Streusel topping bakes golden mingled with chewy fig filling on fig bars that you might just decide are the best fig bars.
Which Figs to Use in Fig Bars
You’ll start by rehydrating the figs low and slow in apple juice until they’re puffed and soft with most of the liquid absorbed, as the rest of the liquid takes on a thick, syrupy texture.
Puree the figs and apple juice syrup in a food processor, setting it aside to completely cool.
We like the flavor of Sun-Maid or Orchard Choice Golden Figs—it’s slightly nutty, delicately sweet, and tangy, but also can’t resist the familiar fruity flavor of Mission Figs with a reminiscent taste of childhood cookies.
Two-for-One: Crust & Streusel
Whisk the dry ingredients. Then, you’ll beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, mixing in the dry ingredients until it resembles wet sand. Then, you’ll use half the dough as the crust and the other half as streusel.
Press one half of the dough into a 9-inch pan. Then, spread cooled fig puree evenly over the bottom crust. With the remaining portion of dough, sprinkle on the remaining crumbs and press them into the top.
California Fig Streusel Bars
- Vegetable oil spray
- 1 lb Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs stems removed
- 3 cups apple juice
- 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats or quick oats
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 16 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Bring the figs and 2 cups of the apple juice to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, adding more juice as necessary, cup at a time, until the figs are puffed and soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed and the remaining liquid is thick and syrupy, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer the figs and the remaining apple juice to a food processor and puree until very smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside at room temperature until completely cool, about 45 minutes.
- Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with vegetable oil spray. Following the illustrations below, fit one sheet of foil or parchment (large enough to overhang the sides of the pan) into the bottom of the greased pan, pushing it into the corners and up the sides of the pan (the overhang will help in the removal of the baked bars). Fit the second sheet in the pan in the same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet. Spray the foil with vegetable oil spray.
- Whisk the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low speed, add the dry ingredients, and beat until the mixture is well combined and resembles moist sand, about 2 minutes. Transfer half of the mixture to the prepared pan and use your hands to press the crumbs evenly into the bottom. Using a rubber spatula, spread the cooled fig puree evenly over the bottom crust. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs evenly over the puree and press lightly to adhere.
- Bake until the fig puree bubbles around the edges and the top is golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours. Remove the bars from the pan using the foil handles and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 1-inch squares and serve.
Recipe source: America’s Test Kitchen. Valley Fig is a proud sponsor of the America’s Test Kitchen.