I had a friend up this weekend, who I haven’t actually hung out with since.. 2008? I think (she’ll be able to correct me, no doubt)? We had a falling out, and stopped talking. Don’t move in with your best friend if you want to remain best friends: lesson learned. You might say to yourself, “nay! our friendship could stand the tests of 10,000 lifetimes!” but you are fucking WRONG, son. We were as close as close could be, and it fucked up our relationship enough to prevent us from even acknowledging the other existed for 4 years. 4 years! That’s a significant amount of time to hold a grudge! I don’t know many people more stubborn than I am. I’m not bragging, it isn’t something to brag about, really. I used to hold on to things way too much. Then I got in a car accident and it totally changed my perspective. Life is to short to spend it angry for bullshit reasons, holding on to things that are best let go of. After deciding to harbour less ill will and realizing I was missing out instead of proving a point, I feel lighter. Happier. I had a really great time this past weekend, and I’m really glad I have my friend back.
So we made Figgy Pudding.
It’s a little late for the holidays, but I don’t give a care. Not even ONE. This is something that people need to eat year round, although it would lose its special Christmas significance if we all did that. It’s good enough to do that with though.
Before we start, whatever baking recepticle you want to use to cook your Figgy Pudding in, make sure you have a second pan that is larger, that your first pan will sit right inside of. I don’t mean “hey, I mean, this BASICALLY fits… it’s kinda propped up on the sides a bit, but the bottom BASICALLY touches the water inside the second pan”… this will not do. Your pudding (which is basically a moist cake, by the way), will not thoroughly cook, and when you turn it over to cool, it will fall right the fuck apart, and you will have to scatter the broken pieces on a cookie tray and re-cook part of it.
Regardless of its shape, it’s to die for. The sauce is… there are no words. The first time I made it, I used eggnog instead of 35% cream, and although I thought the eggnog flavour was lovely, I would use the whipping cream again before I used the ‘nog. I’m not just stoked on figgy pudding all by myself.. Rain loves it, my friend loved it, so do my parents, and his parents.
Try it. You know you want to.
- 2/3 cup chopped pitted dates
- 1/2 cup chopped dried figs
- 2 cups water
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground all spice
- 2 pinches salt
- 2 pinches ground nutmeg
- 2/3 cup soft butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 eggs (room temp)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 6 tbsp butter
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup 35% (whipping) cream
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract (I know, this sounds like a lot, but it’s worth it)
1. Preheat your oven to 350* F.
2. Chop your dates and figs then add them to a medium sized saucepan and cover with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until almost all of the water has been absorbed/evaporated.
5. In a large mixing bowl, cream together your butter and brown sugar, then beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add Vanilla, then start adding your puree and dry mix alternatly (flour, then puree, then flour, then puree, etc.).
Sauce: (that would be fantastic on almost any dessert, particularly ice cream)
1. Melt down your butter in a medium sized saucepan, over medium/low heat.
Both times I’ve made Figgy Pudding, I’ve made it in a bundt pan. The first time turned out marvelously, and it popped out of the pan seamlessly. The second time, I fucked up with the waterbath. It basically refused to come out of the pan, then when it did, it came out in pieces and the bottom wasn’t quite cooked, so I spread it out on to a cookie sheet and baked for another 20 minutes at 350*F, and it came out dandy… just not in the original shape that I had intended. Either way, it was fabulous and it’s bound to impress anyone that you make it for. Not many people have tried it, I’ve found, and it’s really a remarkable little dessert.