Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Vegan Fig Bars

The other day, while out on a South Philly fig hunting bike ride with a Vegan partner in crime, I realized we didn't have a plan as far as how to prepare the figs. I figured a homemade take on Fig Newton's would be a good compromise, as I normally only think of figs as a complement to meat. We were lucky enough to get about 30 fresh figs from various trees in a couple of neighborhoods.

This recipe was SUPER easy, and really quite good.
1c shortening
2c flour
4c diced fresh figs
2c water
1/2t salt
1c brown sugar
2 c quick cooking oats
2T lemon juice
2T orange peel
1c Honey
2T balsamic vinegar

Take a medium sauce pan, and add 4 cups diced figs, 2 cups water, honey, vinegar and orange peel. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for an hour.

Next add 2 table spoons of flour mixed with 2 table spoons of water and stir in until it becomes a thick (Fig Newton like) mixture. Add 2T lemon juice, cook an additional 5 minutes and take off of the heat.

After that, cream together the shortening, and the brown sugar. When that is throughly mixed, add in the oats and keep on mixing! Spread half of the oat/shortening mixture on the bottom of a greased glass baking tray, and dump on the fig mixture.

Spread the mixture evenly across the entire tray.

Cover with the remaining oats and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Although not necessary, we threw it in the broiler to brown up the top. Slice them while warm, and let cool completely before removing.

Although this picture is bad (Iphone!), the finished product tastes great! Next time, I might try something different for the top crust. Also, you could put virtually ANY fruit in the saucepan to start and it would have similarly great results (cherries, peaches, or blueberries come to mind). Give it a try, and impress your Vegan friends.

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