Sunday, January 11, 2015

Figgy Pudding

The Figgy Pudding
Figgy Pudding.  It sounded like a great idea.  It fulfilled Challenge #16 from the Historical Food Fortnightly, It’s the end of the year, a time for celebration! Pick a celebratory food (either inspired by the season or not, it’s your call). Make it up and share it with loved ones! and it was good.  Just maybe not 5 hours worth of good.

I got the recipe from The Good Housekeeping Cook Book, 1942, which I always call by the wrong name, but whatever it is, it's a good cook book.  

When this first came out of the steamer it was horrible.  I mean nasty face, wipe your tongue on a towel & wash out your mouth disgusting.  As it cooled it got better. 

Why does Blogger always want you to turn your head?
Luckily I soldiered through, put the hard sauce on it & ended up with a delicious figgy pudding that was better on Day 5 than I ever could have imagined in those first few minutes of wanting to power wash my mouth.  All I can say is that if you want to make this (and it is worth it), let it age for a few days before serving.  Serve it room temperature, not hot.  Totally cover it in the hard sauce while it's hot so it melts & hardens into a beautiful glaze.  

Time: 5 hours.  Some of that was steaming, but I still had to refill the water levels, so it wasn't totally passive.  I've also decided to render all suet in the future because working with the raw material is a real pain, and rendering is easy.
Cost:  About $10 if you have the staples.  Half of that is the dried figs.  Don't skimp on figs.
How accurate was it?  Pretty accurate.  I had the pudding molds, used all the right ingredients (almond milk vs. cow's milk as my kid can't do dairy) and used the right tools.
Results: worth it.  Once a year.  Prep ahead.  It's quite good after a few days.    

Prettiest part of the whole project was the chopped figs in the milk.

This picture is here because it's pretty.
It's also a good idea to chop the figs a little smaller, but not much.
I also want to emphasize that you need to babysit this part of the process.  DO NOT leave this alone on the stove.  You'll see why shortly.
First chop, double boil & mix.  You can see the pudding texture coming in.  It's like a very thick, sticky cookie dough.

My father says that my grandmother used to melt her suet vs. grating it, and I may try that in the future.  Grated works fine, but it takes a lot of time.

Now, I'm not adverse to cleaning up a mess, but you really have to pay attention to the milk/figs even in a double boiler situation.  Technically this shouldn't happen, but when you get doing other things, it can.  Stand over it & don't forget about it.
PS, very sticky.  Smells fabulous.

Here are the directions for steamed puddings.  Interesting way of cooking something.  I'm a fan.

Spray grease & floured
Comes out mostly clean
 Now, much to my chagrin, I realized that the "jello mold" I seriously overpaid for last summer (remember Green Jello?)  is a pudding mold and it's missing the top.  Talk about getting hosed.  It still works fine, just have to cover the top with waxed paper & a rubber band.

 This one, however, is complete, and super-cute, and very little and it was a gift from a friend.  However, it makes enough pudding to feed a family of 5 without any issues.  Did I mention this recipe is HUGE?

We skipped the hard sauce on the little pudding so my son could enjoy it dairy free.
Not quite as pretty without the hard sauce melted over it.  But it tastes just fine.
This pudding keeps well wrapped in wax paper or saran wrap.  Don't refrigerate, you won't like it.

Don't overeat this.  One slice is plenty.  That's one flute on the large or two on the small. I'm telling you this for your own good.  It's quite rich and eating more than that can leave you a bit queasy.
Recipe for Hard Sauce.  This is quite good.  I added the heavy cream, but honestly I was too tired to whip it enough to make it truly fluffy.  It spread like a nice soft butter spread, a little breaking as it peels up, but then laid down thick & smooth as you spread it.

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