For most of us in modern times, the only thing we know about figgy pudding is that it is in the Christmas carol "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." Why not try making figgy pudding this year? After all, if the pudding (actually more like a cake) has been around for this long, it must be good! Figgy pudding was traditionally steamed, but baking is much easier and usually comes out looking better. Although there are many recipes for figgy pudding, here is one way to make it.
- Assemble ingredients. You will need: 1/2 cup butter, 2 eggs, 1 cup molasses, 2 cups finely chopped stemless dried figs, 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel, 1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and whipped cream.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. This is best done before the ingredients are mixed.
- Cream 1/2 cup butter. Cream the butter, at room temperature, until it is fluffy.
- Add eggs and molasses. Add two eggs and one cup of molasses to the creamed butter, and beat well.
- Finely chop two cups of dried figs. The namesake of the figgy pudding, this should be about one pound of figs. Make sure to first remove the stems.
- Add figs and lemon peel. Add the two cups of finely chopped figs and 1/2 teaspoon of grated lemon peel to the mixture.
- Add walnuts and buttermilk. Add one cup of buttermilk and 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts to the mixture, and blend for one minute.
- Add all other ingredients. Into the bowl, put 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, two teaspoons of baking powder, one teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, and blend everything well.
- Grease and flour a dish. Grease and flour a souffle or casserole dish - about 8 x 4 inches. Pour the batter in.
- Bake for one hour. Place the pudding in the oven and back at 325 degrees F for an hour, or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Serve warm. You can garnish the figgy pudding with whipped cream or hard sauce.
There are many other recipes for figgy pudding, some involving rum, some with orange peel, and some with bread crumbs. Feel free to experiment with your figgy pudding, but just remember that your guests may be demanding. As the carol says, "We won't go until we get some."