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Figgy Pudding

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Joined: 25 January 2010
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    Posted: 18 February 2010 at 17:27

Figgy Pudding

contributed by Andrew Plotkin

I heard the "figgy pudding" song once too often over Christmas, and I determined to make some. I didn't follow any real figgy puding recipe. I've never had that. No, I visualized the archetypical figgy pudding that that carol has always inspired in my childlike soul, and concentrated upon that image until it lived apart from my will.

As this is a two-part recipe, I include two parts of stuff.

The Figgy Bread (two loaves)
  • A few drops of honey
  • 1 cup luke-warm water (not hot)
  • 2 packages (2 tbsp) dry yeast
  • 8 oz chopped figs
  • 8 oz chopped pitted dates
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 4 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 cups unbleached white flour
First, we make some fig-date bread.

I'll try to describe the full bread-baking process, but I'm not writing for the bread-total-newbie. If you've never done it, seek out a guide -- a million such exist. If you have a bread machine, just use that.

Dissolve the honey in the warm water; then sprinkle in the yeast and mix it until it dissolves. Let it sit for five minutes. The yeast should foam a bit as it eats the honey.

Dump in two cups of the flour, and mix well with a wooden spoon. (The dough will be very wet and sticky at this stage; you can't hand-knead it yet. This is called the "sponge".) Let this rise, covered, in a warm place, for an hour.

While this is going on, put the dates and figs (eight ounces of each) in the hot water. Let them soak at least half an hour.

Stir the fruit and soaking liquid into the dough. Add the butter, molasses and salt. Mix well with your trusty wooden spoon.

Add the remaining six cups of flour, a cup at a time, mixing as you go. Eventually the dough will be too thick for the spoon; switch to kneading by hand.

Knead with cheerful vigor for twenty minutes.

Put it back in the warm dark place, covered, and let it rise for an hour or so.

Knead it for another twenty minutes. Then split the dough into two lumps. Put each in a loaf pan, and put them away to rise for yet another hour.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Then bake the loaves 30 to 40 minutes.

When they're done, immediately remove them from the pans. A fully-baked loaf should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom. Let them cool for twenty minutes before cutting. (This is actually important -- something to do with how fast moisture escapes. I think the bread will go stale faster if you violate this rule.)

Eat one loaf of bread. Save the other loaf for...

The Pudding

  • 1 loaf of figgy bread, sliced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2.5 cups heavy cream
  • 2.5 cups whole milk
  • 3 tbsp bourbon (or rum, or whatever)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 oz chopped figs
  • 8 oz chopped pitted dates
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
Take three-fourths of the bread, and tear it into one-inch squares.

Mix the sugar and eggs until well-combined. Add the milk, cream, fruit, and everything else. Mix more. Throw in the torn-up bread and let it soak for twenty minutes.

Dump all of that into a 13x9 baking pan. Put the remaining slices of bread on top. Push them down until they're soaked too.

Drizzle the melted butter on top. Mix the sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle that all over the top too. (Yes, this will basically produce a crust of pure sugar. This is correct.)

Bake this at 375F for 45 to 50 minutes, until it's a deep golden brown and the pudding is set in the middle.

Eat and pass out.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2010 at 05:40
I've always wonered what the heck figgy pudding I know! Thanks for the post and I think I'll give it a shot.
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