Failed pun attempts aside, when I saw these homemade gluten-free/sugar-free Fig Newtons, I knew they would be my next challenge. Like most people, Fig Newtons were not my go-to treat as a kid–but the thought of layering FIG jam between two slightly-sweet and crumbly cookies was just too good for me to pass up. Stef over at the Cupcake Project came up with this recipe, and she got hers to come out looking like this:
By now, the discerning reader is asking herself, “Isn’t this a post about a FIG tart? How did we get on the topic FIG Newtons?” And the discerning blogger would answer, “Good FIGGIN’ question.”
I followed the recipe in spirit (ie: I changed the type of oil and type of sweetener but kept everything else the same) and it’s possible that my substitutions were denser than those of the original cookie recipe–to be honest I don’t know the molecular makeup of grape seed oil. Perhaps there is supposed to be some baking soda in there somewhere–who knows. All I know is that the dough I made was never going to result in those beautiful, crumbly cookies pictured above.
Spirits were pretty low in the Kefi Kitchen when I put the “newtons” in the oven, but when they came out…
a tart was born! I brought this with me to a picnic full of gluten LOVERS and they all gushed over it (including GingerKef, who won’t even eat at Sweetgreen because he finds their lack of Ranch dressing to be a class critique–so we’re not talking about mamby-pamby eaters here).
So you see kids, this convoluted post with tangents, twists, turns, failures, and bad puns was really just all about how I came to fall in love with this truly awesome FIG tart. Below is the recipe as I made it, complete with substitutions and hail-Mary additions and alterations. To try your hand at the Newtons proper, play around with the original recipe and let me know how it goes.
A FIG Tart That Might Come Out as FIG Newtons If You are a Better Baker Than I Am
- 1 batch of FIG Jam (or jam of choice)
- 3 c almond meal
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2-3/4 c maple syrup
- 1/4 c vegetable oil
- 1 TBS vanilla extract
- 3-4 TBS coconut flour (optional, as I’m not sure it really made a difference, but I used it so I thought I’d list it)
1. Get your jam ready to be slathered. It should be room temperature.
2. Combine almond meal and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Combine maple syrup, oil, and extract in another bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. It will look runny and like it will never turn into anything. Do not despair.
3. Chill “dough” for at least an hour. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (yes, you really need the parchment–a silicon baking sheet may also do the trick but I think parchment is best here).
4. After dough has chilled, it should be thicker than it was when you first mixed it. This is good. Add coconut flour one TBS at a time, making sure each is absorbed before adding the next.
5. Using a flat spatula, divide dough into two halves. Spread the first half of the dough into a thin-but-not-transparent rectangle- mine was about 1/4-inch thick and probably 5X10 inches. The dimensions don’t really matter, so long as you have an evenly-spread base.
6. Spread a thin layer of jam over entirety of dough, all the way to edges. I used about 1 cup of jam to do this.
7. Spread remaining half of dough over top of jam, all the way to edges. If you’re having a great day, it will fit perfectly; if you’re having a not-so-great day, you’ll have some spots where it won’t quite match up. That’s okay.
8. Bake for 15-17 minutes at 350F. Tart will be getting firmer but not dry or set. Increase temp to 375F and cook for another 15-20 minutes, rotating pan at least once. Tart is done when edges are browned and center is golden and firm.