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Anyone for a Squashed Fly?

June 25, 2015

Figs & dates & prunes, yum!

Figs & dates & prunes, yum!

 If I had to list my favourite childhood ‘packet’ biscuits, the order would look something like this:

1. Tim Tams – because they epitomised luxury & decadence

2. Pink Chocolate Royals – because they were a 3 step process to enjoy

3. Malt o Milk – something about the thin, crunchiness and warming feeling on your tongue

4. Strawberry Shortcake – oh, so sweet!

5. Spicy Fruit Rolls – A ‘healthy’ treat

Now, I say ‘bought’ biscuits because my mum usually baked our lunch box treats and after school snacks. To get something out of a packet was quite the novelty. In fact, going to a mates place after school was always such an exciting event – you never know what their mums had lurking in a packet in the family pantry!!

So here it was that I bred the equivalent disappointment in my own kids: “Muuuum, why caaan’t we have insert here (biscuits, soup, bread, cake) out of a packet??” I used to think: ‘rotten buggers’ how lucky they are! But it has paid off in the end, with both my grown boys choosing real, whole foods and an appreciation and skills for cooking.

As a kid, I’m not really sure why I loved Spicy Fruit Rolls so much. At school we called them ‘squashed fly biscuits’ as the filling was suspiciously black and indeterminate! They were considered a healthy alternative because they weren’t chocolate!! They were actually the first Australian sweet biscuit brand to earn the national heart foundation tick  – no matter that they are filled with SUGAR!! They claim to have a 45% fruit content but in 2007 the producer found itself in hot water with the ACCC for allegedly telling tall tales about the fruit content of its products.

I think the appeal for me was the shape and feel of the biscuit – it really was pillow like and of course, the ‘spice’ part was vaguely Yuletide with cinnamon & cloves. On inspection of the packet there are no spices listed only ‘flavourings’ on the list of ingredients. In addition, other ingredients on the packet label include: margarine, soy, preservative, colour, ‘nature identical’ flavouring, fibre, eggs and more… I have made mine grain-free, dairy-free and additive-free and they are great!

Brush with a little egg white before baking for a nice sheen

Brush with a little egg white before baking for a nice sheen

To follow suit with the real spicy fruit rolls, these are a bit fiddly to make. Akin to making sausage rolls, the filling is encased in a thin pastry, rolled up and sliced into portions. You could easily make them into a slice by using a flat pan, which might be much quicker. Nicely paleofied, my version is not as sweet as the real deal, I think there is plenty of sugar in the dates and figs. Feel free to use more dates than prunes for a sweeter hit; or add a dash of stevia if you wish.

300g almond meal (flour)
2 eggs (reserve a little egg white for brushing)
30g rapadura sugar
15g butter or coconut oil
pinch salt
Throw everything into the TM bowl and blend on SP 6 for about 10 seconds until it comes to a ball (or very thick paste, depending on your eggs). Remove from bowl and chill while you make the filling.
1 piece orange peel
220g dried figs
50g prunes (pitted)
50g dates (pitted)
100g water
25g honey
1/2 teas cinnamon 
1/4 teas ground cloves
Without washing the bowl add all of the ingredients to the TM and turbo once or twice to roughly chop. Cook on SP 2 at 100°C for 6 minutes. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes.
Using baking paper, roll the pastry out to about 5mm thickness and cut 11cm strips. Place 1/4 of the filling down the middle of the pastry with a teaspoon. 
Don't be tempted to add too much filling - a little goes a long way.

Don’t be tempted to add too much filling – a little goes a long way.

Using the baking paper as a guide, roll the pastry over the filling and press down to make a flattened sausage.
Cut into pieces and place seam down on a lined tray. Brush lightly with a little egg white and bake at 170°C for about  20 minutes until lightly golden.



2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2015 3:44 pm

    Due to my nut allergy, I often substitute sunflower/pepita meal for the almond meal in recipes. This is fine in cakes, especially chocolate, as you can’t see if the sunflower turns green once it’s cooled. Just wondering if you’ve tried any nut substitutions with this kind of ‘pastry’? I’m thinking it might be safer to stick with the pepitas, although it might be a bit dark and unappealing. Any suggestions before I try?

    • June 25, 2015 6:56 pm

      I would stick with sunflower seed flour. It may have a green tinge but handles well.

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