As I kid, I absolutely abhorred those cardboardlike fig bars that were supposedly a “healthier” choice when it came time for snack. Try as I might to choke them down, the taste was never worth the effort, and it turns out that the benefits were far and few between as well. It certainly wasn’t the figs’ fault though, as I learned many years later. Finally free of that preservative-laden pastry, fresh figs are a treasure that one can only enjoy for a few short months. Reinventing the bar was simple enough with flavors so inspiring, and everyone can agree that it’s a vast improvement, even for those who might have had no qualms with the original.
Toss all of the figs into your food processor or blender and purée them so that you have a mostly smooth mixture. The seeds will still be visible and somewhat lumpy, so there’s no need to continue processing it beyond a few minutes.
Move the fig purée into a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest, and bring up to a gentle simmer, cooking for about 30 minutes, at which point it should feel somewhat thickened. Set aside and let cool completely.
While the filling cools,
To make the crust, start by creaming together the margarine and sugar in your stand mixer, adding in the ground flaxseeds and cocoa shortly after. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary so that you have a homogeneous mixture, and add in the almond meal, flour, and salt. Mix for about a minute until mostly combined but still a bit dry, and slowly drizzle in the soymilk. Once you have a smooth dough, gather it into a ball and wrap with plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes until chilled.
Roll out the chilled crust on a lightly floured surface to about ⅛-inch thickness, and carefully lay it over your prepared pan. The dough is fairly fragile, and more similar to cookie dough than pie dough in texture, so don’t panic if it tears while you fit it into the pan. Just use your fingers to press broken pieces back together, and patch any holes with extra scraps of dough. Press it gently into the edges and up the sides, and remove the excess that overhangs the pan. Use a cookie cutter to make shapes out of the scraps to decorate the top of the tart with, if desired.
Once the sides and bottom of the tart pan are evenly covered, pour in the fig mixture and place your decorative pieces of crust over the top in whatever pattern pleases you.
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