Easy recipe for Christmas classic: figgy pudding

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- It's a famous line in the beloved Christmas carol "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." The lyric says: "Now bring us some figgy pudding." But what, exactly, is figgy pudding?

Well, Chef Kevin Binkley of Bink's of Scottsdale showed us what it's all about.

Figgy pudding dates back to 16th century England. In actuality, it's more of a cake than a pudding.

"I've got to tell you, figgy pudding is delicious," says Binkley.

There are numerous recipes for this pudding, from a traditional steamed version similar to modern bread pudding to a pastry-covered blend of figs, dates, fruits and spices. Nearly all recipes call for three or four hours of steaming.

But there is a way to cheat this and make a simpler version.

Figgy Pudding Recipe
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups chopped dried pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
2 cups water
1 teaspoon baking soda
100 grams (3 1/2 ounces or 7 tablespoons) butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
75 grams (2 1/2-ounces) dark chocolate, grated
½ t teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
½ cup raisins
Butter, for coating ramekins

Sauce:
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream
200 grams (7-ounces or 14 tablespoons) butter
2 tablespoons of brandy (or rum or bourbon)

Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream as garnish as needed

Directions:
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, and then add to a blender and puree.

Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs and beat well.

Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Fold in the flour mixture, the pureed date/fig, the chocolate and raisins into the creamed butter until well combined

Put the mixture into buttered 1-cup ramekins, filling halfway or slightly under. Put in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Prepare the sauce by stirring the sugar, cream and butter 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 brandy, stir until incorporated.

Remove the ramekins from the oven, pour 2 oz. of the sauce over each of the puddings and put back into the oven for 5 minutes so the puddings absorb the sauce and become sticky.

At this point remove from the oven and serve or let sit at room temp until ready to serve. The puddings may be served in the ramekin or unmolded onto a small serving plate. If waiting to serve, rewarm the puddings in a 300 degree oven until warm (roughly 8 minutes).

Top each pudding with another 2 ounces of warm sauce. Then finish with some fresh orange zest and either whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Bink's of Scottsdale
The Shops at Hilton Village
6107 N. Scottsdale Road
480-664-9238
www.binksscottsdale.com