recipe

Figgy Pudding: the easy dessert recipe for a classic Christmas pudding

Total time: 8H20
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist
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Ingredients
dried currants
1 cup
Raisins
3/4 cup
golden raisins
3/4 cup
finely chopped candied orange peel 
2 tbsp
finely chopped candied lemon peel 
2 tbsp
finely chopped walnuts or almonds
2 tbsp
Brandy
1/2 cup
fresh white breadcrumbs
2 cups
All-purpose flour
1/2 cup
Baking powder
1/2 tsp
Salt
1/2 tsp
mixed spice
1 tsp
Ground cinnamon
1 tsp
shredded beef suet
4 ounces
packed dark brown sugar
1 cup
large eggs, lightly beaten
2
small apple, peeled, cored and grated
1
Molasses
1 tbsp
zest of one lemon
zest of one small orange

Figgy pudding is one of the most traditional holiday desserts you can serve at Christmas. Also known as Christmas pudding, this rich, dense, moist dessert is absolutely delicious thanks to the wonderful variety of ingredients used to make it.

Spices, dried fruits like raisins and currants, candied citrus zest, and more lend a heavenly flavor to your figgy pudding. Figgy pudding is often decorated with a sprig of holly, which represents Christ's crown of thorns while setting the pudding on fire represents the passion of Christ.

Christmas pudding is a fantastic, classic dessert that's well worth the effort of making. If you want a beautiful, delicious treat to impress your loved ones, you can't go wrong with a traditional figgy pudding!

What is Figgy Pudding?

Even if you've never had the pleasure of eating figgy pudding, you've undoubtedly heard of it thanks to the song “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” This tasty dessert has many names including Christmas pudding and plum pudding.

Figgy pudding is a traditional English steamed dessert with a consistency that's similar to a cake. It's made with various fruits, spices, flour, breadcrumbs, and suet, a type of fat often derived from beef.

The origins of Christmas pudding date back to the 14th century. Back then, figgy pudding had a more porridge-like consistency and was made from figs, wine, nuts, fruit, and honey. Over time, the recipe changed into the steamed pudding we know and love today. As for the name plum pudding, Victorians referred to all dried fruit as plums.

Christmas Pudding Ingredients

Christmas pudding has such a wonderful flavor thanks to the array of tasty ingredients that go into making it.

You'll need raisins, golden raisins, currants, and candied citrus peel, plus warming spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice.

Almonds add a lovely crunch while apple, molasses, and brown sugar give the pudding its sweetness.

Flour and breadcrumbs give the pudding its structure, while suet gives a rich flavor.

Brandy acts as a preservative, so it's a wise idea to include it in your figgy pudding recipe!

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How to Make Figgy Pudding

Making Christmas pudding from scratch is actually quite easy to do, however, it does take a little time. To get started, stir the raisins, golden raisins, currants, almonds, and candied lemon and orange peels together in a large bowl. Add in brandy, stir, then cover and leave overnight. This will allow the brandy to infuse the fruit with its wonderful flavor.

After soaking the fruit in the brandy overnight, grab a second bowl, and whisk the flour, breadcrumbs, sugar, and spices until they're well combined. In a third bowl, combine the brandy fruit mixture, apple, molasses, suet, citrus zest, and egg. Mix the dry mixture with the fruit mixture then set it aside for a moment.

Grease your pudding mold with butter, making sure to be generous – you don't want your pudding to stick to the mold! Transfer the batter into the mold. Cut out a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pudding mold. Grease it with butter, then place it over the batter. Wrap the mold with two large pieces of parchment paper so the paper covers it and comes down the side of the mold. Tie with butcher's string.

Bring a pot of water to a simmer. Put a trivet in the pot. Place the pudding mold on the trivet. The water should reach halfway up the mold. Place the lid on the pot and cook on low heat for 8 hours. Keep an eye on the water levels over the 8 hours. You'll need to top it up with more water every so often.

Take the pudding from the pot. Leave it for 5 minutes, then invert it onto a plate. Allow the pudding to cool completely. Next, discard the parchment paper and rewrap the pudding with clean parchment, followed by foil. Place the pudding in a cool, dark, dry place until Christmas day.

Can You Make Christmas Pudding Ahead of Time?

Absolutely! Figgy pudding was traditionally made several weeks before Christmas, usually around the first week of November. Making the pudding so far in advance helps the flavors to merge and intensify.

Tips for the Best Figgy Pudding

The reason brandy is used in Christmas pudding recipes goes beyond adding flavor. Brandy also helps preserve the pudding, which was essential as the dessert was made so far ahead of Christmas day. That said, you can leave out the brandy. If you leave brandy out of your figgy pudding, be sure to make it a few before Christmas and store it in the fridge.

For the best flavor, try making the candied orange and lemon peels yourself. They're much tastier than store-bought!

The longer you steam your pudding, the darker it will be.

How to Serve Christmas Pudding

When it's time to serve your pudding, you can steam it again for 30 minutes to one hour. Figgy pudding is traditionally set on fire by pouring a few tablespoons of brandy over it or smearing it with brandy butter, then lighting it. The flames will go out on their own, then you can slice and serve the pudding.

Enjoy it with hard sauce made from brandy or rum, ice cream, custard, whipped cream, and a little powdered sugar.

How to Store Figgy Pudding

When storing figgy pudding before serving it on Christmas day, make sure to wrap it very tightly then keep it in a cool, dark place. It should last for several weeks.

Once lit on fire and served, you can keep leftovers wrapped in the fridge for a week or so. Frozen figgy pudding will last up to one year.

Instructions

In a large bowl, mix raisins, golden raisins, currants, almonds, and candied lemon and orange peels. Add in brandy, stir, then cover and leave overnight.

In a second bowl, whisk flour, breadcrumbs, sugar, and spices. Stir.

In a third bowl, combine the brandy fruit mixture, apple, molasses, suet, citrus zest, and egg.

Combine the dry mixture with the fruit mixture. Mix well.

Grease a pudding mold with butter. Transfer the batter into the mold then smooth out the top with a spatula.

Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pudding mold. Grease with butter, then place it over the batter. Cut two large portions of parchment paper. Wrap the mold, so the paper covers it and comes down the side of the mold. Tie with butcher's string.

Bring a pot of water to a simmer. Put a trivet in the pot. Place the pudding mold on the trivet. The water should reach halfway up the mold. Place the lid on the pot and cook on low heat for 8 hours. Top up with more water as needed.

Remove the pudding from the pot. Leave it for 5 minutes, then invert it onto a plate. Allow the pudding to cool completely.

Take off the parchment paper and replace it with clean parchment paper, then wrap it in foil. Place the pudding in a cool, dark, dry place.

Notes

If you don't have a trivet, a folded cloth will work in its place. You'll need something to rest the pudding mold on so it doesn't scorch when steaming.

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