and crumb topping, it’s the same mixture, only I added some quick oats to the reserved dough to create the crumbly topping. I think the combination of oats and whole wheat flour pair nicely with the sweet figgy filling. These bars are one of the best treats of the summer and make a great dessert to take along to the beach, park or other outdoor adventure you may be exploring this summer.
Crust & Topping
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat or whole wheat white flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup quick oats
4 cups quartered fresh figs, about 12
1/2 cup granulated sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
(Makes 16 Bars)
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add figs, sugar and 1/2 cup water. Cook for 25 minutes until soft and some of the liquid has evaporated, remove from heat. After 20 minutes, puree until almost smooth with a immersion blender, or in a regular blender. Add lemon juice and stir. Set aside.
- Grease an 8 x 8 pan and line both direction with parchment or wax paper. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl on medium speed, combine butter, brown sugar and egg for 1 minute. Add vanilla and mix again for another minute. Add flours, baking powder and salt, mix for 30 seconds, just until dough begins to come together.
- Place 2/3 of dough into prepared pan and press dough into bottom to form a crust. Bake for 12 minutes, just until lightly puffed. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Add oatmeal to remaining dough and press together to form coarse crumbs, set aside. Add jam on top of baked crust, spread out evenly. Sprinkle jam with crumbs and bake in oven for 18-20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove and let cool completely before slicing. You can store in refrigerator for easier slicing, or to serve later. Enjoy!