This recipe was inspired by my sister, who has been searching for the fig bars we grew up with. These bars were one of those box deals: Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines. Who knows. Apparently no one wants them anymore because they can't be found. But she searches on.
Well search no more, Cindy. Here's a recipe! It uses fresh figs so it doesn't quite have the same taste, but--dare I say--my fig bars are more spectacular! Oh, I said it!
I do believe, should one prefer the box taste, that you can mimic the filling by revitalizing dried figs. Maybe try something like combining 1 cup diced dried figs with 1 1/2 cups water, a cup of apple or orange juice, and a 1/4 cup sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for an hour or so. I haven't tried it, but it might work.
- Fig jam:
- 1 lb fresh black figs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 lemon
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1 tbsp water
- Oaty exterior:
- 2 cups oats
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
Prepare fig jam. Remove stems and cut figs in half. Place in a small pot. Add sugar and the juice of a lemon. Cook on medium heat until the figs soften and break down, occasionally stirring and mashing them with a wooden spoon (about 20 minutes). Mix corn starch into the water until fully dissolved. Add to fig mixture to thicken. Remove from heat. Let cool before using.
Preheat oven to 350º. Using about 1/2 to 1 tbsp butter, grease an 8" square baking pan.
Now for the oats. Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle. Run for a few seconds to combine the ingredients. Cut the remaining butter into pats and add to the oat mixture. Combine.
Press half the oat mixture into the bottom of the buttered pan. Spread fig jam on top of the oats. Cover with the remaining oat mixture and pat lightly.
Bake for 40 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.