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Fresh Fig Bars

Paula Nemzek from KCTS 9 Cooks
Makes 24 Bars
  • 2 baskets ripe fresh figs, any kind or color, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, about 1/2 large lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened to almost melting
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
Trim stem ends (and blossom ends if necessary) from figs, and coarsely chop. In a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, stir figs, lemon juice and sugar together. Cook until mixture is thick and reduced to about 2 cups, approximately 45 minutes. Chill uncovered until cool, about 1 hour, or cover and chill up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter sides and bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. For the crust, in a bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, and oats. Stir into butter mixture, or cut together with 2 knives to make a crumbly dough. 
Press half the dough evenly over the bottom of prepared pan. Spread cooled fig mixture evenly over dough. Crumble remaining dough evenly over fig mixture; pat lightly.
Bake until top is lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Place pan on a rack to cool for about 10 minutes and, while still warm, cut into 24 bars. Let cool completely in pan before serving.