Although I am not a fan of dry fruits, I guess I do prefer them over fresh fruits. If I am in the mood to lose some weight and do some serious dieting, I turn to dry fruits when I need a power packed in between-the-meal snack. Prunes are my most favourite, then come figs and lastly dates. If you’ve not guessed by now, I don’t have a sweet tooth but do indulge in Indian sweets – can’t resist ’em. Due to health reasons now I curtail my urge to make Indian sweets – one reason why you won’t find too many sweet recipes on my blog, but I do think that festive goodies that are made with naturally sweet ingredients are just brilliant.
Orange & Cardamom Fig Newtons
For the pastry dough
- 200 gm plain flour maida
- 125 gm unsalted butter
- 75 gm icing sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
For the filling
- 250 gm dried figs
- 240 ml / 1 cup orange juice
- zest of 1 lime/lemon
- 3 cardamom pods slightly bruised
Prepare the pastry:
- In a large bowl, put the butter, icing sugar and vanilla and beat till light and creamy. Beat in the egg and sift in the flour, mix well and then transfer the contents onto a lightly floured pan - the dough is going to be extremely soft and sticky/crumbly - keep dusting extra flour till you can work it into a dough ball. Cover the pan with cling wrap and place it in the fridge for about 25-30 minutes.
Prepare the filling
- In a heavy bottomed pan, place all the ingredients mentioned under 'for the filling' and bring it to a boil. After a couple of minutes simmer until the figs have plumped up and the liquid is almost dry. Let some moisture remain. Remove from the flame and discard the cardamom pods. Once cooled, blitz (blend) the figs in a mixer grinder/food processor into a paste. Divide into three portions and keep aside.
Making the cookies
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celcius. Lightly grease a baking tray.
- Divide the pastry dough into three parts and roll each into a smooth ball. On a well floured surface flatten & roll each ball of dough into a rectangle of approx 36x12cm as thinly as possible. Dust extra flour to avoid it from sticking. Take a third of the fig filling and place it along the centre of the pastry. Fold one side of the pastry over the filling and then the other side over it. Press gently to seal and turn the whole roll over so that the sealed side is at the bottom. Trim the ends and then cut the roll into pieces of approx 2" each.
- Place each roll on the greased baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes till the rolls are pale golden. Remove onto a wire rack, cool completely and then dust with icing sugar before serving.
- Store in an airtight container - it keeps well for upto a 4-5 days at room temperature
The nutritional values are only indicative.