Like Christmas cake, Christmas or Figgie pudding ( a Victorian name or any sweet that contained dried fruit and spices) contains a large amount of dried fruit very little flour, however as it a pudding it is steamed. Steamed for 7 hours, fortunately this process can be spilt into two, four hours when you mix it and a further three on the day. This recipe was given to me by mother who was shown how to make this pudding from her grandmother. It differs from other recipes as it contains carrots! I think it must be a throw back to rationing, when dried fruit was scarce. The addition of carrots makes the pudding wonderfully moist and adds a sweet and wholesome flavor. Like Christmas cake pudding should be made a good month before the big day, but it can be made in a hurry on Christmas Eve if you do forget!
This will make pudding large enough for a family of six with seconds or two smaller ones. You will need a large 4pt pudding basin or two smaller 1 ½ pt pudding basins and a clean muslin cloth to wrap that pudding in whilst it steams.
150g soft dried frigs chopped
100g chopped candied peel
125g dark glace cherries halved
100g dried apricots chopped
125g almonds toasted and roughly chopped
1 carrot peeled and grated
2 cooking apples peeled grated
1 orange juiced and zested
1 lemon juiced and zested
5 eggs beaten
250g shredded vegetable or beef suet
350g soft dark brown sugar
250g fresh white breadcrumbs
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice 1tsp ground ginger, cinnamon and ½ nutmeg grated
½ bottle stout or brown ale
Place all the dried fruit in a bowl and add the brandy and allow soaking over night. Next day add the rest of the ingredients and give it a good mix. Make sure you remember to make a Christmas wish! Now line the pudding bowls with the pudding cloths and fill the bowls tie greaseproof over the top allowing room for expansion when it cooks. Now place your puddings in a large pan of boiling water to come half way the bowl and steam for four hours. Allow to cool down then wrap in cling film and store in the fridge till the day. To reheat it place in a pan of water and steam for a further 3 hours. The long gentle steaming darkens the pudding and allows the flavour of all the fruits to mingle. To serve turn out on to a plate, douse with warmed brandy and ignite. Traditionally served with brandy butter, bit I prefer whipped cream with the addition of a little icing sugar and brandy.