Figgy Pudding

Now, bring us some figgy pudding,
Now, bring us some figgy pudding,
Now, bring us some figgy pudding,
So bring some out here.

Good tidings we bring
To you and your kin;
We wish you a merry Christmas
And a happy new year!

We’ve all heard of figgy pudding made famous by the Christmas carol, We Wish You a Merry Christmas. But unless you’re from England or have English heritage, it’s not likely that you’ve ever had a figgy pudding as part of your Christmas celebrations. It’s worth adding this to your Christmas repetoire with its boozy, rich flavor from the brandy, dried fruit, and spices.

Figgy pudding originated in medieval England and has many variations, some that include figs and others that do not, and is also known as Christmas pudding and plum pudding. Using the method traditional to puddings, it is steamed for a few hours in a pot of simmering water which creates a moist, cake like consistency. It can be enjoyed immediately or aged for up to a year before eating.

Figgy Pudding Recipe

Ingredients (makes two puddings)

250g unsalted butter, softened (plus extra for greasing
750g dried figs
150ml brandy
700g mixed sultanas (golden raisins)and raisins
3 apples, peeled, cored and grated
175g light brown sugar
175g dark brown sugar
200g breadcrumbs
200g flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp allspice

Method

  1. Butter two pudding molds (a glass or ceramic bowl will work if you do not have one) and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Butter 3 large sheets of parchment paper, lay each on a large sheet of foil butter side up, and fold a pleat in the middle of each. (If you’ve never steamed a pudding before, this video tutorial is very helpful.)
  2. Roughly chop 250g of the figs and set aside. Combine the remaining figs, butter and brandy in a food processor and process until smooth, then scrape into a very large mixing bowl. Into the mixing bowl, add the chopped figs, mixed raisins, grated apples, sugars, breadcrumbs, flour, baking powder, salt, and allspice. Stir everything together. Divide between the prepared pudding bowls and smooth the surfaces.
  3. Cover the pudding with the buttered paper-foil sheets, tie with string and trim. (Again, watch the video tutorial if you’re unsure how this is done.) Lower the pudding into separate saucepans with upturned saucers in the bottom (so the puddings don’t touch the bottom), then fill each pan with enough boiling water from the kettle to come halfway up the sides of the bowl. Cover with a lid and simmer for 3 hrs, topping up the water as needed. Remove and leave to cool.
  4. To serve, reheat the puddings in the same way they were originally steamed, except this time for only 1 hour. Can be served with flaming brandy or hard sauce.

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Enjoy!

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