Fresh figs are hard to find year-round, but our hankering for fig bars isn’t limited to certain months (or satisfied by overly cakey Fig Newtons). Fortunately for us—and our cravings—dried figs baked up just as well as fresh in our bars, as long as they got a quick pre-treatment. Simply pureeing sweet, thin-skinned Turkish and Calimyrna figs made for terribly dry bars, so we rehydrated them first. Water did little for the flavor and orange juice and wine were both too acidic, but apple juice gave us a slight sweetness and subtle flavor boost that highlighted all that the figs had to offer.
MAKING FIG BARS
1. After mixing the dough and spreading most of it inside a pan lined with a greased foil sling, top it with a piece of greased parchment paper and smooth the crust into an even layer with the bottom of a measuring cup. Remove the parchment before parbaking the crust. Meanwhile, roll out the remaining dough (used for the top crust) between 2 sheets of greased parchment paper into an 8-inch square and stash it in the freezer until the last step.
2. Spread the fig filling into an even layer over the baked crust.
3. Remove the top crust from the freezer, unwrap, and lay on top of the filling. Press lightly on the dough to adhere. Finish baking.
Find this and other great recipes in The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.