What is this Mysterious Dessert?

Ah, Figgy Pudding – the famed, often-sung-about but rarely seen star of British Christmas feasts. You might be wondering, “What exactly is Figgy Pudding?”

Well, it’s a bit of a Christmas miracle! Despite its name, traditional Figgy Pudding doesn’t actually contain figs.

The Fantastical World of Figgy Pudding: A British Christmas Delight

Historically, “fig” was a generic term for dried fruit, so the “figgy” in the pudding actually refers to raisins. This rich and dense concoction is more like a cake than a pudding in the American sense and is packed with a mix of dried fruits and spices.

Time Investment: A Labor of Love

Preparing Figgy Pudding is not for the faint-hearted! From start to finish, including cooking, it can take around 7 hours. But remember, good things come to those who wait! (LOL)

Ingredients for Figgy Pudding

  • Suet (beef or vegetarian)→ – 4 oz (115 grams)
  • Brown sugar – 1 cup (200 grams)
  • Self-rising flour – 1½ cups (180 grams)
  • Bread crumbs – 1½ cups (150 grams)
  • Mixed spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice) – 1 tsp
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Raisins – 1 cup (150 grams)
  • Sultanas (golden raisins) – 1 cup (150 grams)
  • Currants – 1 cup (150 grams)
  • Mixed peel – ½ cup (75 grams)
  • Apple, grated – 1 medium
  • Lemon zest – from 1 lemon
  • Orange zest – from 1 orange
  • Almonds, chopped – ½ cup (60 grams)
  • Eggs – 2 large
  • Stout or dark beer – ½ cup (120 ml)
  • Brandy – 2 tbsp (30 ml)

Step-by-Step Instructions: Crafting the Pudding

  1. Mix Dry Ingredients: Combine suet, flour, breadcrumbs, brown sugar, mixed spice, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Add Fruits and Nuts: Stir in raisins, sultanas, currants, mixed peel, grated apple, lemon zest, orange zest, and almonds.
  3. Bind the Mixture: Beat the eggs and add them to the mixture along with stout and brandy. Stir well.
  4. Steam the Pudding: Pour the mixture into a greased pudding basin. Cover with a double layer of grease-proof paper and a layer of aluminum foil. Tie securely with string. Place in a steamer over boiling water and steam for 6 hours, topping up water as needed.
  5. Rest the Pudding: Cool and store in a cool, dry place. Ideally, let it mature for a few weeks.

Perfecting Figgy Pudding: Tips for Success

  • Fruit Quality: Use high-quality dried fruits for the best flavor.
  • Steaming: Ensure the water doesn’t boil dry during the long steaming process.
  • Maturing: The longer you let the pudding mature, the better the flavors develop.

Nutritional Information: Indulgence in Moderation

Per serving (1/10th of the pudding):

  • Approximately 370 calories
  • 12g fat
  • 58g carbohydrates
  • 5g protein

Preserving the Magic: Storing Leftovers

Leftover pudding can be wrapped tightly and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat by steaming for about an hour.

What is Vegetarian Suet?

Vegetarian suet is a plant-based alternative to traditional suet, which is a type of hard fat derived from the area around the kidneys and loins of cattle or sheep.

Unlike traditional animal-based suet, vegetarian suet is made from a blend of vegetable fats, often palm oil and rice flour.

It’s designed to mimic the texture and cooking properties of animal suet, making it suitable for use in recipes that traditionally call for suet, such as steamed puddings, mincemeat, and dumplings.

Vegetarian suet is a popular choice for those following vegetarian or vegan diets, or for those who prefer to avoid animal fats for health or ethical reasons.

It provides a similar richness and moist texture to dishes as animal suet would, but without using any animal products.
This makes it an excellent option for dishes like Figgy Pudding, allowing everyone to enjoy traditional recipes regardless of their dietary preferences.

A Tale of 13 Ingredients: The Lore of Figgy Pudding

Figgy Pudding’s rich history includes the belief that it should contain 13 ingredients, symbolizing Christ and the 12 apostles.

This tradition adds a layer of spiritual significance to the dish, making it a meaningful centerpiece of the Christmas feast.

A Carol to Close: Singing for Pudding

And now, for a bit of festive cheer, let’s end with a few stanzas from “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” famously demanding this delightful dessert:

We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
And a happy New Year

Good tidings we bring to you and your kin
We wish a merry Christmas and a happy New Year

Now bring us some figgy pudding
Now bring us some figgy pudding
Now bring us some figgy pudding
Now bring some out here

Merry Christmas!