“I put together a special field kit with some of the things I was going to need, like a Magnum flashlight, ChapStick, some Fig Newtons, plastic bags for important evidence and litter, my cell phone…”
– Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer
This is not your store bought Fig Newtons.
Before I tasted a real fig, I just assumed that a Fig Newton was only making something better. Then I tasted a fresh ripe fig from our backyard last year. Heavens opened, angels sang, life was never the same again, yada yada.
Along with stumbling across a fig tree last year in the backyard (it was a rental and the backyard was a bit jungle-esque, hence the actual physical stumble), I found that a fully grown fig tree provides fruit hard and fast, on its terms, not yours. And just like that I found myself the proud (if bewildered) owner of a small canning kit, and Jamie gifting me with home preserving books.
I will also say that February in Perth is not the time you want to be standing over a stinking hot stove.
However, having been travelling over this fig season this year, I can honestly say I’m thrilled I made as many fig pastes as I did (half were eaten by the jarful as breakfast. Sometimes with yogurt if we felt guilty about balance). As I came up to the one year mark, I used the last of my jars, smearing them into this delicious Fig Newton cookie.
- 300g fig paste (about 1¼ cups)
- 1 heaped cup of dried figs
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1½ cups water
- 115g room temperature butter
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1½ cups plain flour
- If fig paste isn't being used, in a medium saucepan, place in the dried figs and cover with water. Let soak overnight.
- The next day, pour in the sugar, bring to a simmer. Let simmer until the the fig has become soft and breaks apart into a goopy paste.
- Mix together the dough, wrap and chill for one hour.
- Roll out the dough into a rectangle, and cut strips 5cm thick.
- Scoop a tsp of fig paste onto one end of the dough strip and roll.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until starting to golden around the edges.