A delicious, sweet and chewy homemade fig rolls recipe that’s a world away from the shop bought variety. My healthy fig rolls recipe is sweetened with fruit and contains no added refined sugar.
Little S, who is now 21 months old, has a penchant for fig rolls. Should we ever pass the biscuit aisle in our local shop he screams “FIG ROLLS PLEEEEAAASSSE” at the top of his voice from the buggy. At least he says please I suppose.
Are fig rolls healthy?
Fig rolls should be healthy shouldn’t they? They just sound like they are. And I imagine that a shop bought fig roll is healthier than your average biscuit. It contains fruit after all – but fig rolls are still likely to contain things like palm oil, glucose syrup, salt and sugar.
Once I’d looked at the ingredients list I realised that it was high time I made some a homemade version of my little one’s favourite biscuit.
How did the homemade fig rolls turn out?
These homemade fig rolls are delicious.
In my opinion they are a world apart from the shop bought version – the delicately spiced, chewy fig filling goes perfectly with the slightly crumbly homemade pastry.
They are free from added refined sugar – the only sugar in them comes from the figs, the lemon and a tiny bit of maple syrup. You could omit the maple syrup if you preferred.
I’ve added a tiny bit of ground ginger to the pastry to give it an extra kick – this is optional of course but I do think it adds a nice flavour.
Now I just need to avoid the biscuit aisle in the supermarket and keep on making these homemade fig biscuits and Little S will be happy!
Can you make these fig rolls vegan?
I made this recipe before I turned vegan and so there is an egg yolk in the pastry. I also brushed the pastry with beaten egg before baking them.
However, it’s very easy to make these healthy fig rolls vegan. Most shop bought shortcrust pastry is vegan (but always check the packet) so you could save yourself a job and buy the pastry.
If you do want to make your own you can just leave the egg yolk out of my recipe – but bear in mind it might be a bit crumbly. Don’t be tempted to skip the chilling stage.
Other recipes that use dried figs
How to make homemade fig rolls
You could use ready made shortcrust pastry to make these healthy fig rolls if you preferred.
Healthy homemade fig rolls
For the pastry
- 160 g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- Pinch of salt optional
- 100 g cold butter or dairy free spread diced
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp milk
For the filling
- 200 g dried figs roughly chopped
- Zest and juice of half a lemon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 beaten egg or a small bowl of milk optional
To make the pastry
Sift 160g plain flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and a pinch of salt into a mixing bowl.
Rub in 100g diced butter or spread with your finger tips until you have the consistency of breadcrumbs
Add the egg yolk and 1 tbsp of the milk and mix until it starts to come together into a soft dough. Add the rest of the milk very slowly if you need to - you might not need it all.
Knead lightly until it comes together then wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for a couple of hours or in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
To make the filling
Place 200g figs, the zest and juice of half a lemon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 2 tbsp maple syrup and 3 tbsp water into a small saucepan.
Bring to a simmer and then cook over a low heat until most of the water has evaporated and you have a soft, jammy consistency. Set aside to cool.
To make the fig rolls
Pre-heat the oven to 160°C (fan)/180°C/gas mark 4. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle that is 5mm thick. Cut the pastry in half lengthways.
Spoon half of the filling down one side of one of the strips of pastry, leaving a small gap on the side. Brush the gap with water, fold over the top and press to seal. Repeat with the other strip of pastry. Cut into 5cm rolls and place on a baking tray.
Lightly brush with beaten egg or milk if preferred and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Felicity Cloake’s How to make the perfect fig rolls was a great starting point when I was preparing this recipe.
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NB: this recipe and photographs were updated in March 2019.