Cooking can fill the house with all sorts of wonderful scents, but does anything say home better than the scent of freshly baked biscuits? I can trace the roots of my bakery back to the markets that I visited with my mother when I was growing up. Fresh, seasonal, local, simple—these are the watchwords I learned as a child and that I put to work in all my baking.—Isidora Popovic

Fig, Apricot, and Pistachio Biscotti FAQs

How do I keep biscotti from being crumbly?

First, when making the dough, be sure to chop the stir-ins so they’re not too large (and not too small) but rather a pleasing in-between. This ensures that the dough remains workable and the flavor of each ingredient stays quite distinct. Then, after the first bake, watch the timing for slicing the biscotti (10-15 minutes is good). If the log is too warm, it will crumble when cutting through it. Wait until it gets too cool, however, and it will be very hard to slice through.

Why aren’t my biscotti crisp?

There are a few answers here, but they generally all come back to the same thing—moisture. Don’t bake biscotti on a humid day, if possible. Next, cooling your biscotti on a wire rack helps the air to circulate around them, avoiding any moisture getting trapped beneath. Happily, biscotti can be put back into the oven for a little longer. That will help to draw out moisture and crisp them up.

Can I freeze biscotti?

You certainly can. Biscotti will last up to three weeks, just stored in an airtight container on your counter. But if that’s not long enough, they’ll last up to three months in the freezer, wrapped tightly.

Fig, apricot, and pistachio biscotti resting inside or on top of two glasses and a stack of biscotti beside the glassware.

Fig, Apricot, and Pistachio Biscotti

5 / 4 votes
These double-baked crisp biscotti are crammed with figs and nuts and are made lighter without butter. They're best enjoyed with a strong coffee or dipped in some vanilla ice cream for a sweet treat.
David Leite
CourseDessert
CuisineItalian
Servings24 servings
Calories76 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup pistachio kernels, left whole
  • 1/4 cup shelled hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 4 dried apricots, cut into small pieces
  • 4 dried figs, cut into small pieces
  • Freshly grated zest of 1 small unwaxed lemon

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, and sugar into a large bowl. Make a well, add the eggs, and lightly beat. Gradually incorporate the flour mixture into the eggs and stir just until you get a somewhat sticky, dough-like mixture. Stir in the pistachios, hazelnuts, raisins, apricots, figs, and lemon zest.
  • Lightly wet your hands with cool water and bring the dough together to a ball. Move the dough to 1 of the baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Lightly dampen your hands with water again and pat the dough into a log, flattening it slightly so that it is about 3 inches wide. (You can use a sheet of parchment paper to help you shape the sticky dough.)
  • Bake for 24 to 30 minutes, until when you press very lightly on top and it springs back. If it feels firm, leave it in the oven for a few more minutes. Let the block of biscotti cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes. Leave the oven on.
  • Place the biscotti on a cutting board and, using a large, serrated bread knife, slice it into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Lay the slices on their side on the baking sheet and return to the hot oven until pale gold, turning them halfway through cooking, about 10 minutes total. The biscotti should appear dry; if not, leave them in the oven for a couple more minutes on each side. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Popina Book of Baking

Adapted From

Popina Book of Baking

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Nutrition

Serving: 1 biscottiCalories: 76 kcalCarbohydrates: 14 gProtein: 2 gFat: 2 gSaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 14 mgSodium: 6 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 7 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2010 Isidora Popovic. Photo © 2010 Peter Cassidy. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

If you want a cookie that screams “Christmas,” make these cookies using dried cranberries. I did because I couldn’t find dried figs. The red cranberries with the green pistachios make these perfect for the winter holidays. Be sure and lightly wet your hands, as the recipe instructs, to help gather the dough together.

After 22 minutes of baking, my dough was ready to be cut into slices. However, after baking the slices for 5 minutes on each side, I needed to bake them an extra 12 minutes, turning them over every 2 minutes, to get them dry. The finished product is lovely and will be a welcome addition to the holiday table.

I had thought that I would make these every year for the holidays. Hell, I’ve been making them every week or two. They are really fabulous! No butter and only 1/2 cup sugar, they have to be good for you, right? I can’t imagine a cup of coffee in the morning without a couple of these.

I couldn’t believe how delicious these were without the use of butter! The lemon adds a wonderful freshness, and the dried fruit and nuts pack the biscotti with flavor and texture. The dried apricots and figs were a perfect balance of sweetness and chewiness for this cookie. Feel free to substitute pecans and almonds for the nuts, and perhaps dried cranberries or cherries for the raisins. I’ll definitely keep these on the menu.

I still can’t believe there isn’t any butter in these. I ended up making a second batch (since the first batch went so quickly), substituting dried cranberries for the raisins, and pecans and almonds for the other nuts. I thought the dough would be a little dry, but after working it a little, it was just the right kind of sticky. They came out delicious. The only area I’m still unsure of is the first baking time. It was a good 35 minutes, and I think it could go a little longer.

I’ve not made biscotti in quite a while, and then saw this and thought I’d give it a go. The dough for this came together quite nicely. To get that pale gold color, I did need to bake it for a bit longer than the recipe states, and I was expecting it to be cooked through a bit more than it did (the dough was a bit gooey when I first sliced it). But the final result was still darn good.

It’s a nice, light biscotti, with lots of flavors and a good, crunchy texture. I’ll make this again—in fact, I can see this fig, apricot, and pistachio biscotti going on my holiday cookie list. The green from the pistachio and the orange from the apricots will be pretty with the rest of the cookies on a tray for the holidays.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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Recipe Rating




17 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe. Everyone that I have made these for has asked me for the recipe. I have made minor adjustments to the steps though. First, I mix the flour, baking powder, and sugar. This is to ensure that the baking soda is mixed well. Then I add the zest and all chopped nuts and fruits and mix well again. By doing this, it helps avoid fruits from sticking together in chunks and the lemon zest can be more evenly spread out. Last, I add the eggs and mix well until shaped into a loaf.

    Note: While the recipe asks for two (2) eggs, your amount of moisture can vary depending on the size of the eggs. I find that large eggs work best. Extra larges eggs work fine too, but I then have to bake the biscottis a little longer. Overall, I find that I have to bake the dough for 40-45 minutes. Ovens vary in their performance and elevation can also affect the baking time. If you have not tried this recipe yet, go ahead. It will be another favorite of yours.

    1. Alex, thank you so much for the detailed info. I think it will be extremely helpful to others!