Pan de Higo, or Flourless Spanish Fig Cake

By Jeannette Ordas of Everybody likes Sandwiches

I have to confess that I'm not a fan of figs. However, I come from a family that adores figs and I just don't get it. To me, figs (at least the dried ones, the only ones I've ever tried) are tooth-shatteringly sweet, plus I'm just not a fan of all those tiny seeds that get stuck in your teeth. Nope, me and figs don't get along. Luckily, I'm happy to appease the fig-lovers in my family. I've made fig newtons from scratch and I've passed along these figgy bites to great acclaim.

Pan de Higo is a Spanish fig cake and is a great way to celebrate those heady autumnal flavours. It's a flourless cake and kind of resembles a fruit cake or even a Larabar. This kind of fig cake isn't your traditional dessert. Instead, these fig bites are packed with nutrients and fiber and are best served alongside a cheese and cured meat platter. Or if figs are your thing, just nibble away as a snack.

Pan de Higo
(recipe adapted from Apple Pie, Patis, & Pate)
1/2 pound dried figs
2 tablespoons toasted almond meal
1/4 cup toasted almonds, finely chopped (but still lumpy)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1/8 teaspoon lightly crushed anise seeds
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch ground cloves
2 teaspoons honey
1-2 tablespoons dark rum

If you've got a food processor, it will be easy work to pulse the figs into a rough paste. Me, I made do with my double-bladed mezzaluna. Combine the finely chopped figs with the almond meal, sesame seeds, anise seeds, ground cinnamon and cloves. Add in the honey and the rum and knead the mixture until everything is incorporated. Add more rum or almond meal if you need to.

Line a mini muffin tray with plastic wrap (or rounds of parchment or rice paper) and roll about a tablespoon of the mixture into a ball. Add it into the prepared muffin cup and use the back of a spoon to flatten into a disc. Cover each disc with plastic (or parchment) and let stand in a cool dry space for 2-3 days so that the flavours can mingle. Wrapped and kept in a cool place, these should last about a month or so.

Jan Halvarson


Linda Starr said...

I happen to love figs and can't eat wheat so this is a perfect recipe for me, thanks.

Glass Horse Ranch said...

Jan, love your site. Fig Newton recipe? Canned figs were always my favorite growing up, but fresh figs... sigh. Both beatiful to look at and truly lushess to eat. Do try. Patti

Eva said...

This looks really good, I'm quite the fan of figs so I think I will try this...

Anonymous said...

This looks so decadent, yet healthy- I love figs!

kickpleat said...

Thanks Patti, the fig newton recipe goes unpublished, but it was a good one. If I make it again, I'll post the recipe. I'll give fresh figs a try one day!

meg said...

fresh figs are nothing like dried. They are incredibly amazing--my favorite food by far, but they are almost out of season. I make these fig pinwheels every christmas and they are delicious!

kate said...

So you must not have tried stuffing a fresh fig with some gorgonzola, wrapping it with prosciutto and toasting it on the bbq. You could even squeeze in a little toasted pecan in with the cheese. SO GOOD!

Joanne said...

Surprisingly as much I like my super sweet desserts, dried figs just don't excite me as much as fresh ones do. That being said I can see myself enjoying a small morsel of this pan de higo with some cheese and wine.