180°C, 350°F


2 cups dried figs ¼ cup yellow raisins
¼ cup currants or dark raisins ¼ cup candied orange peel
¼ cup toasted, sliced almonds ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
1 oz bittersweet chocolate (chopped) 1/3 cup apricot preserve
¼ cup dark rum 1 tspn instant espresso coffee
½ tspn ground cinnamon ¼ tspn ground cloves
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup white sugar
1 tspn baking powder ¾ cup lard and butter
2 eggs 1/3 cup milk
1 egg pinch salt
confectioner's sugar

For the Filling:
Stem the figs and quarter them. Place in a bowl and cover with boiling water; steep 10 minutes. Drain and chop coarsely in the food processor. Combine with yellow raisins, currants, candied orange peel, toasted sliced almonds, toasted pine nuts, bittersweet chocolate, apricot preserve, rum, instant espresso coffee, cinnamon, and cloves. To prepare in advance, cover tightly with plastic wrap and keep at a cool temperature or in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

For the dough:
Combine the flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl and stir to mix. Rub in the lard or butter finely, leaving the mixture powdery. Beat 2 eggs and milk to combine in a small bowl and stir into the flour mixture to form a dough. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead lightly a few times. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll each into a cylinder about 12 inches long. Flour the surface and the dough lightly and roll it into a rectangle about 14 inches long and 3 inches wide.

Transfer to paper-lined cookie sheets, curving them into wide horseshoe shapes. Make an egg wash by beating the egg and salt together with a fork until it is loose. Paint each shape with the egg wash. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until they are a light, golden colour. Cool, dust with confectioners' sugar and store in tins, between layers of wax paper.