Ever since coming across the term "figgy pudding" in the Christmas carol, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, I have wondered what it is like. I mean, it must be pretty tasty as the singers refuse to leave the doorstep until they have got some!
A few years ago I had a bit of an experiment with Christmas puddings. Although they all had dried fruit, sugar, spices and alcohol in them, I changed the mix and added fresh fruit, depending on what I had available. And one of these combinations was a figgy pudding that I was happy with.
I know not everyone is a fan of Christmas puddings, so I decided to make each batch into 6 mini puddings basins, each one suitable for one or two people, depending on how full up from Christmas dinner they were feeling. Mini pudding basins are available from Lakeland.
The other great thing about fruity puddings like is is that they store for months and months, so I see them as just another preserving method. They can stay wrapped in greaseproof paper and foil at ambient temperatures. So as apples, pears and quince pass through my kitchen, another batch of Christmas puddings will be made to use one or two up. I would probably use an apple by choice in a figgy pudding but it is absolutely fine to swap it for a couple of pears or a quince, depending on what you have or what you are struggling to use up.
Figgy Puddings (makes 6 mini)
85g butter, softened
250g dried figs
225g mixed dried fruit such as sultanas and raisins
1 apple (or quince or 2 pears), peeled and grated
55g light muscovado sugar
55g dark brown sugar
65g self-raising flour
1 tsp all spice
Grease the pudding pots and put a circle of parchment paper in the bottom of the each one. Chop up the figs and put 85g of them to one side. Put the rest of them in a large bowl with the butter and the brandy. Use a stick blender to blend this into a paste. Add the reserved figs, dried fruit, grated fruit, sugars, breadcrumbs, flour, spices and eggs and combine well. Divide the mixture between the pudding pots and put on the lids. Place an upturned plate or trivet into the base of a preserving pan or large sauce pan and arrange the pudding pots on top. Fill the pan to half way up the pudding pots with boiling water then put the lid on the pan and steam the puddings for one and half hours. Remove the pots from the pan and cool.