So the Husband is on my $hit list.
This morning, when I was feeding the girls, I walked over to the sink and saw my mini springform pan–empty–sitting, waiting to be washed.
Last night, when I went to bed, it was in the fridge. Full of a perfect, beautiful, individual fig bar intended for a friend. The fig bar I was going to take pictures of to post with this brand new recipe I created, because it had clean layers and perfect edges from the springform pan. The fig bar I TOLD him last night was for someone else.
He apologized. He told me he didn’t cut into the big pan, because he thought I wouldn’t want him to. That was the reasoning he gave for eating the special one. He said it was amazingly tasty though, so there IS that.
I am lucky enough to have a couple of friends out here with fig trees. As anyone so blessed knows, when figs are in season, you are buried in them for the brief special time. So earlier this week, I was gifted with a small bag of Celeste figs. I immediately trimmed off the stems, sliced them in half, threw them in the dehydrator, and ended up with:
Yeah. How’s that for food porn? No treatment whatsoever. And they’re amazing.
And then, another friend brought me two quart bags of LSU Purple figs. Rather than throw those straight into the dehydrator (though tempted), I started thinking about making something with them. The Husband LOVES fig newtons, so I was tempted to make some homemade ones for him, but the truth of the matter is that there is some mysterious chemical compound in the preservatives for newtons that makes no natural version ever measure up. You just can’t get the perfect cake/cookie texture. So I turned my mind to fig bars.
And then, being weird, I decided to do a grain-free version. And then, why not go dairy-free too? And how about sugar-free, while we’re at it? This recipe will end up on the vegan page as well, because it’s super simple to remove the egg used in the recipe below.
So here it is, the super-tasty Paleo, Vegan (if you want), Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free original recipe for the fig bars my Husband felt the need to sneakily steal in the middle of the night.
Paleo Fig Bars
Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook Time: 30 minutes, Total Time: 4-12 hours, Yield: 16+ squares (9″x9″ pan)
- 8 medium-sized fresh Figs, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups Apple Juice, divided
- 4 tbsp. Chia Seeds
- 1 1/4 cup blanched Almond Flour (you can use almond meal instead, without issues)
- 1 1/4 cup Cashew Flour (you can use all almond meal instead; I used a blend to make it a more buttery flavor, like shortbread)
- 1/3 cup granulated Erythritol (or sweetener of choice)
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 cup Coconut Oil (measured solid), melted
- 1 Egg (or, for a vegan option, omit egg and add 2 tbsp. additional coconut oil)
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 cup Almonds, sliced
- 1 cup Walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup Pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup Almond Meal
- 1/2 cup Coconut Oil, soft
- 1/4 cup granulated Erythritol (or sweetener of choice)
- 2 tsp. powdered ginger (or more, if you taste it and decide you want more)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
- In a saucepan, boil 1 cup of apple juice and toss in your chopped fresh figs. Boil for 20 minutes, covered.
- While the figs are cooking, in a medium-sized bowl, mix together almond meal, cashew meal, erythritol, and sea salt until well-incorporated. Stir in egg, melted coconut oil, and vanilla with a fork until all of the solids become a sandy, uniform dough. Press evenly into the bottom of a 9″x9″ pan lined with parchment paper (you can spray it, but parchment will make removal a million times easier) and stick into the oven with your timer set for 10 minutes.
- Remove the crust from the oven after 10 minutes, or when it has baked to a golden brown. Cover with aluminum foil after it has cooled and leave it somewhere cool and dry until your jam has reached the texture you desire.
- Smash up figs (or puree with an immersion blender, like I did) and continue to cook down a bit, letting as much of the natural sugar develop and thicken as possible.
- Remove your fig puree from the heat and pour into a bowl. Stir in the additional 1/2 cup of apple juice and your chia seeds. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
- When the jam has set to your desired consistancy, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
- In a medium bowl, mix up all of your topping nuts, the almond meal, the granulated erythritol, and your powdered ginger. Use softened (but not melted) coconut oil and work it into your mixture, making your crumble topping.
- Spread the fig jam over your crust in a uniform thickness. Sprinkle your crumble topping all over your fig layer in bits, using all of it to create a nice, thick layer made out of little blobs.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until the tops of the nuts have begun to brown. Remove from oven, cool, cut, and serve!
Notes: If you have more jam than you want, stick the extra in the fridge to use within the next 10 days as you would any jam, or in the freezer to defrost and use within a month or so. If you don’t intend to serve these right away, I would suggest storing them in the fridge. This will mean your crust is less “crunchy” and more of a moist rich layer, but will insure that your fresh fig jam doesn’t get runny and stays fresh.