Almond and fig dessert squares cut into pieces

Almond and Fig Squares

Scotland meets the Mediterranean in these rich and satisfying squares! Almond flavoured filling, known as frangipane, acts as a sweet buffer between the sliced figs and buttery shortbread base. These gourmet treats are perfect for any special occasion.

Serves

12 bars

PREP TIME

20 minutes

COOK TIME

55 to 65 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 recipe shortbread base from Pistachio Caramel Shortbread Bars

For the frangipane:

  • 4-6 fresh figs, washed and completely dried
  • 1 cup (227 g) butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup (108 g) Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar, packed
  • ½ cup (100 g) Redpath® Granulated Sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp (6 g) finely grated lemon or orange zest
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) pure almond extract
  • ½ tsp (3 g) salt
  • 2 cups (200 g) almond flour
  • ¼ cup (31 g) all-purpose flour

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 375°F (191°C). Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang over the edges for easy unmolding.


Make and bake the shortbread crust as directed in the recipe for Pistachio Caramel Shortbread Bars. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (177°C).

For the frangipane filling:

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth; about 1 minute. Add the Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar and Redpath® Granulated Sugar. Cream mixture on medium-high speed until fluffy and pale in colour.

Add eggs one at a time; beat well after each addition. Add the zest, pure vanilla extract, pure almond extract, and salt. Blend until flavourings are fully incorporated into the batter.

In a bowl, whisk together the almond flour and flour until well mixed. Add dry ingredients to the batter and mix on low speed until just combined.

Mixer with paddle attachment and bowl of dry ingredients

Evenly spread the frangipane mixture over the cooled shortbread base. Place into the fridge to firm up.

Spreading uncooked frangipane in a baking pan with a spatula

Meanwhile, with a paring knife, remove the stems from each fig. Cut figs into ⅛-inch slices from the stem to the base of the fruit. Arrange sliced figs as close together as possible on frangipane in a decorative pattern.

Placing fig slices on unbaked dessert in a baking pan

Place into the preheated oven and bake for 55 to 65 minutes until frangipane is puffed and golden brown. The centre should also be firm to the touch. Remove from oven and place onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Once fully cooled, with the help of the parchment paper, carefully lift and unmold the frangipane from the pan and place onto a cutting board. With a sharp serrated knife cut into 12 squares.

Serve as is or, if desired, dust lightly with Redpath® Icing Sugar before serving.

Almond and fig dessert squares on a plate with a bowl of figs behind

CHEF'S TIP

*Almond flour, also known as almond meal, is finely ground almonds that can be found in any major grocery store or supermarket and bulk food stores.

*For the shortbread crust, if salted butter is unavailable, a general guideline is to add ¼ teaspoon of salt to every ½ cup (113 g) of unsalted butter used in a recipe.

*1 tablespoon of Amaretto liqueur or dark rum can be used in place of the pure almond extract.

*For cleaner cut squares, once the dessert is completely cooled at room temperature, place into the fridge for an hour to firm up. Proceed to unmold and slice into squares.

*This dessert can be prepared in advance for the holidays or future events. Sliced squares can be placed into an airtight container, layered between parchment paper, and frozen for up to 1 month. Alternatively, double wrap the squares in plastic wrap and then in foil and freeze.