The tip for steaming the still-warm rolls in an airtight container after baking comes from pastry chef Stella Parks’ Brave Tart blog (bravetart.com), and it keeps them wonderfully soft
Almond, honey and cinnamon fig rolls
Makes about 24 rolls
For the pastry
125g butter, softened
75g light muscovado sugar
1 egg yolk
seeds of 1⁄2 vanilla pod
75g plain white flour, plus extra for dusting
75g wholemeal flour
50g ground almonds
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
For the filling
220g soft dried figs, any hard stalks removed
1⁄2 small eating apple, skin on, grated
1 heaped tbsp honey
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
2 tsp orange juice
pinch of ground cinnamon pinch of salt
1 To make the pastry, cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl, or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until pale. Beat in the egg yolk. Add the vanilla, flours, ground almonds, cinnamon and salt and gently mix to form a soft ball of dough. Flatten into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill for 15 mins.
2 In a food processor, blitz the figs, apple, honey, orange zest and juice, cinnamon and salt to form a sticky paste.
3 Preheat the oven to 170C/Fan 150C/335F. Line two baking trays with baking parchment. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge, place between two pieces of cling film and roll out to a large rectangle about 3mm thick. The dough will be quite fragile and sticky.
4 Cut the dough lengthways into three long strips. Spoon or pipe a third of the fig mixture down the centre of one strip and use a palette knife to help you gently fold one side on top, followed by the other, to create a long, enclosed tube. Press the edges of the pastry together to seal, then repeat with the remaining two strips.
5 Use a sharp knife to cut each length of pastry into 5cm-wide rolls, then place each one, seam-side down, onto the prepared trays.
6 Bake for 20 mins or until lightly golden and slightly puffed. Then carefully transfer to a plastic container with a lid to cool completely. This steaming gives them their characteristic cake-like texture. The rolls will keep in an airtight container for 3–4 days.
Recipes from Homemade Memories by Kate Doran. Photography by Helen Cathcart (Orion Books)