I make no apologies for posting two consecutive bakes based on oats - flapjacks, and this type of fruit-filled square, are quick to assemble and bake and we all know oats are healthy, don't we?
I based my recipe on these Date Squares from Joy of Baking, but I used figs for the filling and scaled the recipe down to fit a smaller baking tin - 20cm(8") square. I also used spelt flour instead of wheatflour in the dough.
250g soft dried figs
1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice*
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
160g porridge oats
100g spelt flour
100g soft light brown sugar
scant 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
*I used Waitrose Signature Spice mix, which is predominantly cinnamon but also contains ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, star anise, black pepper, tangerine oil and cloves.
Cut the figs into small pieces, either with scissors, as I did, or in a food processor. Put into a small saucepan with the water and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes until the water is absorbed. Stir in the spice and pomegranate molasses.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line the base and sides of a 20cm (8") square baking tin with baking parchment.
Put the oats, flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl and rub in the butter (or use a food processor to mix in cold butter in pulses until the mixture is crumbly and just beginning to come together).
Dot small heaps of the fruit mix over the dough, and use a knife or back of a spoon to spread out into an even layer, right to the edges of the tin.
Crumble over the rest of the dough mix and again, spread evenly. Press down gently to firm the mixture.
Bake for about 40 minutes, until golden brown. Cool in the tin, marking into squares or bars before it cools completely.
These spiced fig squares were a little crumblier than I really like, although they did firm up a bit after the first day. The spiced fig filling was delicious, although I would use a bit more spice if I made them again, and cut the figs into smaller pieces in my mini-processor, rather than snip into pieces with scissors.