Bring a taste of fall to the table. This seeded fig and pumpkin crackers recipe is just the thing to serve for your holiday appetizers.
All Eyes on Holiday Appetizers
This holiday season with a bit of planning, you can bake your own crackers to serve alongside cheeses and charcuterie you pick up at the store. Think of it as the ultimate easy appetizer plate with crackers your guests will think are better than any crackers you could buy at the store.
Why This Recipe Works
These vibrantly flavored crackers take inspiration from biscotti, another crunchy delight made by forming dough into a loaf that is baked, then sliced into individual pieces and baked a second time. Here you’ll season pumpkin puree with orange zest and baharat, a finely ground Middle Eastern and North African spice blend featuring ground red pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Once the dough comes together, fold in a blend of sesame seeds, pistachios, and Sun-Maid or Orchard Choice California Dried Figs. Freezing the loaves after the first bake ensures that you can slice the crackers thin enough for the second bake. And here’s a major bonus to that approach: You need only slice the number of crackers you want to serve at any given time, reserving the rest of the frozen loaves for another occasion.
Concocting a cheese plate takes a bit of finesse. We’ve written about how to set up a cheese board with tips on types of cheeses to include with other nibbles like fruit and of course, Sun-Maid and Orchard Choice California Dried Figs. You may think we are biased, but really, dried figs pair exceptionally well with a wide variety of cheeses and are a simple add-on that just requires opening a bag or resealable container. Some of our favorite cheeses include Brie, goat cheese, blue cheese, and cheddar to start.
If you’re thinking more in the way of a charcuterie platter, we’ve got you covered there too. You can make the prettiest nibble board or appetizing accompaniment for happy hour through a bit of shopping and assembling. Salty meats and naturally sweet dried figs are perfect partners. Find pro-tips for crafting a beautifully delicious charcuterie plate here.
Before You Begin the Fig and Pumpkin Crackers Recipe
The crackers will continue to crisp as they cool. This fig and pumpkin crackers recipe is best made in two 5 1/2 by 3‐inch loaf pans. You can use one 8 1/2 by 4 1/2‐inch loaf pan instead; bake the loaf for the same amount of time and then slice the frozen loaf down the center before slicing crosswise to achieve the right size crackers. Also, you can substitute store-bought baharat, if you prefer.
Seeded Fig and Pumpkin Crackers Recipe
Baharat (makes 3 tablespoons)
- 1 TBSP ground nutmeg
- 1 TBSP paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup (5oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon baharat
- 1/2 TBSP table salt
- 1/4 cup (1 3/4oz) sugar
- 2 TBSP vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 TBSP grated orange zest
- 1 cup (6oz) Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs , stemmed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- 1/3 cup shelled pistachos , toasted and chopped
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
Make Baharat Spice Mix
- Combine nutmeg, paprika,coriander, cinnamon, and cumin in small bowl.
Make the Crackers
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 5 1/2 by 3‐inch loaf pans. Whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda together in large bowl; set aside. Combine pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon baharat (reserve remainder for another use), and table salt in 10‐inch skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 3/4 cup, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to medium bowl. Stir in sugar and oil and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk eggs and orange zest into pumpkin mixture, then fold into reserved flour mixture until combined (some small lumps of flour are OK). Fold in figs, sesame seeds, and pistachios. Scrape batter into prepared pans, smoothing tops with rubber spatula. Bake until skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes, switching and rotating pans halfway through baking.
- Let loaves cool in pans on wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove loaves from pans and let cool completely on rack, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer cooled loaves to zipper-lock bag and freeze until firm, about three hours. (Loaves can be frozen for up to one month before slicing.)
- Heat oven to 300F and line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a serrated knife, carefully slice each frozen loaf as thin as possible (about ¼-inch thick). Arrange slices in single layer on prepared sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until dark golden, 25 to 30 minutes, flipping crackers and rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer sheet to wire rack and let crackers cool completely, about 30 minutes. Serve. (Cooled crackers can be stored in airtight container for up to 3 days.)