Getting figgy with it
This recipe is BOGOF (Buy one get one free). The biscuits and the baked figs can equally be enjoyed separately but make one cracking combination in a dessert. So you get them both in one post. Lucky you.
Let’s start with the biscuits. The basic recipe for these came from the fabulous Fitter Food Book. I took the basic chestnut cookies – which combine chestnut flour & butter, then brought together with an egg – then added some ground ginger, diced dried figs & rosemary. Even though rosemary is traditionally paired with dishes like lamb it works really well paired with fig and chestnut in these biscuits – the other well know dish which makes use of chestnut and rosemary is Italian Castagnaccio cake.
Chestnut flour is incredibly sweet on its own, and the butter adds a wonderful texture to a biscuit. Considering there is no gluten or processed agent in this recipe these are amazing biscuits – they actually have the texture and taste of real biscuits! There is no need for extra sugar in this recipe but I did add a teeny sprinkling of coconut palm sugar to the top of the biscuits before baking – this added a caramel sheen. Sadly this was the last of the chestnut flour I bought on my last trip to Italy. If you want to get hold of some in the UK – see here for info on where to buy.
With the biscuits made and sampled (I had originally cooked them for another purpose). I had a vision of them decorating the side of a dessert plate – and what better to pair them with than yet more figs! Figs are in season at the moment, and looking absolutely plump, colourful and delicious. Baking them with a bit of fiery ginger & warming honey made for the perfect almost Autumnal dessert! The whole dish was finished with a dollop of crème fraiche mostly to bring down a little of the gingery heat, but also to add some richness. If you don’t tolerate dairy products you could switch this up for coconut yoghurt, or a dairy free ice-cream.
It got dark by the time I served this up to my dinner guests, and I changed my mind about where to dollop the crème fraiche. Apologies for the dark, and crème-messy photo. You get the idea though right?
Here’s both recipes:
Fig & Rosemary Biscuits
Ingredients (makes a batch of approx 26 small biscuits)
I used a heart shaped cutter – which was cm across at widest point
- 225g Chestnut flour
- 2 tsps ground ginger
- tsp finely sliced rosemary
- 110g room temperature butter (ideally grass fed)
- 4 dried figs, finely diced
- 1 egg
- 2 tsps of coconut sugar (to sprinkle over)
- Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C
- Mix together the chestnut flour with the ginger, finely sliced rosemary and butter till crumby. Add in the dried figs (they are quite sticky) along with the egg and thoroughly mix together till you can bring together the ingredients as a dough.
- Roll out the dough to desired thickness, and use a pastry cutter (or bottom of a glass cup) to cut out your biscuit shapes. Patience is definitely of the essence when rolling the cookies. The easiest way to work with the non-gluten dough is to roll out a bit at a time – generally getting 3-4 cookies from each roll out. With no gluten there is no worries about over working the dough – hoorah!
- Place the figs on a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle over the coconut sugar. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
Baked Figs (serves 4)
- 4 figs
- 2 teaspoons of raw honey
- pinch of ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees C.
- Cut each fig into quarter – but just cut down half way. Don’t cut all the way through! Push the figs from the base so the top forces its way apart.
- Place the figs in an oven proof dish.
- In a separate small bowl combine the honey, ginger and vanilla extract. Drizzle over the figs, then place in the oven to cook through for 20 minutes.
For the final dish, plate up a fig, with a dollop of crème fraiche and 2 (or more 😉 ) figgy biscuits on the side. Drizzle over any excess liquid from the baking dish.