Figgy pudding

Yield: 4 Servings

Measure Ingredient
4 ounces Suet
8 ounces Flour
275 millilitres Milk
6 ounces Dried figs
2 ounces Dried apricots
1 ounce Dried apples
4 ounces Prunes
2 ounces Dates
3 ounces Raisins/sultanas
1 tablespoon Honey
1 \N Wineglass brandy (probably 4-6 fl oz)
¼ teaspoon Ginger
¼ teaspoon Cinnamon

The day before making the pudding, put the apricots, prunes and apples to soak in water and put the raisins and sultanas to soak in the brandy.

Put a large saucepan full of water on to boil. Take the stones out of the dates and prunes (if the prunes have them): butter a large pudding basin. Mix the suet and flour, then add the milk gradually to make a fairly stiff dough: roll out and line the pudding basin with this dough, leaving sufficient dough aside to make a top. Melt the honey and stir in the ginger and cinnamon: add the brandy mixture.

Pack the fruit into the dough-lined basin and pour the honey/brandy mixture over it. Put the suet-crust lid on the basin, then cover with foil and tie down tightly, leaving a long end of string to make it easy to lift out of the saucepan later. Put the basin in the boiling water and cook for two hours, watching to make sure the pan doesn't boil dry: add more water if necessary. Turn out onto a dish and serve.

(A word about the pudding basin, for those unfamiliar with them. This is a deep, somewhat narrow ceramic bowl, usually holding between ½ liter to a liter. Old ones have no top, so that you must seal your pudding with its own crust, then usually with a layer or two of baking parchment and then lastly with foil to keep the steam and condensation out, the whole business crumpled down around the top of the basin and tied in place with thin string. This tying is something of an art, and is easy to mess up...which is why it's such a relief that pudding basins with snap-on lids are now being made, both plastic and metal basins now being available on the UK/Irish side of the Atlantic. Your local cookware store may have some of these. Otherwise, if Tupperware [or your version of it] can withstand being boiled, you should be able to substitute a Tupperware bowl with a lid for the pudding basin.) (Recipe from TAKE A BUTTOCK OF BEEFE, Verity Isitt, Ashford Press Publishing, Southampton UK, 1987: hardcover, ISBN 0-907069-57-6.

Recipe shared by Diane Duane:

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