Wednesday, December 19, 2007


So, now I have to find out how to make a "Figgie Pudding." Am I even spelling that right?

That's what happens when you ask your husband if there's anything special he would like included in the Christmas menu this year. He thought about it for a few days and came back to me with this. The only thing I know about Figgie Pudding is that it shows up somewhere in the third or fourth verse of We Wish You a Merry Christmas... "Bring us a Figgie Pudding and bring it right here."

I wish it were that simple.

I should have asked him what I really meant to ask which was, "Do you want the Christmas cake I always make again this year, or do you want the Christmas cake I always make?"

Any help, ideas, assistance, or direction on this Figgie thingie would be greatly appreciated. Comments open...

Oh, and I've been watching this over and over and over again as I fold laundry and I just think that boy's mother must be so, so proud.

If you liked that, you'd probably like The Three Kings as well and In Dulci Jublio and not necessarily Chrismassy, but too beautiful not to mention Misere Mei Deus.


Jennie C. said...

Here's a recipe. And another.

But this looks like one of those things best left in songs. :-)

mia said...

Here's a link. Good luck!

mel said...

Hmmm...sounds like one of those weird British foods, like kidney pie or offense to any Brits out there, but ya'll sure put some strange things in pie crusts... lol... If you make it, I'd love to know if it's good though!

Ken Wills said...

My thoughts would be....
make Christmas cake you always make! You can tell him 1) "What this isn't figgie pudding???, my blog readers steered me wrong!" or 2) There is a reason no one knows how to make figgie pudding, no one likes it.

My suspicion is you are going to find out how to make figgie pudding, you are going to make it, and your family will love it.

Have a Good Christmas

Elizabeth said...

Sorry if this posts twice -- I had to make a Google identity!

With all of our English lit reading this year, my husband has asked for a Plum Pudding (same as Figgy Pudding or Christmas pudding) too for a traditional English Christmas.

I'll let you know when I pick a recipe. It's tricky because they are steamed, not just baked I think.

Blessed Christmas to all!

mellon said...

Thanks for filling my house with beautiful music today :0)
Good luck with the "figgie pudding"!

Cheryl M. said...

Page 2 of Joanna Bogle's "A Book of Feasts and Seasons" The recipe is Christmas Stephen wants me to make it...I tell him he's on the wrong side of the Atlantic....All that boiling makes it sound really gross...;)

rachel said...

I followed your link to the King's Choir and my kids came running when they heard the music. During the young boy's solo, my 4 yr old dd asks, "Mommy, is that a saint?". So sweet...

Thanks for the link.

Kristen Laurence said...

How funny. I always thought figgy pudding was the same as Yorkshire pudding, which I like to make for Christmas dinner. I'm only relizing now from your post that it's actually a dessert. Ha!

Hallie said...

I like this recipe. It's a bit less time consuming than others I've seen. Happy baking!

Johane said...

I've never made figgie pudding myself. I have some friends who may have tried it so I'll go and see if I can find you a good recipe that's been "tested".

Sherry said...

Never, NEVER ask your husband what he'd like special -- they always come up with some good ones, don't they? ha ha I'm kidding of course.

My husband has been asking for flan. I'm not even sure what it is, let alone how to make it! :)


Beck said...

I actually made figgy pudding one year for Christmas! Steamed puddings are MUCH easier than you'd think!

Gabrielle said...

I wonder if your husband asked for figgie pudding because he'd had it as a child, or because he's never had it before. If he had it when he was little, maybe his Mom has a family recipe.

Michelle said...

One year I made fig pudding - recipe from The Joy of Cooking. I too wondered what those Brits got all excited about.

There are few desserts I've met that I haven't liked. This was one of them. My husband and his mother liked it. Nobody else. It went in the garbage can. It wasn't hard to make, just not something to sing about.

Anonymous said...

Try figgy pudding tons of pops for recipes. Good Luck and Merry Christmas

Erika said...

I've never tried this, but this recipe looks yummy.

Johane said...

Ok. I went to my sources and this is what I came up with... Mind you it's too late to make it for Christmas OR New Year's this year.

" "Figgie" pudding can mean a lot of things, do you have some idea
of the ingredients involved?

I have my wife's great grandmother's recipe, but it is one of those that really needs to be made at least two weeks before serving. And there are no figs! I suspect you'll find most recipes will be like that. I have aged this
pudding for three months to great effect. I once tried to serve it after a week and it was not good.

It's actually pretty simple - the challenge is finding real beef suet (the fat on top of the kidneys, which is quite flaky). You will need to know your butcher to get it.

5oz (weight!) bread crumbs
5oz flour
4oz beef suet, chopped fine
5oz brown sugar
5oz raisins
5oz currants
5oz sultanas (I use golden raisins)
5oz candied peel
juice of 1 orange
juice of 1 lemon
2 apples peeled and chopped
1tea allspice
1tea ground ginger
1tea nutmeg
1tea salt

Mix together. I like to mix the flour, sugar, crumbs and spices, then suet, then fruit and peel, then the juice. Grease a solid 2qt ceramic basin and pack it in there. Cover with wax paper and a towel. Set a trivet in a pot
and set the bowl on that. Cover and steam for 8 hours. Unmold carefully, cool, wrap with wax paper and a ziploc. Age for at least two weeks. Reheat by steaming for two hours. Serve with "hard sauce" (frosting really: 2 sticks butter, add powdered sugar and bourbon or favorite spirit to taste).

I usually double the recipe and make two, one for us and one for the company party. It's the same amount of work, except for the suet. You kind of have to pull it apart and crumble it with your fingers.

Hope this helps! - jeff (jn CA)"

Since it's from a great-grandmother, I figure it's old enough to probably be related to the song.

And since it takes so long to make, maybe your husband will a accept a nicely printed copy of the recipe - to which you can refer to next year. ;)

Good luck!

scmom (Barbara) said...

Thanks for the link to the King's College Choir. Beautiful.

Deborah at The Humble Housewife had a Christmas (Figgie) Pudding on her blog not too long ago. I think you had to start a while ago. It has to sit with alcohol on it like a fruitcake. Maybe that's your out?

Here's a link:

The Bookworm said...

I think Figgy Pudding is similar to Christmas Pudding, but not quite the same (I've never tried it so I wouldn't know). This is the recipe I use for Christmas Pudding.

Steamed puddings are much nice than they sound ;).

The Good Doctor said...

Here's an NPR story from this Tuesday morning about figgy pudding and how to make it:

Sounds like a lot of work, but perfect for making together. And what boy/husband would reject food that you set on fire!!!

mel said...

Ooh, ooh, here's a recipe from the Von Trapp's...for Plum Pudding, which I think is the same thing? Anyway, let us know how it turns out, it sounds interesting. :)

mel said...

Ooh, ooh, here's a recipe from the Von Trapp's...for Plum Pudding, which I think is the same thing? Anyway, let us know how it turns out, it sounds interesting. :)

Liz said...

I've made plum pudding (aka figgy pudding) for the past 32 years. The recipe I like best comes from A Continual Feast (a cookbook which celebrates the Christian year). It really is great with the hard sauce and be sure to flame your pudding by pouring warmed brandy on it and lighting it (very dramatic with the lights turned out). At my house, I love it, my son likes it, my husband likes it, my daughter tolerates it, but her boyfriend (of 2 and a half years!) loves it, so I think it may make it to the next generation despite her lukewarm feelings for it. The one piece of advice I would offer is that unless you are going to have a big crowd for Christmas make two smaller puddings instead of one larger one. I'm still working on this year's pudding and it's going to show up on my thighs pretty soon. Fortunately the boyfriend and my son have been helping me get through it, but another year I'm opting for making two and either serving one on Christmas and one on New Year's or leaving the second one for oh, say Valentine's Day.

The first few years I made plum pudding I actually did it either Christmas Day or Christmas week. Now I do it properly, by making it on Christ the King Sunday. It does do better by curing a little while, and it also simplifies Christmas because the dessert simply has to be reheated rather than made from scratch on Christmas or during the week before Christmas when things are so busy.

Oh, and my recipe for hard sauce uses brown sugar rather than confectioners and I use a whole lot more brandy than the recipe ordinarily calls for. My hard sauce has a kick to it. I used to make a version with confectioner's sugar and a bit of vanilla extract for the junior set, but now we don't have a junior set anymore (or at least not at the moment)so it's hard hard sauce for all.

Suzanne Temple said...

Oh thanks, liz, this sounds great. I'll have to do it next year.