I’ve taken the idea for these finger biscuits from the Croatian dessert of šnite od maka (slice of poppy seed) and made it my own by using fig in the bulk of the filling, rather than just poppy seeds. The outcome reminds me of those fruit pillow biscuits you can buy in the supermarkets, except here I’ve cooked down dried figs with bourbon, poppy seed and brown sugar.
In retrospect a dose of freshly-scraped vanilla seeds would have nestled nicely with the filling ingredients. If you use vanilla seeds make sure you keep the scraped pod and keep it in a container of caster sugar. That’s how you get vanilla sugar, but you already knew that, didn’t you. Don’t buy it, make it!
makes 12 fingers
Place the chopped figs, bourbon, water, brown sugar and poppy seeds into a small saucepan over low heat. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer until the liquid is almost gone. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes before processing to a paste.
Place the flour, butter and caster sugar into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well incorporated. With the motor still running drop in the egg then the milk, one tablespoon at a time. Depending on the size of the egg you may not need all the milk. If the mixture comes together before the third tablespoon of milk it should be enough. Remove the pastry from the processor and lightly knead for 30 seconds on a floured surface. Cut in half, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Roll one half of the pastry on a floured surface, 5 mm thick, to a rectangular shape about 30 cm in length. Place the rolled pastry onto a non-stick baking sheet, on a cooking tray. Spread the fig paste onto the rolled pastry within 2 centimetres of the edges. Roll the other half of the pastry to the same size as the first and gently place it on top of the other. Gently press the edges together using your fingers, then use a fork to seal all around. Carefully cut each side so it is straight, remove offcuts, then score vertical lines on the top at 2 cm intervals. Don’t cut all the way through. Brush with the milk, sprinkle over vanilla sugar and bake for 20-30 minute until light golden.
Allow it to sit on the cooking tray for 5 minutes before sliding onto a board and slicing it into fingers while still warm, cutting along the scored lines you did earlier.
Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.