This baked pudding is really more like a cake. Rich in diced figs and spices, it gives a hint of fruitcakey-ness, but with a flavor that is far superior. The figs give it a mellow, almost honey-like sweetness, and keep it just moist enough to be slightly sticky, but not so sticky that it sticks to your teeth.
I took some liberties with the traditional recipe, substituting crushed graham cracker crumbs for bread crumbs, and going without a water bath. Forgoing the water bath suggested in the recipe I adapted was actually a mistake, but the pudding came out moist, cake-like, and uncracked, so I decided to stick with it here.
Technically, this figgy pudding doesn't need garnish, but I found that it was highly pleasant when paired with a simple confectioners' sugar glaze, and a sprinkling of crystallized mint made it festive and pretty.
Recipe adapted from Chef James Thomas
About the author: Jessie Oleson Moore is a writer, illustrator, gallery owner, and cake anthropologist who runs Cakespy, an award-winning dessert website. Her first book came out in October 2011, and her second book came out in May 2013.
- Yield:Serves 12
- Active time: 30 minutes minutes
- Total time:2 hours, plus cooling time
- 1 1/2 cups (about 6.375 ounces) all purpose flour
- 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 16 ounces dried dark figs, finely chopped
- 1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) whole milk
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
- 1 1/2 cups (about 4.5 ounces) graham cracker crumbs
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
- For the glaze (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) confectioners' sugar
- Up to 3 tablespoons heavy cream or eggnog
- Sprinkles, berries, or candied mint to garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a bundt pan.
In a medium bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt.
In a a medium saucepan, heat the figs and milk over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a simmer. Do not let the mixture come to a boil, but reduce the heat lightly and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the figs are completely soft and fattened from the milk. This mixture will be rather thick.
In a separate large bowl, whisk the eggs vigorously by hand for one minute. Stir in the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, and lemon peel. Once combined, stir in the warm fig and milk mixture. Now, add the flour mixture. Stir only until completely combined. This will be a thick batter.
Gently spoon the batter into the greased pan. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on top. Bake for 90 minutes, and then remove the foil. If the pudding has become firm to the touch and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, you're done. If not yet, continue baking until it has reached that point.
Run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan to help loosen the pudding. Let cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. It should come out rather easily.
If desired, garnish with a confectioners' sugar glaze made by whisking together confectioners' sugar and only as much cream or eggnog as desired to give it a thick but pourable consistency. Top with sprinkles, berries, or follow my example and use crystallized mint.
Serve by cutting into wedges. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.