Traditional Figgy Pudding Recipe

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Make your Christmas dishes memorable. Learn how to make traditional figgy pudding from scratch in this free how-to instructional video clip on classic Christmas cooking.

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Video Transcript

Figgy Pudding

Ingredients

½ cup butter
½ cup vegetable shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg yolks
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons rum extract (or flavored extract of your choice)
1 apple, peeled and cored and finely chopped
1 pound dried figs, ground or finely chopped
Grated peel of 1 lemon and 1 orange
1 cup chopped nuts
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ginger
1 ½ cups dried bread crumbs
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 large egg whites, stiffly beaten

Custard Sauce

Ingredients

2 cups milk
1 large egg
¾ cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter
*Makes 12 servings

Hi, I’m Louis Ortiz on behalf of Expert Village.com, and today we are going to show you how to make an old English Christmas treat called Figgy Pudding. We are going to start with the ingredients that you see here, and there is going to be about three or four steps of the procedure. It’s a little lengthy as far as that goes. As you can see I have the trusty kitchen aid ready to go, and I’ve got a beater paddle on it. We are going to start off with butter and vegetable shortening, and we are going to blend these together and make kind of a paste. Actually a lot of recipes will refer to as creaming. So we are going to dump these in. The shortening, of course, is always soft as it is, but the butter, I actually set out for a while because I wanted that to soften as well, so that this will just blend together nicely and turn into a kind of a soft cream cheese consistency. Now that we’ve got it in there, I can go ahead and turn the speed up just a little bit. All right as you can see, we’ve achieved all one color inside of our bowl here, and we’ve creamed the shortening and butter together. So I’m going to keep this on a low speed now, and I want to gradually add in my sugar. We don’t want to dump a whole lot of the sugar in there. Instead we want to just actually drizzle it in as the paddle turns. Okay, so we’ve finished adding gradually our whole cup of granulated sugar, and I catch it about this speed, and I sped it up a little bit in between so that we got it all nice and combined the way that it needs too. Now we’ve got 3 large egg yolks. We are going to go ahead and plop those in, and we’ve got a cup of milk, a literal cup of milk. I’m going to try to drizzle that down the side. If you don’t have a pouring shield, sometimes it dribbles like that. Now that we’ve got some liquids in there, we want this incorporate fully, and I’ve got some extracts. I used a half-half mixture of almond extract and rum extract, actually. You can put real rum in there if you would like. It’s up to you. Now that we’ve got our liquid elements inside, we are going to go ahead and everything has been incorporated the way that it needs to. We’ve achieved this opaque yellow color, which is what we are after. We’ve got the zest of an orange going in here and the zest of a lemon as well. What I like to use is a microplain grater, and that way you get just the nice vibrant zest and you get none of the pulp because the pulp is going to turn it kind of bitter, and that is really what we are trying to avoid when we use citrus fruit in a recipe like this. So we’ve just got the zest in there, and what is left is the main attraction, which is some dried figs. What I did to get them to this consistency actually was just throw them inside a Cuisinart, and they got to this small stage, which is kind of like a little big smaller than a small dice as far as that goes but not quite minced. So we are going to incorporate those inside as well as I’ve got a whole apple that I cored/peeled. I cut those into really small dices as well. So we will incorporate all that into our mixing bowel, and then we will go to the second stage of the recipe. All right, so we are back to the second stage of the figgy pudding recipe. We’ve got all of our wedding ingredients; our butter, shortening, apples and our figs are all in the bowl now at this point. And we are actually going to start throwing in some things that are going to bind this together and flavor it as well. You can see I’ve got some plain bread crumbs, and I’ve also got some chopped walnuts here. They started off actually as chopped walnuts, and I threw these into a Cuisinart to get them to this consistency. In here I’ve got my baking powder and I threw it in all my dry ingredients in a portion cup. I’ve got some cinnamon in here as well, and it is a little hard to see obviously because it is all mixed together. And I also got a little bit of ginger, ground ginger in there and also some ground cloves. I’m going to go ahead and crank the mixer at a low speed, and I am just going to kind of sprinkle in these dry ingredients first. Just make sure you get a nice even distribution. Now I am going to go ahead and throw in my chopped walnuts. Again I got them to this consistency by throwing them into Cuisinart food processor. So we are just going to drizzle those in. I approach these recipes this way slowly not just in order to teach them, but just because we want everything to have a nice even distribution before we actually put it into the oven and let everything sit together the way that it needs to. And in go the plain bread crumbs. Again, we are just going to drizzle these in. All right, now that we’ve all the ingredients in our mixing bowl for the figgy pudding, what we are going to do next is I’ve got three egg whites. You remember we put three egg yolks into the bowl as part of a binding ingredient. I’ve got three egg whites here, and we are just going to beat these to stiff stage, and once we’ve done that we are going to go ahead and just fold them in with the spatula in the bowl, and folding is actually turning over, and we will show you that process when we get to that point. Now we are just going to beat these to a stiff peak stage and then fold it into the bowl once we are finished. So we’ve got our stiffly beaten egg whites, and I’m just going to hit those a couple more times with a whisk to show you the stiff stage there. So we just kind of fold this in with the spatula into our mixture. I’m making sure to get the edges and the bottom of the bowl. And again, this isn’t stirring. This is really just folding the mixture over upon itself gradually because we want to keep the volume of these egg whites because we whipped a lot of air into them. I’ve got a greased Pyrex bowl that I have been keeping chilled in the refrigerator so that it stays greased, and I just used butter all the way around up to the edges, and I am going to place it inside this pan. With a lot of custards and a lot of dishes like this, this same procedure is going to be used. So we are going to put the ingredients inside of our greased bowl, and then I’ve got some boiling water behind me on the stove, which we will pour into the pan and the whole package will go inside the oven, which I’ve got set at about 325 degrees, and it is going to cook for approximately four hours. So it is a real slow gentle method that we are going to use for this custard. We are going to go ahead and pour this into the bowl, and I am going to kind of pack it in just a little bit. There are options as well. You can pour these into molds to make festive Christmas shapes and stuff if you like. Kind of like a cookie cutter, I guess. But we’ve just chosen a regular Pyrex bowl for illustrating our procedures. So we are just going to level this off and, again, I am going to pour my boiling water about half-way, the depth of my shallow roasting pan, and we will put it in the oven again for about four hours to 325 degrees and show you the final product. Okay so we’re back with the finished product, the figgy pudding here. We cooked this in a Pyrex bowl so that you could actually see on the edges as far as doneness and the texture that we are trying to get on the top of this, and it is just an old rustic bread pudding essentially. So I’ve allowed it to cool, and we know that it is cooked thoroughly because you can see the cracking on the top. So we had a nice even heat in our oven. As you can see, we’ve got a nice crusty top and a really soft and moist center, and I’ve got some custard sauce that I’ve prepared here, and I have mounted it with butter at the very end. That is a tasty Old English treat there. Figgy pudding with warm custard sauce on the top.

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