Fig & Red Currant Bars

July has really been flying by for me. I have mile long list of recipes to try and a never-ending fridge full of vegis, but I am not getting much accomplished. The friend who I split my CSA with has been in Europe the last two weeks (ya, I know!), so I have been attempting to eat my way through the full share. This, along with the fact that I have been spending what’s left of my few free summer weekends lounging at the Cape leaves me only five days (if I’m optimistic) to work my way through a mess of vegis before the next round comes in. So, ya I’m behind.

But instead of concentrating on what I have on hand like a normal person, I decided to do something totally practical like buy a big box of figs. Oh, and red currants. In my defense, the season for both is limited and the red currants are oh so pretty I just couldn’t pass them up. Because apparently pretty is now a criteria for buying produce.

So I present to you Fig & Red Currant Bars, an oatmealy-fig-newton-esque bar (but SO much better), which perfectly combines all my favorite elements of baking. Sugar, alcohol and good looking produce.

If you cannot get your hands on red currants, don’t fret. While they add a delicious layer of flavor, they can be substituted with another berry (blueberries…mmm…) or left out if you’re a fig-only kind of fanatic.

Fig & Red Currant Bars
serves 6-8

Streusel Dough
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted (12 T)
1 c packed light brown sugar, divided
1 banana, mashed
3/4 t salt
1 1/2 c oats
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour

10-12 Black Mission figs, finely chopped
1/2 c red currants (plus additional for garnish)
1 c orange juice
1/4 c agave nectar
1/4 c packed light brown sugar
1/2 t ground cloves
2 T dark rum or Cognac

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a 13x9 baking pan with parchment paper, allowing ends to overhang. In a large bowl, combine butter, 3/4 c brown sugar, banana and salt. Stir well. Add oats and flour, and mix until well combined. Transfer half (or a bit more) of the dough to the baking pan, pressing into a thin layer evenly in the bottom. Add 1/4 c brown sugar to the remainder of the streusel dough in the bowl, stir, and set aside. Freeze baking pan 8-10 minutes, until dough is firm. Transfer to oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Increase oven temperature to 350F.

Combine filling ingredients in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes. Add in red currants and simmer an additional 10-15 minutes, stirring, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Spread filling evenly over crust. Scoop streusel dough, in small clumps, over filling. Sprinkle with additional red currants. Bake, 20-25 minutes, until streusel topping is golden brown. Carefully lift using parchment overhang and transfer to a cutting board. Allow to cool and cut into 2” squares.


Anonymous said...

it is tough some weeks to get through a CSA box. we have so many greens that they have started to make their way into almost every meal. could be a worse problem i guess;)

Pretty Neat Designs said...

Beautiful photographs, as usual. And once again, I am hungry just looking at them!

Dana said...

These look lovely, but I just.can't.do.figs. Wish I was closer so I could help you with your share!

Deb Schiff said...

Gorgeous! Thanks for the recipe. Great combination.

Sprouted Kitchen said...

yummmmmm these look fantastic. Figs are the greatest fruit ever. Way to put them to good use ~

Uncle Beefy said...

Well, it is no surprise, perhaps, that I have quite the sweet tooth which is why these beauties stopped me in my tracks! They look SOOOOOOO delicious! Though I should probably be sticking to the whole wheat & veg pasta! ;)

The Thirty-Something Bride said...

I just found this blog and it makes me very very very happy. Thanks!

leslie said...

my goodness -I have not stopped thinking about these bars since I saw the images of them on flickr!!! must make them for my family next week.

vicki (simply hue) said...

Just wanted to let you know that I've added your blog to my blogroll. :) I love it! I especially like that you tell what's in season. I'm horrible at remembering which foods are in season when! lol.

Juliana said...

Wow, this bars look so yummie...unfortunately cannot find fresh figs and red currant locally...great pictures!

kelly said...

these look and sound so delicious!

Anonymous said...

Oh this recipe is going to please a few of my friends which were complaining I didn't do any cereals bars ately for camping!

susan h said...

thank you so much for all your recipes. i substituted fresh figs for dried. the dried figs were soaked for about 30min in rum. i also substituted the currants with raspberries. the filling came out delicious. thanks again for your great ideas!