Fig and almond slab for cheese

Fig and almond slab for cheese

Pan de higo

By
From
Lucy's Bakes
Makes
1
Prep
15 mins
Cooking time
5 mins
Photographer
Jacqui Melville

This recipe is so simple – the most complicated bit of this is picking the stalks off the dried figs! It sums up Northern Spain for me but, in truth, I ate it first over the border in Biarritz, South West France. It is a dried slab of fruit and nuts, sweet and sticky and perfect with salty cheeses. So Roquefort from that part of France or Manchego, the mature white sheep’s cheese from Spain are wonderful accompaniments. It is also easily packed up prettily for a gift.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g whole blanched almonds or a mixture of nuts
750g dried figs
100g dried apricots
50g honey
pinch ground cinnamon
slug brandy, (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Oil a 500 g loaf tin, then line with a double layer of cling film.
  2. Spread the nuts out on a shallow baking tray and bake for 5 minutes or until golden brown, remove and set aside to cool, then roughly chop, so some pieces are larger and some smaller.
  3. Remove the stalks from the figs and put the fruit into a food processor with the apricots, honey and cinnamon and blend to a rough paste. Add a slug of brandy, if using, at this stage. This mix will be sticky and you might need to stop the processor and move the mix around to blend evenly.
  4. Mix in the roughly chopped nuts.
  5. Press the mixture into the prepared tin – you can use all the tin and have it flatter or pack into half the tin so it is full height.
  6. Turn the shaped bar out onto a board covered in cling film and leave out in the open air in a cool place, such as a larder, for a week, lightly covered with paper towel or a clean cloth to protect it. Turn it to expose a different to edge to the air every couple of days. This will dry it out enough so that it can be sliced and then can be stored in the fridge, covered, for up to 6 months.

Note

  • This recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free.

What the testers say

  • COLIN MEEKCOMS – ‘When Lucy asked me to try making this and I saw how easy it looked I agreed. I was blown away by how good it was with cheese – especially soft Brie and salty blue cheese. It keeps in the fridge for months so I only need to make a batch once in a blue moon and I am sorted.’

    CLAIRE VAN DIJK – ‘I adore this and I don’t need cheese to eat it – great cut small with coffee after dinner.’

    BEN COLEBY – ‘I made and nibbled at it for days and it’s great on a cheeseboard but also lovely as canapés – I served it wrapped in smoked ham – just make sure you toast the almonds well.’
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