I bought a jar of fig jam a little while ago and had been wondering what to do with it. Toast is perhaps the obvious answer but I felt that such an interesting ingredient deserved a more interesting use. So I popped it in the pantry, happy in the knowledge that the right idea would come along sooner or later. And sure enough, while reading the food and dining sections of newspapers online I found just the recipe. It was a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe, layering raspberry jam, fresh raspberries and an almond frangipane on top of a biscuit base that gave me the idea. Where he uses raspberries and raspberry jam, I could use figs and fig jam. And although it’s officially now autumn, my local market still has some late summer fruit on offer, figs included. So I hopped on my bike and with the fresh figs tucked carefully in my basket, I pedalled home to get baking. There are a few steps involved, but none of them terribly difficult, so I encourage you to give it a go. The original recipe says raspberries, but I used figs, and really I think any number of matching pairs would work well; apricots and apricot jam, peaches and peach jam, plums and plum jam… Start with that jar of jam lurking in the back of your pantry and go from there!
Fig and Almond Slice (adapted from a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe)
- 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 50g caster sugar
- 100g plain flour
- Pinch salt
- 150g ground almonds
- 50g plain flour, sifted
- 150g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 150g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 200g fig jam
- 2 large fresh figs, sliced in to wedges
- ¼ cup flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 170C and lightly grease an 18cm x 25cm baking dish.
To make the base, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour and salt, mix to combine. Press the mixture into the base of the dish and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the dish. Turn the oven up to 180C.
Meanwhile, make the filling for the middle layer. Combine the ground almonds and flour. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoon of almond mix if the mixture starts to split. Fold in the remaining almond mixture.
To assemble, spread the jam evenly over the cooled biscuit base and then spoon the almond mix on top. Use the back of the spoon to spread the filling evenly. Arrange the fig pieces on top and finally sprinkle the flaked almonds over. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden. Leave to cool in the dish. Cut in to pieces and serve with a little cream or ice-cream, if you wish.