Figgy Rye Rolls

I wish you a Merry Christmas… I wish you a Merry Christmas… I wish you a Merry Christmas…

I love this time of year… when we actually have cooler weather here in Mumbai, and when we get the most amazing array of fruits… And then it’s Christmas, and Christmas makes me think of figgy puddings and what else, but… Figs!

I bought a dozen or so of them the other day and since then I’ve been dreaming up a bunch of ways in which to use them… tarts, pies… you name it.

Christmas is also family time and time to get together with loved ones, friends and family… taking the time out to catch up and chat and exchange hugs and love. So yeah, my brother is in town and I wanted to bake him some bread to go with a fig preserve that I planned to make for him, because he just loves preserves and jams.

And then halfway through proving the dough for the Honey Rye Bread I had a flash of genius. Why not use the same dough as the Rye Bread along with the fig preserve… something that bordered on sweet and savoury. Now that would be a real treat for someone with a craving for something sweet but healthy… wouldn’t it?

The fig preserve is fairly simple to make and quite quick. I didn’t want to pulp the fruit completely or strain it… after all it isn’t a fig without all those little seeds now is it? So I let it be as is… using ripe figs, chopping them up into a small dice, then mixing the rest of the ingredients with the fruit, and letting it all stand for about 4 hours to let the flavours meld, before cooking the macerated fruit for 50 minutes to an hour on a very slow flame, stirring occasionally. Then taking the preserve off the flame and allowing it to cool completely before using.

Ingredients for the Fig Preserve:

6 large figs – chopped

4 tablespoons powdered sugar (you can use more sugar if you like it sweeter… I don’t)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup port wine ( a little extra if required)

Pinch of cinnamon powder

Large pinch of paprika

1 tablespoon rosemary – chopped

Pinch of salt

Zest of 1 lime

Juice of ½ lime

On to forming the rolls…

Since I was using the same dough for the Honey Rye Bread, I simply divided the dough into two portions and rolled it out on a lightly floured surface to a quarter of an inch thick.

Then spread on the preserve. I used a fairly thick spread (but you could spread it thinner), and rolled up the dough, constantly dusting the edge being rolled in with a sprinkling of flour till the entire dough was rolled up.

Cut the roll into pieces about an inch to an inch and a half thick using a sharp knife and place the pieces onto a parchment lined or cornmeal dusted baking tray.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C for 25 – 30 minutes.

Remove the trays from the oven and transfer the rolls onto a wire rack to cool.

Dust with icing sugar when completely cooled.

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