Sticky Fig Rolls with Dates & Currants

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Fig Sticky Buns

A lovely addition to your Break Fast menu, this super simple recipe is built on a buttery, biscuit-like base and showcases a medley of Fall fruit favorites and a touch of brown sugar and spice, all “rolled” up in a delicious sticky-sweet package. A distant cousin of the cinnamon roll, the Sticky Fig Roll offers a beautiful fragrant sweetness, as opposed to sugary sweetness.

  • 8 ServingsServings

Ingredients

Spiced Date & Currant Filling

  • ½ cup pitted Medjool dates
  • ¼ cup dried currants
  • ⅓ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice

Buttermilk Biscuit Rolls

  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup quick cooking oats
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2½ tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold and diced
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Sticky Fig Topping

  • ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup dark brown corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 dried Calimyrna figs
  • toasted slivered almonds (optional)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare a round cake pan (a 10-inch pan with 2-inch tall sides works best) by greasing the bottom and sides thoroughly with butter, vegetable shortening, or non-stick baking spray. Gather ingredients for the Spiced Date & Currant Filling.  Give the dates a rough chop and empty them into a small bowl along with the currants, brown sugar, and spices.  Toss ingredients together until fruit is coated and mixture is well combined.  Set aside.

The ingredients for the Buttermilk Biscuit Rolls can come together in just one, large bowl.  In this bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt to combine the dry ingredients and to break up any lumps.  To “cut” the cold, diced butter into the dry ingredients means to incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients by breaking apart the diced butter into even smaller pieces by use of a knife or your fingers.  When using your fingers to break apart the butter into the dry ingredients, be careful not to over-handle the mixture and risk heating the cold butter with warm hands.  The mixture should eventually resemble a meal that easily packs together when squeezed.  Pour the buttermilk and the vanilla and almond extracts into the meal, using a fork to toss together the mixture until moist clumps form.

On a clean, dry, lightly floured surface, turn out the mixture into a ball.  Flatten the ball and box off the rounded edges, shaping it into more of a flat square.  Using a floured rolling pin, gently roll the dough out to an about 16”x8” rectangle.  Brush entire exposed surface with about half of the melted butter (reserving the rest to be used later), then sprinkle the Spiced Date & Currant Filling into an even layer over the butter.  Starting from one of the longer sides of the rectangle, gently roll the dough into a tight log, much like a jelly roll.  Carefully transfer the log onto a board or tray and allow it to chill in the refrigerator while the Sticky Fig Topping is being assembled, or about 10 minutes.

To prepare the Sticky Fig Topping, combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Place over medium heat and whisk until sugar dissolves.  Allow syrup to continue to heat, whisking occasionally, until bubbling at edges (about 2 minutes).  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.  Then, drizzle a couple tablespoons of the caramel syrup into a food processor fitted with a steel blade, along with the dried figs.  Pulse repeatedly until the figs have broken down and combined with the syrup to form a rough puree.  Stir this puree into the remaining caramel syrup mixture, whisking to break up fig pieces into the syrup if necessary.  Spread the smooth, syrupy fig mixture into the bottom of the prepared cake pan.

Remove the chilled log from the refrigerator and use a sharp knife to slice 8 equally sized disks.  Place one disk, cut side down, into the center of the cake pan directly on top of the fig mixture.  Continue to arrange the remaining disks in a circle around the center, making sure to space them out accordingly and allow them room to expand in the oven.  Gently press each one into the pan, flattening them slightly, then brush the exposed tops of each disk with the remaining melted butter.  Place the pan into the preheated oven and bake the biscuit rolls until the syrup is bubbling and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.  Allow the biscuit rolls to cool in the pan on a wire rack for a full minute before placing a plate or serving dish directly on the top of the pan and inverting the sticky buns onto the plate.  Any remaining Sticky Fig Topping left in the bottom of the pan may be scraped onto the hot buns.  At this point, the sticky buns can be sprinkled with a couple handfuls of toasted slivered almonds, if desired.  Allow buns to cool for a full 30 minutes before serving.

Contributed by: Pumpercake