Monday, December 19, 2011

Figgy Pudding


Oh yes, I did. I made figgy pudding. I've been wanting to make figgy pudding for a couple of years now. Initially it was just a passing fancy and then, after discovering the Figgy Pudding 5K in Baltimore, I had to run it if only to get a T-shirt. (No figgy pudding at the end of the race, unfortunately, just beer). This year, when I planned a Christmas coffeehouse, I knew my opportunity had come to make this figgy dessert.

My figgy pudding T-shirt
Figgy pudding dates back to 16th century England. It involves figs and bread crumbs that are steamed with other ingredients to form a dense, sweet bread. In the 16th century, and maybe even still today, it was common to use suet, which is raw mutton or beef fat. Yum. The topping for figgy pudding is a custard sauce that is drizzled over the entire cake, with extra on the side for serving. Or, the pudding can just be dusted with powdered sugar.


I got the recipe off of a tea towel I ordered last Christmas. An odd place for a recipe, I know, but there you have it. The recipe calls for fresh black Mission figs. Fresh figs are not to be found this time of year, so I used dried Turkish figs (they don't seem to be as dry as black figs). The ingredients are heavenly: butter, orange zest, cinnamon, walnuts. So Christmas-y and delightful. After mixing all of the ingredients in a large bowl, I offered up a whiff to Justin: "What is that?" he asked, intrigued. "Figgy pudding!" I said, and danced around the kitchen in excitement. And let me tell you, the pudding did not disappoint. Served warm, with sauce on top, it was like the very best version of a fig newton. And I don't like normal fig newtons. But this had a nice seedy crunch from the figs, a moist-ness that you don't always find out of a Bundt pan, and a heady aroma.



If you decide to make it, do let me know how it turns out.

Figgy Pudding
Serves about 10

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2 quart pudding mold, pudding basin, or Bundt pan. Boil a few cups of water in a tea kettle, and reserve a large roaster. 1 pound figs, fresh or dried, chopped

3/4 cup buttermilk or milk
In a medium saucepan, warm milk over low heat, add figs, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes (do not let the mixture come to a boil).

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup turbinado sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
Mix together in a medium bowl, set aside.

3 eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (I used leftover whole wheat Irish soda bread)
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 cup chopped walnuts
Whisk together eggs and slowly add in melted butter until frothy. Gradually add bread crumbs, then orange zest. Add the figgy milk mixture, then gradually add flour until just blended. Stir in walnuts. Spoon batter into prepared mold or Bundt pan and cover with aluminum foil. Place mold in large roasting pan or casserole dish. Pour enough hot water in the roaster to cover the bottom third of the mold. (This will help the pudding cook evenly). Cook for 2 - 2 1/2 hours, or until an inserted toothpick comes out cleanly. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then invert onto a serving dish and serve warm. Pour custard sauce over top or dust with powdered sugar.

Custard Sauce

2 cups milk
Scald in a medium saucepan and let cool

1 large egg
3/4 cup turbinado sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon butter
Mix together everything except the butter in a separate bowl. Add to cooled milk; cook over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, stir in butter.

Printable Recipe

Other posts you might like:

Sweet Potato Cake

French Chocolate Bark

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