As a kid fig rolls were not particularly appetising. They were the snack given when parents were attempting to offer ‘healthier’ snacks, even though they never took into account that said snacks would be full of sugar.
During the Jewish festival of Purim, apart from having to be in fancy dress and get drunk (yes, getting drunk is one of the requirements 🙂 ), there is a tradition called Mishloach Manot, which means you prepare a plate or parcel of food for someone else – neighbours, friends, people who are in need – and offer it to them on the day. It’s considered a ‘mitzvah’ to do this, which means it is a good deed that is recognised by God.
In school every year we’d have to bring a Mishloach Manot plate in filled with goodies and it would be assigned to someone else in the class. My mum made awesome plates filled with all the best stuff and whoever got my plate would very excited.
But there was one kid whose mum, every year without fail, would supply a plate with an over-ripe banana, a bruised apple, a pack of raisins and a fig roll. Of course I was devastated when I got assigned his plate, especially when my mum had gone to so much effort! I almost had more interest in the banana than the soggy fig roll. It put me off fig rolls for life.
Well, up until now that is and I wanted to bring the magic back to fig rolls! I love figs and they’re so full of goodness. They’re high in fibre and essential minerals such as magnesium and calcium, as well as being high in vitamin K, so they are an awesome choice of snack for the last trimester of pregnancy.
I wasn’t sure how I’d make the crust so it was firm enough without being tough or dry, but my dairy free spread from Biona worked really well for this.
It can be a bit fiddly, but I’ve taken a heap of instruction pictures (below) to make it easier so if you follow them it shouldn’t be too hard. Once you know what you’re doing it’s actually a fairly easy recipe. I’d advise reading through the whole method first before starting.
These are gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and paleo, and yet still delicious! I did use an egg so they’re not vegan I’m afraid. As most of you know, I don’t eat meat or dairy but I do eat eggs. I buy my eggs at a local farm (Aldenham – worth a visit!) and they come from the hens that you can see running around when you go to visit.
They turned out so perfect, I was really happy. It isn’t Purim at the moment but last night was the first night of Chanukah so I had the family round and everyone loved them. A great afternoon snack with a cup of tea!
For the filling:
1 cup dried figs, quartered, stems removed
1 tbsp fresh orange juice
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
For the crust:
1 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 large free range egg
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 cup dairy free spread, slightly melted (I use Biona. If you are not dairy free you can use normal butter or you could even use coconut oil, I just found a buttery texture made it creamier)
Preheat the oven to 180* and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Make the filling first by putting the figs in the food processor and pulsing until they seem roughly chopped, then add the rest of the filling ingredients and blend until a slightly chunky paste forms. Set aside.
Make the crust by adding the ground almonds, buckwheat and salt into a large bowl and mixing well with a wooden spoon. Add the egg, maple and butter and mix well until a dough forms. You can do this in the food processor if your food processor allows for things like this, if not manually is fine.
Now the slightly fiddly part. Roll the dough into two balls. Put one aside and put one on a sheet of baking paper
Put another sheet of baking paper on top and roll out with a rolling pin. Using the baking paper will help roll it without it sticking and without having to use flour that will change the consistency of the dough
Roll out into a rectangle. You may have to break bits off and add to other corners if some areas are thicker than others
Once it is in a perfect rectangle, take a sharp knife and cut it in half, lengthways
Now spoon half the fig mixture along the middle of one of the dough halves, making sure to pack it in firmly, leaving enough space around the edge to close it
Using the baking sheet it is on, slowly tip the plain half on top of the half with the filling to close
Slowly take the paper away and close the edges with your fingers
Once you’ve closed the edges it should look like a log as below
Cut around the sides of the baking paper so there is not too much excess and transfer this over to the baking tray.
Repeat this step with the other half of the mixture and add that to the baking tray next to the other log.
Put in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes if it’s a fan oven or perhaps 25 if not a fan oven. Keep an eye on it. It should go golden around the edges but it shouldn’t go too dark otherwise it will end up being too hard. It will also set more once it’s out the oven and cooling.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for around 30 minutes before cutting into slices.
Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Love & health,