Please Pass the Fruitcake: Figgy Pudding (post 4 of 12)

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Figgy Pudding Recipe | The Coupon Project

I’ve been hard at work on a 12-part series I’m calling Please Pass the Fruitcake. And I do mean HARD at work. People, I hope you’re appreciating these posts. Most of the recipes I’m featuring involve at least several hours of work (if not days), translating strange recipes and ingredients, and multiple trips to the store. (Are you feeling appreciative yet? Yes? Good!)

In case you missed them:

  • Roast Chestnuts
  • Yule Log
  • Sugar Plums

I was particularly excited to make today’s recipe: figgy pudding. It is referenced in the final verse of We Wish You a Merry Christmas...

(Photo credit Scot2342)

Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer
We won’t go until we get some;
We won’t go until we get some;
We won’t go until we get some, so bring some out here

Now I don’t know about you, but I find it more than a little bothersome that the carolers would basically demand figgy pudding. Not even one please in that stanza. And the bit about not going until they get some is basically a hostage situation. So reflect on this the next time you suppose Christmas Past was all about spreading cheer and simpler times.

Of course, I had to learn more about what food could be sooo delicious you’d orchestrate a flash mob for it.

Sarah found a pretty fantastic recipe at Good Housekeeping. Start with about 10-12 ounces of figs. Guess what? I already had some on hand from my fig feature in October! I was able to purchase these in bulk at WinCo foods.

100_8844Cook them in 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Then, remove from heat and let them sit for a few hours, until soft.

100_8848 (800x600)When that’s done, you can start on your cake. You’ll want to remove the figs with a slotted spoon. Then, bring the reserved fig juice to a boil with 1 cup of sugar. Remove from heat and add 1 tablespoon of orange-flower water. I had no clue what this is, so I just took some orange peel, orange juice and a touch of brandy and strained it. I’m still not certain this is what I was after, but there you have it.

Take a box of carrot cake mix, and follow the instructions except substitute the water for the same amount of reserved fig juice. Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.

100_8901 (800x600)Next, you’ll want to hand chop the figs.

100_8899 (800x600)The recipe I have says to mix in a food processor. This seemed odd to me, and again, I don’t own a food processor, so I just carefully added my cake mix, figs and all, into a blender. I left the figs kinda chunky, but not entirely pureed. I put back into the mixing bowl and added with 1/3 cup of raisins that I’d soaked in brandy and 1/2 cup of sliced almonds. Then add the grated peel of one orange and a heaping dollop of orange marmalade. Viola.

100_8903 (800x693)Now you’re going to want to bake this puppy in a large bowl lined with foil and heavily sprayed with non-stick spray. Make sure that the foil extends beyond the rim of the bowl, making a collar. Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then lower the collar to cover the cake. Cook up to an hour and a half more, until a skewer comes out clean. I found mine was completely done fully 20 minutes sooner than the recommended cook time!

Let it cool completely (preferably overnight), and then invert onto a platter.

Take the last of the reserved fig liquid and heat with 1/3 – 1/2 cup of rum or brandy. Drizzle on top of the cake. You can ignite if you wish and serve flambe, but I omitted this.

100_8935 (800x600)Drizzle the rummy figgy sauce on top.

100_8945 (800x521)This cake is extremely dense. It reminded me a bit of fruitcake, without the neon-colored fruit. Given how heavy it is, I do recommend you serve with a generous heap of freshly made whipped cream.

100_8944 (800x696)This cake was delicious. I had two helpings of it. (Seriously, this series is becoming the 12 pounds of Christmas – no joke!!) I think it would be a spectacularly fun recipe to show up with for your company holiday party or family Christmas gathering. Given the denseness, a little goes a long way. I suspect the figgy pudding I made would easily serve 10, possibly 12 or more.

The other thing I would like to add, in case it wasn’t clear, this cake will likely take you all day (or more) to make. I started mine yesterday morning at about 10 am, and enjoyed my first bite at about 9 pm later that night. So if you have carolers pounding down your door, insisting they will not leave until you make them figgy pudding? Better pull out the hide-a-bed and get cozy. It’s going to be awhile.

PS, is it just me, or does a figgy pudding seem more like a cake than a pudding?

(Today’s Figgy Pudding recipe comes from General Housekeeping.)

PSS Did you like this post? Make sure to check out my round up of Homemade Christmas ideas for other traditional Christmas recipes and DIY gifts:


14 thoughts on “Please Pass the Fruitcake: Figgy Pudding (post 4 of 12)”

  1. Yum! It’s always my job to bring dessert to our family Christmas gathering, and I try every year to do something DIFFERENT. I’ve never had figgy pudding and I’ll wager that while Grandma might have, no one else in my family will have had it either. Thank you so much for this!

  2. Thanks for this recipe. My sister and i LOVE reading your blog. We look foward to the daily emails. I was cracking up at your being “alarmed” at the carolers demands!

  3. Angela, I love the topics you select for your series. This one is great. Figgy pudding is another British tradition where the name is just a little different than expected. Thanks for all the hard work enlightening us on these traditions.

    • Thank you so much for your feedback! These are my favorite posts I do here and I put a lot of time and love into ’em. Glad you enjoy it!

  4. So, researching today and buying ingredients to make the figgy pudding, I’m also not sure what orange flower water is (even after clicking the link in the comment above, I’m not sure how to make or what to buy)… but my Grand Marnier will be done tomorrow, so I think I’ll use that instead! Once again, I’ll let you know about the outcome.

    • Yum, by the way. It was a total hit. At a party of about twelve people, there was so little left at the end of the night that I didn’t even consider taking it home. Well, maybe for a second I thought about it… it was so yummy… but I let the hostess keep it, and she was glad. 🙂

      • Oh this makes me so, sooooo happy!! 😉 Thanks for sharing. Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually tries some of the recipes I feature here – glad to know it was such a hit!!

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