Why It Works
- Figs keep this pudding moist and give it a mellow sweetness.
- A simple confectioners’ sugar glaze and sprinkle of crysalized mint bring a festive mood.
We've all heard the song refrain, but what is figgy pudding, exactly?
You may be surprised—I certainly was—to learn that 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. Still, 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.
So make some figgy pudding, and make it right now! Then, for some real feel-good points, make a Christmas miracle happen by actually bringing someone you love some figgy pudding. Impromptu song and dance routines are possible, but general delight guaranteed.
Recipe adapted from Chef James Thomas
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 (180°C). Generously grease a bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt.
In 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. Then, 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 touch and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, you're done. If not, 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.
Bundt pan, saucepan
Make-Ahead and Storage
The pudding can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 12g||15%|
|Saturated Fat 6g||31%|
|Total Carbohydrate 63g||23%|
|Dietary Fiber 5g||17%|
|Total Sugars 39g|
|Vitamin C 1mg||6%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|