Tuesday, December 28, 2010

We won't go until we get some...

What exactly is Figgy pudding? It is prominently featured in the Christmas carol "We Wish you a Merry Christmas" and yet, it is a mystery. Until today I can't say I've ever seen one or heard anyone talk of eating one. I decided to do some investigation on the topic. First via Google search and then by Dad's cookbook collection I compiled a variety of Fig pudding recipes. As per my father's teachings I wound up taking the recipe I liked the most and altering it anyway. What follows is what I distorted from the 1951 edition of The Joy of Cooking...
Step 1; chop up about 2 cups of dried figs and let them soak in about 3/4 c Rum and 1 1/4 c. hot water (I left it for about an hour)

 2. Beat together until "fluffy" (didn't look that fluffy to me)
1/2 c. butter
2 eggs
3/4c Molasses
1/4 c. brown sugar

3. Add, then mix
Chopped walnuts (I put in a fistfull, so I guess that's about 1/4c)
Figs with all the rum and water
1/2 c. milk

4. In a seperate bowl sift together;
2.5c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

5. mix it all together

6. preheat oven to 325°F and grease your pan

7. bake for about 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean

It was hard to find this pan in our cupbords... we're not much of a bunt cake family, apparently this one was my great grandmothers.
The dough tasted like molassas and rum...

Finally I made a frosting of butter, orange juice and confectioner's sugar.  There are fancier/prettier pudding frostings, but this one was tasty.
Some recipes called for boiling the pudding or steaming it for four hours, some instruct to set it aflame before serving... so who knows how authentic this particular pudding is. It tasted like Fig Newtons and rum soaked gingerbread to me, but my friends Josh and Rosie claim that it does not taste like Fig Newtons at all (I did grow up on the organic hippie version of the Newton so perhaps I am biased). Either way, this stuff was fantastic and I intend to repeat it in the future.


lisa d said...

It was delicious- thanks for sharing with the settlers of Catan!!


Amazing! I had only ever heard figgy pudding referenced in the classic Christmas song, and so I reasonably assumed it was more of a pudding in consistency. It's actually kind of cake like. It was extremely tasty. I have also always suspected that figgy pudding was only the rave before more yummy confections were invented to illuminate the cullinary dark ages, but now I know why carolers would not leave until they got some. I am left wondering why Figgy Pudding is no longer something every tongue has experienced. What happened to figgy pudding? Why is it not still as popular. That was some good stuff- really and truly- and I thank you for broadening my horizons.

Anonymous said...

If everyone were to try your figgy pudding it would be popular again. Like many old English traditional foods old Figgy Pudding is like fruit cake, and pooie. The figgy pudding made this Christmas in our kitchen was really good. Thanks. DOD

rosie said...

I really want to eat more figgy pudding now that I see it again... it was goooooooooooooooooooodddddddd.