We wish you a Merry Christmas is a catchy tune—but have you ever wondered about the figgy pudding part? The word pudding can conjure up visions of creamy spoonable custard. Then, there’s the British definition, which is where this figgy pudding recipe lands. It’s a cake boiled or steamed in something else. So, how to make figgy pudding is all about the details.
How to Make Figgy Pudding
The key to this recipe is to spoon the batter into a temperature-resistant glass bowl and then cover it with foil. Lower it into a stockpot and pour water around it as a bain marie or water bath (which is used for baking pot de creme) for a gentle bake. We use mission dried figs in this figgy pudding recipe but you could try golden dried figs to switch things up.
What’s Hard Sauce
Then, you pour on the hard sauce, which might look a bit different than what you’d think of as a sauce. Instead, you beat butter and then add in confectioner’s sugar and enough brandy to make it earn its name of “hard” sauce. Once you know how to make figgy pudding, you might just make it part of your Christmas baking traditions.
Winter Holiday Baking
Around the world, dried figs factor into holiday desserts. During Hanukkah (and beyond!) fried doughnuts called Sufganiyot are filled with dried fig jam. In Italy, glazed and baked dried fig stuffed cuccidati are a once a year Christmas tradition.
Figgy Pudding Recipe
Figgy Pudding Recipe
- 1 cup Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs chopped, stems removed
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 egg large
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/16 tsp ground cloves
- 1/16 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 cup pecans toasted, chopped
- 1/4 cup raisins
- hard sauce recipe follows
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
- 4 teaspoons brandy
Make Figgy Pudding
- In small saucepan combine figs, brandy and 1/4 cup water. Cover, bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Cool to lukewarm. Drain figs, discarding liquid. Reserve 1/3 cup figs.
- Puree remaining figs with buttermilk in food processor. In bowl of electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and creamy. On low speed, beat in egg.
- Mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Beat in flour mixture alternating with buttermilk mixture. Stir in reserved figs, pecans and raisins. Spoon into buttered 4-cup ovenproof bowl or baking dish. Cover tightly with foil.
- To steam, place rack in bottom of large stockpot. Add boiling water to depth of 1 inch. Cover pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently for 65 to 75 minutes (replenish boiling water if needed) or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let sit for 5 minutes. Invert onto serving plate. Serve with hard sauce.
Make Hard Sauce
- Beat butter with electric mixer until light and creamy. Gradually beat in sifted confectioner's sugar. Beat in brandy. Cover and chill. (Makes about 1/2 cup)