Ever wondered what a traditional figgy pudding is? Keep reading to get the insider scoop on a truly old fashioned recipe by the original celeb chef, Mrs Beeton.
So there I was one Thursday evening, in front of the fire with SassyCat purring on my lap, reading Mrs Beeton’s ‘Cookery & Household Management’. It’s a bit of a dry read if I’m honest, but I couldn’t think of many things I’d rather be doing on a chilly Thursday evening.
Inspiration struck in the chapter on steamed puddings when I realised that I’ve never made a steamed pudding. Even though my vintage kitchenware habit means that I have at least 5 pudding basins in my kitchen. And I’m pretty sure there are more in my prop cupboard (that’s the place where I stash all those treasures I find that I know will get used in food photos, one day). Interestingly, this is the same habit that has had me ‘rescue’ the 17 various sized and chipped enamel baking tins that I’ve collected over the years. Much to my minimalist best mate’s despair.
Anyway, buried in Mrs Beeton’s tome was a recipe for a traditional Figgy Pudding which, other than in the lyrics of a Christmas carol, I’ve never so much of heard of.
Being a book from days gone by, the intrepid Mrs Beeton cuts her own suet from either sheep or cows, but I took the lazy route and bought a packet of beef suet. Honestly the pudding didn’t smell very tempting as it was cooking, having the aroma of a roast dinner in the making rather than a dessert, but I couldn’t taste the suet in the finished pud. Feel free to use veggie suet if the thought of all this tradition is making you feel faint.
How to Make Traditional Figgy Pudding
It’s not overtly sweet like a lot of todays desserts so a jug of custard or a drizzle of warmed golden syrup pairs with it nicely. And whilst a steamed pudding takes a huge amount of effort compared to mixing up say, a batch of muffins, it’s a fun tradition that I will certainly be making again. Do let me know if you give it a go too!
- 110 g plain flour
- 110 g suet
- 110 g breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 110 g sugar
- pinch salt
- pinch nutmeg ground
- 225 g dried figs chopped
- 2 eggs
- 210 ml milk
Grease a 2 pint pudding basin.
Mix the flour, suet, breadcrumbs, baking powder, sugar, salt, nutmeg and figs together in a large mixing bowl.
In a jug beat the eggs with the milk and stir into the mixture.
Pour into the pudding basin and cover with a piece of greaseproof paper that has been rubbed well with butter or other fat. Tie the paper around the rim of the basin with string.
Lower carefully into a large pan that has an upturned saucer in the bottom to prevent the basin from sitting directly on the base of the saucepan, and have the boiling water in the pan come halfway up the sides of the basin.
Pop on the lid and steam for 2.5 hours checking occasionally that the water hasn't evaporated.