*Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer. We won’t go until we get some-
There must be a reason so many minstrels have sung praises to the traditional Christmas Figgy pudding, the origins of which date back to 16th century England. The carolers in the classic Christmas standard, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, clamor for this rich, cholesterol-laden holiday treat and even threaten to not leave until they get some.
**How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?!
The British rock band, Pink Floyd, helped bolster the popularity of British pudding in the November 1979 release of the double album, The Wall. Here, the pudding is a threat again. In this case, if cheeky children don’t finish their meal, how can they expect any pudding for dessert?
There must be something in the figs…
Sticky Figgy Pudding
1 1/2 cups chopped dried pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
2 cups water
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 ounces or 7 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
(2 1/2-ounces) dark chocolate, grated
Butter, for coating ramekins
Ice cream or whipped cream, for garnish
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream
7-ounces or 14 tablespoons) butter
Fresh figs, quartered, for garnish
Topping options: Vanilla ice cream, whipped heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Add the dates, dried figs and water to a medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then add to a blender and puree.
Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs and beat well. Fold in the flour, the pureed date mixture and the chocolate.
Put the mixture into 4 buttered, 1-cup individual ramekins, filling halfway or slightly under. Put in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Prepare the sauce by stirring the sugar and cream in a medium saucepan over low heat. Simmer until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until incorporated.
Remove the ramekins from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. May be served in the ramekin or unmolded onto a small serving plate. With paring knife cut a cross in the top of the puddings for the sauce.
Pour the sauce into the cross in the center of each pudding, then pour more sauce over the puddings and it allow to soak in slightly. Top with fresh figs and vanilla ice cream or heavily whipped cream. Serve warm.
*Lyrics from “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” by Bristol-based composer, conductor and organist, Arthur Warrel
**Excerpt from Pink Floyd “The Wall”