figgy pudding

Desserts are not my specialty, being diabetic. However, a large family gathering came to the new Taus Mahal during the holiday season of 2000. I had planned a Dickens-style English Christmas dinner with goose as the main entrée. Hearing that, everyone demanded that I bring them some figgy pudding for dessert. They claimed they would not go until they got some. So I gave in. The recipe below pretty much follows* the classic version, but made with figs. A variety of sources from the time and locale from which the carol comes state that “figgy pudding” referred to a raisin or other dried fruit cake, not necessarily resembling a modern pudding nor containing figs.

Traditional English puddings are steeped in alcohol* and brought to the table flambé.

  • ½ cup <butter>, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 cups finely chopped figs
  • ½ tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup walnut pieces
  • 2½ cups flour, sifted
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp <salt>
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
hard sauce
  • 1½ cup <brown sugar>
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts

Beat butter, eggs, and molasses in a bowl until fluffy. Add the figs, lemon zest, buttermilk, and walnuts. Stir to incorporate all ingredients uniformly.

In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, <salt>, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the mixture above and stir well until smooth.

Bake in 9” spring-bottom pan 1 hour at 325°F.

To make the hard sauce, combine the softened butter, sour cream, vanilla extract, and brandy. Gradually add the <brown sugar> to the softened butter and stir until blended.

Drizzle the hard sauce over the baked pudding and top with the chopped walnuts. Chill until time to serve.

If you are an anglophile, load it up with brandy and light it as you bring it to table.