Tuesday, August 24, 2010

ABC Wednesday

The letter this week is F

F is for Figs, Fig trees and Fig Newtons, among other amazing things


A large Fig tree at Moreton Bay near Brisbane


and the figs that grow on it

Fig Newtons are more ancient than you might think.  It was probably the early Egyptians 'who invented the fig roll in its early form as a confection of preserved figs wrapped in a flour-based dough' and traded by traveling sailors and explorers.

Fig rolls were the ideal answer for early physicians who believed that most illnesses were related to digestion problems and recommended a daily intake of biscuits and fruit.

Charles M. Roser was the modern cookie maker who boosted the Fig Newton to its place of glory.

James Henry Mitchell invented a machine in 1891 that worked like a funnel within a funnel;  the inside funnel supplied jam, while the outside funnel pumped out the dough, producing an endless length of filled cookie that was then cut into smaller pieces.

Eventually Nabisco came into the picture and the fig rolls were trademarked as "Fig Newtons"



If you yearn to make your own Fig Newtons here is a handy recipe!



Make the dough by combining 3 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 tsp of salt. 3/4 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon with 1 1/2 sticks of butter cut into pieces.  Whisk together 3 eggs and add to the dough.
Refrigerate for a couple of hours while you make the filling.  Well, it won't take you a couple of hours to make the filling, but fit it in sometime while the dough is resting.....

Combine in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until all the liquid is absorbed and the mixture is thick, stirring occasionally while cooking..... 2 cups of chopped figs, 1 cup of orange juice, 1 cup of apple juice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 4 tbsp of sugar and 1 tsp of orange peal.  Let the filling cool slightly then puree until smooth, and refrigerate.

Now, when you are ready to bake, heat the oven to 375F and make an egg wash by whisking an egg with 2 tsp of water.

Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and on a lightly floured surface roll out each portion into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick (one piece at a time)  Cut the dough lengthwise into strips about 2 1/2 inches wide.  Paint around the edges of each strip with egg wash and spoon the fig filling down the centre of the strip, then fold the dough over to enclose the filling.  Place the tubes, seam side down on a greased cookie sheet - or on parchment paper (much easier) and press down lightly to flatten.

Brush the newtons with the egg wash and bake until light golden brown (about 15 minutes).  When they are cool cut with a sharp knife into appropriate lengths, depending upon whether they are destined for the lunch box or a fancy tea.....

If you want to learn more about the letter F click here to go to ABC Wednesday, with thanks to those who maintain this informative and entertaining meme.

27 comments:

Ray said...

I love fig trees, we have one in our garden, and to eat them, divine.

Ray

RuneE said...

That is a dish I don't think I have ever tasted - it seems like I should.

Leo said...

delicious it looks..
*takes down recipe to give to mom* :D

My ABC Wednesday Post

photowannabe said...

Mmmmm, I love fig newtons. I keep forgetting about them and may have to scoot to the store for some. Sounds like a good recipe but with the temperatures 105 today I don't think I will turn on the oven.

wenn said...

yummy! i love it!

Rajesh said...

Wonderful shots. The tree is very huge and nice.

Sylvia K said...

I love the Fig tree! How beautiful! And what a delightful post for the F Day! Have a great week!

Sylvia

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

We love figs and the best we ever tasted were picked from a tree in our friends' garden in South Australia. It's a few years too since I've eaten fig rolls - what a lovely reminder. A x

Roger Owen Green said...

Never thought to make fig newtons, and I DO love them.

On behalf of ABC Wednesday team, thank you! - ROG

Gramma Ann said...

I haven't had a fig newton in ages, I think I need to run out and buy a box right now! But, your home made ones look and sounds so much better than the store bought ones.

Have a Fabulous week.

Leslie: said...

Fabulous and interesting post about figs! One of my daughter's favourite cookies.

MorningAJ said...

Fig rolls! Must try making my own. Yummy.

Kay L. Davies said...

Everything you always wanted to know about Fig Newtons but were afraid to ask!! Really, I've often wondered how they were made. So interesting. And a recipe, wow!
I agree with Sylvia, the tree is beautiful.
Thank you.

Carol said...

What a gorgeous tree and very big. I've not seen a fig tree before. I love fig newtons and will try your recipe.

Paula Scott said...

Thanks for the recipe! It looks absolutely yummy! It is hard to believe that that enormous tree bears fruit (but you provided evidence).
I have been trying to grow a fig tree, but no fruit yet. I heard it takes a few years before it starts to put out good fruit.
My favorite figs are the white ones. Yum!

Carver said...

Beautiful fig tree and great post for the letter F. The homemade fig newtons sound delicious.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you for the recipe! The Fig Newtons look very delicious. The only figtree I saw was a strangler figtree in the Tablelands in Queensland, Australia. It was quite awsome.

ρομπερτ said...

There are growing some in my backyard, yet I never thought of them. Please have a good Wednesday.

daily athens

Gayle said...

I'd never thought about making Fig Newtons before. Always just grab a box from the store shelf - although it's been years. Sure sounds good right about now.

Martha said...

That fig tree is amazing! And, I love Fig Newtons.

Vernz said...

hmmm... I just have a taste of fig on the bottles... I wonder how old is that tree. interesting.

My ABC Wednesday here
And Here Too
hope you can drop by, Have A Nice Day!

Tumblewords: said...

I love the fig tree, figs and all things figgie but the last batch of FNewtons I had were so bad I trashed them. I rarely throw out food and I like Newtons. Not sure what it was but already I'm thinking I need a fig fix. :) Doubt I'll make my own, though.

Wanda said...

Yummm... I've been wanting a recipe for homemade Fig Cookies.

magiceye said...

that was so yummily interesting!

Jama said...

The newton looks so delicious!

Wendy said...

I love fig newtons and I'm going to try out the recipe, sounds delicious! also, figs are aphrodisiacs ;)

Dimple said...

We like fig bars in our house, but I have never tried to make them. Thanks for the recipe! Now to find the figs...