I’ve noticed some acorns on the ground… And in the morning it was raining (and me without umbrella) and leaves were on the ground too. But no, we’re not going to yield to autumn yet. We are having our 2 weeks of summer – and it’s sunny agaaaaain! So the umbrella was quite useless. This IS typical St Petersburg.
This year the summer was very rich in berries while our apple trees have definitely taken a time-out after last year’s apple-craziness. But the last summer’s stock of apple jams, apple puree and apple-everything is not exhausted yet. So I decided to substitute the fig jam in the recipe I’m sharing with you today – with one of my Granny’s thicker variations on ‘yablochnoye varenye‘ (apple jam) theme. Actually, there IS a small jar of fig jam which my sister brought from her honey moon trip in France, but… I guess it’ll be best enjoyed as is ; )
figues pommes (Fig / Apple Jam Shortbread) translated and adapted from the book Petits Gâteaux, Editions Marabout (p.186)*. The recipe is very flexible and easy, and you can choose your favourite jam for the filling. My remarks are in italics - I tried this recipe two times already, so I’ll try to incorporate both versions (separated with a slash).
- 185 g all-purpose flour
- 60 g self-rising flour - I added some baking powder, soda and salt to the indicated amount of all-purpose flour / fine cornmeal
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp mixed spices - I added cardamom and nutmeg
- 115 g sugar - I used less as the jam is quite sweet
- 55 g powdered hazelnuts - roasted hazelnuts and almonds
- 125 g butter, softened and diced - I used less
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 315 g fig confiture - I used thick apple jam with apple slices both times
- 95 g hazelnuts, roasted and finely ground - I skipped this
- powdered sugar, to decorate - forgot
Preheat the oven to 180 ‘C. Butter a rectangular 11 * 35 cm pan with removable bottom. (I used a regular rectangular metal pan / round pan both lined with baking parchment).
Place the flours, spices, sugar and powdered nuts in a bowl of your mixer and mix well (or just give it a good whisk!). Add the butter and pulse briefly several times to achieve a rough mixture. Incorporate the egg, adding just a bit at the beginning to see if you need the whole egg. You should get a compact ball of dough. Divide it in two, wrap in a plastic foil and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Roll the first ball of dough between two sheets of baking parchment. Cover the bottom of the pan with the dough and trim the overhanging edges – you can use them to mend the torn parts of the dough. (Here I was too lazy to roll the dough out and also I recalled a similar recipe where both dough layers were grated. So I grated the dough for the bottom layer too).
Now spread your jam all over the bottom layer. Grate the remaining ball of dough into a bowl, add the ground nuts and mix carefully. Cover the jam layer with the dough+nuts mixture. (I skipped the extra nuts but those nuts which I added to the dough first were quite rough so in the end I got some nutty bits too! / next time I skipped adding nuts completely).
Bake for 35 minutes until the top layer is golden brown. Leave to cool completely before taking it out of the pan. Decorate with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream if you want (it’s also delicious with slightly tangy prostokvasha, which goes well with the sugary jam).
Keep Sablé aux figues in a container. You can also freeze it for 3 months (but I bet you won’t! I just kept it in the fridge and the bars remained soft and crunchy outside).
MMMM! Truly jammy! In the morning light:
This is a very nice shortbread jam bars recipe and it proved to be very flexible – both with the dough part and the filling. You can cut this into bars / slices, it will be a bit ‘sandy’, but the jam doesn’t let the slices fall apart. Actually, the jam makes this Sablé aux figues / apples not that ‘sandy’ (dry) at all. The chunkier your jam is, the cooler the effect Both variants – with nuts and without nuts but with some cornmeal added – were successful and crunchy. Just keep an eye on your jam – it shouldn’t be too runny and if it’s too sweet you might want to decrease the amount of sugar in the dough.
And if you’re a fan of French shortbread, try this very sweet and crumbly huge Gros Sablé Breton from Brittany, France.
* I’ve inquired at the editor’s if it’s ok to post their recipe translated on my blog but received no answer. i just hope extra publicity for Marabout will not be punished!