For a fare most famous for its cameo in a well know Christmas chanty..figgy pudding remains relatively obscure. But figgy pudding must be some good chow, because the writers of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” aren’t going home until they get some.
So, then, why aren’t we eating more figgy pudding during the holidays…and what IS figgy pudding?!
Figgy pudding has been around since the 16th century when “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” was written, but its actually more like a steamed fig cake rather than a pudding. Traditional ingredients included chopped dates or apples along with eggs, sugar, milk and heavy cream and even suet spiced with Christmas seasonings like cinnamon, allspice and nutmet. Figgy pudding also sometimes includes cognac or rum..which explains why carolers might be insisting on the figgy pudding. Older recipes for figgy pudding call for 3-4 hours of steamed cooking, however, more modern recipes call for baking it for a significantly lesser time of 1.5 hours. So, why aren’t we eating more of it these days? Well, its my guess that with ingredients like suet, and heavy cream along with the extended cooking time that even during the holidays, it requires us to indulge in fats and time just a little more than we are willing to commit.
And now you know…even if you didn’t know you wanted to know. Its Chow’s gift to you!