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28 November 2015

While I try my best not to post two recipes based around the same ingredient consecutively, I'm having a bit of a moment with dried figs and couldn't help but bake with them again this week. Rich with the nutty and fragrant flavour of their fresh counterparts, dried figs are intense little bites of sticky, jammy goodness.

While dried figs are readily available all year round, the fresh variety are in season from August through to late October. They're a beautiful ingredient to cook with once berries are finished, and keep well into November.

Rye flour isn't something I've baked with much in the past, but it's maltiness works perfectly with fig. A word of warning - these biscotti have no trouble drying out, and are best eaten after a leisurely dunk in a cup of hot strong espresso.
175g caster sugar
2 eggs
zest of 1 orange
250g rye flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g almonds
200g chopped dried figs

Line two baking trays with parchment and preheat your oven to 170C. Weigh the caster sugar and eggs into a large mixing bowl, and whisk at full speed for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is very pale, airy and forms ribbons when the whisk is dragged along the surface. Mix in the orange zest.

Sieve in the flour, salt and baking powder and fold to combine into a soft dough. Add the almonds and chopped figs, mix, then turn onto a floured work surface. Bring the dough together with your hands and kneed to combine, then divide into two and roll into even sausage shapes measuring approximately 5x30cm. Transfer to the lined trays, and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the dough starts to crack and springs back slightly when you press it. 

Remove the trays from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 140C. Leave the biscotti to cool for 30 minutes, then use a sharp knife to slice them thinly. Lay the biscuits in to the trays, then return to the oven to bake for a further 20-25 minutes. They are done when they are completely hard and dry. 

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