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Oh Give Us A Figgy Pudding Recipe (aka Christmas Pudding, Plum Pudding)


[1] Figgy pudding, a.k.a. Christmas pudding and plum pudding (photos #1 and #2 © California Figs).


[2] Dried green and purple figs.


[3] California dates (photo © Bard Valley Natural Delights).


[3] Caramel sauce (photo © Yulia Khlebnikova | Unsplash).


[4] For dramatic effect, you can flambé the pudding with warmed brandy, before garnishing with sauce or whipped cream (photo © Matt Seymour | Unsplash).

 

What is a figgy pudding, also known as Christmas pudding and plum pudding.? Discard any thoughts of creamy American puddings. British puddings are steamed cakes. When Christmas carolers ask to be given some figgy pudding, they can be handed a slice in a napkin.

A Christmas pudding is essentially an alcohol-soaked, boiled or steamed fruit cake. Boiling creates a similar dense texture as baking, but moister.

They can also be made without alcohol, like the recipe below. If you wish, you can stir brandy or rum into the caramel sauce after you remove it from the heat.

National Plum Pudding Day is February 12th (coincidentally, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday).
 
 
RECIPE: FIGGY PUDDING

You’ll need a jumbo muffin tin for this recipe, which turns out six individual plum puddings. You can use a regular muffin tin for 12 smaller servings.

You can add a scoop of vanilla or eggnog ice cream in addition to, or instead of, the caramel sauce.

Prep time is 10 minutes. Cook time is 26-28 minutes.

Ingredients For 6 Servings
 
For The Pudding (Cake)

  • 2 cups California dried figs, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped unsweetened dates
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  •  
    For The Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  •  
    For The Garnish

  • Whipped cream
  • Mint leaves
  • Optional: fig slice, ice cream, pomegranate arils
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the figs in a medium bowl. Pour the brandy over the figs. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours.

    2. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Grease the 6 wells of a jumbo muffin tin with butter.

    3. MAKE the cake the cake. Cream the brown sugar and butter together in a large bowl until light and almost fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs.

    4. RESERVE 2 tablespoons of the fig’s soaking brandy, then strain the figs and discard the rest (we repurposed it and add it to our coffee!). Mix in the figs, the reserved brandy, and the dates. Add the salt and stir in the flour until combined.

    5. TRANSFER an equal amount of batter to each of the 6 muffin wells. Use a buttered spoon to smooth the top of each as much as possible. Bake for 26 to 28 minutes, until the puddings are firm in the center, but still soft. Be careful not to overbake. You want the batter to be baked through, but for the cake to remain soft.

    6. REMOVE the tin from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. While the puddings cool…

    7. MAKE the caramel sauce. Melt all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring often, until the sauce begins the thicken, about 45 seconds. Remove from the heat.

    8. PLACE a plate over the muffin pan and invert it to de-pan the puddings. Arrange them on individual serving plates and spoon warm the sauce over the top. Garnish with whipped cream and mint leaves. We added pomegranate arils for some color. Serve warm or at room temperature.
     
     
    MORE FIGGY PUDDING – CHRISTMAS PUDDING RECIPES

  • Christmas Pudding With Rum & Cinnamon Cream Sauce
  • Figgy Pudding Sauce Options
  • London Lennies English Christmas Rum Pudding
  • Mexican Christmas Pudding
  •  
     
    THE HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS PUDDING

    The first records of plum puddings date to the early 15th century England, when a savory version made with meat and root vegetables, “plum pottage,” was served at the start of a meal. Back then, “plum” was a generic term for any dried fruit—raisins, currants, prunes, and other dried, preserved, or candied fruits.

     
    By the end of the 16th century, dried fruits were more plentiful in England, and plum pudding recipes moved from savory to sweet.

    By the mid-1600s, plum pudding was sufficiently associated with Christmas that when the Puritan Oliver Cromwell came to power in 1647, he had it banned as associated with Druidic paganism and Roman Catholic idolatry (also banned: Yule logs, carols, and nativity scenes).

    Across the pond, in 1659, the Puritan government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony actually banned Christmas! Here’s the story.

    When the Puritans were deposed in 1660 and the English monarchy was restored, so were Christmas pudding and the rest.

    By the 19th century, the pudding ingredients were standardized to include breadcrumbs, brown sugar, candied orange peel, currants and raisins, eggs, suet, sweet spices (allspice, cloves, nutmeg), and alcohol. The cake was soaked in brandy (or if preferred, rum or whisky) and set aside to mature for 30 days.

    Maturation preserved the Christmas pudding so that it could remain tasty for more than a year—and thus, it could be sent to soldiers and colonizers overseas for a holiday taste of home.

    The standard components of an English family Christmas were solidified during the Victorian era (1837-1901), including Christmas pudding. The pudding was considered so important that Christmas savings clubs helped poor housewives lay away pennies throughout the year, to purchase the costly pudding ingredients at Christmastime.

    In the U.S., Christmas pudding is mostly known from English literature and song. But there’s no reason why that has to be!

    Here’s more detail on the history of Christmas pudding.
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF FIGS
     
     

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    Seven Sisters Scones For Breakfast, Snacks & Scone Gifts

    Traditional scones can be dry, crumbly, and in our opinion, more punishment than pleasure, requiring lots of butter and jam to add moisture. Yet, more modern recipes can be moist and layered with flavor. Such are Seven Sisters scones. Take a denser version of a muffin, flatten it, and you can approximate one of their delightful scones, moist and flavorful.

    Made with butter, cream, eggs, and all-natural flavors, the scones are individually packaged for grab-and-go.

    The 4-ounce scones are 4 inches in diameter.

    Want something smaller? Sconies, mini-scones, are 2.5 inches in diameter.

    And the flavors!
     
     
    SEVEN SISTERS SCONE FLAVORS

    What a selection! There are:

  • 20 conventional flavors
  • 17 gluten-free flavors
  • 9 vegan flavors
  •  
    The gluten-free and vegan flavors represent the most popular conventional flavors, which are both sweet and savory.

    The conventional flavors include:

  • Sweet Scone Flavors: Apple Caramel, Banana Chocolate Chip, Blueberry, Butterbeer, Chocolate Kahlua, Cinnamon Coffee Cake, Cinnamon Fireball, Cinnamon Roll, Cranberry Orange, Dark & Stormy, Fig & Goat Cheese, Lemon Poppy, Maple Pumpkin, Strawberry Champagne, Sweet Potato & Cardamom, Triple Chocolate, Vanilla Bean
  • Savory Scone Flavors: Bacon Cheddar, Garlic Herb, Jalapeno Green Olive & Cheddar
  •  
    Mix and match your own flavors; and if you can’t choose, there’s the Chef’s Choice sampler.⁣

    If want to give a gift but can’t decide what the giftee would prefer, there are gift cards.

    The scones are baked fresh and shipped daily.
     
     
    SUBSCRIPTION BOX

    Get 12 scones delivered in your preferred timeline, from month to every 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 months).

    If you have more scones than you’ll eat in a few days, just freeze them and microwave them when you’re ready.
     
     
    GET YOUR SCONES!

    Head to SevenSistersScones.com.

    Owners Farrah and Hala Yassine are two of seven sisters. The other sisters, and two brothers, enjoy the scones and make suggestions for new flavors.
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF SCONES
     
    > NATIONAL SCONE DAY IS MAY 30th
     
     
    SCONE RECIPES

    Want to bake your own?

  • Coffee Date Scones
  • Cranberry Chocolate Scones
  • Gingerbread Scone Mix
  • Lavender Scones
  • Rosemary-Lemon Cream Scones
  • Sundried Tomato Scones
  •  


    [1] Ready for brunch (all photos © Seven Sisters Scones).


    [2] Bacon Cheddar Chive scone.


    [3] Blueberry scone.


    [5] Lemon Poppy scone.


    [6] Jalapeño, Green Olive, Cheddar scone.

     
     
     
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    Easy Light Fruit Cake Recipe & A Fruit Cake Baking Kit


    [1] Make a fruit cake look dazzling with a Bundt pan and a topping of frosted grapes (all photos © King Arthur Baking).


    [2] This fruit cake is made with a kit and recipe. Get one for yourself or as a gift.


    [3] The Golden Fruitcake Kit has the essentials you need to bake the cake.


    [4] A quick fruitcake that’s less sweet, dense and spicy. The recipe is at the right.


    [5] Homemade candied cherries. Here’s the recipe.


    [5] You can garnish the fruit cake with coarse sparkling sugar, available at retailers or online from King Arthur Baking.

     

    National Fruitcake Day is December 24th, but we didn’t want to wait to share these recipes. If you’ve always wanted to bake a fruit cake but have hesitated, hesitate no more. King Arthur Baking* has put together a bundle that makes it a cinch to produce a beautiful, delicious fruit cake easily at home.

    The essentials are bundled together (photo #3), including a recipe and a lovely star-shaped baking pan (photo #2) that you can use for other cakes year-round.

    You can get the Golden Fruitcake Bundle here, for yourself or as a gift.

    Plus, there’s an easy fruit cake recipe below.

    So is it fruitcake or fruit cake? Both are correct, although we prefer the more elegant-appearing two-word form.

    Before you proceed to the recipe, and additional frut cake recipes below, check out:

    > Beverages To Serve With Fruitcake

    > The History Of Fruitcake
     
     
    RECIPE: QUICK FRUIT BREAD (FRUITCAKE)

    Some fruitcakes, made with less sugar, are called fruit breads. This quick and easy batter bread is packed with fruit and nuts, but is less sweet and very mildly spiced, unlike traditional fruitcakes.

    If you find traditional fruit cake cloyingly sweet, too heavy, and too packed with candied fruits, this recipe is for you.

    It’s a great cake—or bread—for dessert, breakfast, brunch, coffee breaks, or snacks.

    You can serve it a la mode with caramel sauce, custard sauce, or raspberry purée. And for a different texture, you can toast the slices.

    Thanks to King Arthur Baking for the recipe.
     
    Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (113g) butter, at room temperature, at least 65°F
  • 3/4 cup (149g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups (180g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (256g) crushed pineapple, undrained (1 small can)
  • 1 cup (113g to 170g) dried fruit, of your choice
  • 1/2 cup (57g) diced walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup (99g) red candied cherries†, each cut in half
  • Optional: 1-1/2 tablespoons coarse sparkling sugar, for topping
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.

    2. PLACE the butter, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, salt, and vanilla in a bowl, and beat till smooth.

    3. ADD the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour, stirring to combine.

    4. STIR in the undrained crushed pineapple. Stir in the fruits, nuts, and candied cherries.

    5. SPOON the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired.

    6. BAKE for 60 minutes, then tent the cake with aluminum foil. Bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

    7. REMOVE the cake from the oven. After 20 minutes loosen its sides, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Cool the cake completely before slicing.
     
     
    RECIPE #2: FRUIT CAKE CUPCAKES

    1. PREPARE the cake batter according to the recipe instructions, and scoop a heaping 3 tablespoons of batter into the wells of a cupcake pan (a jumbo cookie scoop heaped with batter works well here). You’ll be baking another batch, so about half of the batter will remain.

    2. BAKE the cupcakes for 15 to 18 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack, and after 5 minutes turn the cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.
     
     
    MORE FRUIT CAKE RECIPES

  • Custard Sauce For Fruitcake
  • ‘Fruitcake’ Ice Cream
  • Sour Cream Fruitcake Recipe (light and airy)
  • Fruitcake Milkshake Recipe
  • Cookbook: Fruit Cake ~ Recipes For The Curious Baker: 75 Fruitcake Recipes
  •  
     
    ________________

    *Formerly King Arthur Flour.

    †Candied cherries can be found at most supermarkets and online. You can also make your own with this DIY Candied Cherries recipe.

     

     
     

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    Bacon Lollipops Recipe: Thick-Cut Bacon On A Stick

    Our mouth began to water when we saw these Vanilla Bourbon Bacon Lollipops on MackenzieLtd.com. Thick slabs of smoked Danish bacon are slow-cooked with a vanilla-bourbon glaze for a sweet, smoky flavor. You can use the vanilla-bourbon sauce as a glaze, to drizzle over the bacon, or as a dipping sauce.

    Either way, it’s a treat for any bacon lover. You just heat and serve the lollipops for an appetizer or snack everyone will rave about.

    “Absolutely wonderful,” “Beyond amazing,” and “Yummiest ever” are just three of the many happy customer reviews.

    Get your bacon lollipops here.

    Or, you can make your own.

    Do you need Danish bacon*? No. Any thick-cut bacon will do.
     
     
    RECIPE: BOURBON VANILLA DANISH LOLLIPOPS

    This recipe is from Rodelle Kitchen, makers of three varieties of pure vanilla extract.

    Rodelle suggests that you can pair this candied bacon with some their stout brownies recipe or vanilla bean ice cream.

    How to serve the lollipops?

  • You can cut a fruit in half—a large apple, orange, grapefruit, or a small melon—and insert the lollipop sticks in them.
  • You use a squash or an unsliced loaf of bread like a round sourdough for the same purpose.
  • You can use a wide-mouth jar or small vase.
  • Or, you can simply lie them flat on a serving plate—atop a large doily, if you have one.
  •  
    Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 pound thick-sliced bacon
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. In a medium saucepan, heat the bourbon and vanilla extract until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced to ½ cup. Let cool slightly.

    2. PLACE the brown sugar on a plate. Coat the bacon on both sides with the bourbon-vanilla sauce. Then place the coated bacon onto the brown sugar, patting it down to make the sugar adheres. Repeat on the other side.

    3. LINE a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a rack on top. Place the bacon on the rack and bake until it is crispy and cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes.
     
    Dipping Sauce

    No dipping sauce is required, but if you want one, honey mustard is a good choice.

    You can make honey mustard by mixing honey into Dijon or other mustard, to taste.

    Try 1 tablespoon honey to 2 tablespoons mustard to see how you like the proportion.

    You can also make a low-glycemic version with agave or an artificial sweetener.
     
     
    > THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BACON
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF BACON

     
     
    ________________

    *Danish bacon is bacon made from pigs raised in Denmark. Unlike American bacon, which is cut from the belly, Danish bacon is cut from the loin of the pig. It tends to be meatier than American bacon, which is called streaky bacon in the U.K. because of the amount of fat striation..

     


    [1] Thick-cut bacon with a vanilla-bourbon glaze: Splendid (photo © Mackenzie Ltd).


    [2] Since Bourbon goes into the glaze, you may want to serve it with the bacon lollipop appetizers.


    [3] Dark brown sugar has a higher percentage of molasses than light brown sugar, and thus a deeper flavor (photo © Panther Media | Grafvision).


    [4] Never be tempted so save money by purchasing imitation vanilla extract. Always buy the real thing: pure vanilla extract (photo © Rodelle Kitchen).

     

     
     

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    Food Fun: Aldi’s Christmas-Flavored Goat Cheese Logs


    [1] Aldi’s Eggnog Goat Cheese Log (photos #1 and #2 © Aldi).


    [2] The gingerbread log. All three log flavors are four ounces.


    [3] Serve with crackers that aren’t noticeably salted; plus honey, raisins and other dried fruits, and nuts (photo © Belle Chevre).

     

    You never know what surprise items you’ll find at an Aldi store. In the cheese aisle, goat cheese lovers can currently find goat logs in three fun holiday flavors that are new this season:

  • Cranberry Stuffing Goat Cheese
  • Gingerbread Goat Cheese
  • Eggnog Goat Cheese
  •  
    That makes for sweet goat cheese on a cheese plate or a charcuterie board, with nuts and fruits. You can serve them with graham crackers for dessert. Or, how about these recipe ideas:
     
     
    WAYS TO SERVE SWEET GOAT CHEESE

  • For breakfast: With bagels, croissants and toast, in a cheese omelet, mixed into scrambled egg batter or sprinkled on top of the cooked eggs.
  • On a sandwich: These sweet cheese flavors pair with ham and turkey.
  • Pasta: Create a dessert pasta dish with bowties, small shells or other shape, raspberry purée, and crumbled sweet goat cheese. You can grate chocolate over the top!
  • With salads: Crumble atop mixed greens or a spinach salad. Add sliced or matchstick beets: They’re a beautiful pairing with any fresh goat cheese, as are pecans, pistachios, walnuts and other nuts.
  • For dinner: Stuff into chicken breasts and ravioli. Crumble onto asparagus and grilled vegetables. Stuff a baked potato or sweet potato.
  • For dessert: Serve a disc drizzled with honey, with or without nuts and fresh or dried fruit (fresh berries pair well).
  • Baked: In quiches, soufflés, tartlets and turnovers.
  •  
    > Head to Aldi.com for the location nearest to you.
     
     
    MORE GOAT CHEESE LOG RECIPES

  • “Edible Art” Decorated Goat Cheese Logs
  • Herb-, Fruit- & Spice-Coated Goat Cheese Logs
  • Honey Drizzled Goat Cheese Logs

  •  
     
    > THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CHEESE
     
     
    > THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF GOAT CHEESE
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF CHEESE
     
     
    > GOAT CHEESE PAIRINGS WITH [OTHER] FOOD & WINE

    ________________

    *Notes from Aldi: Available while quantities last. Items are limited and may not be available in all stores. We reserve the right to limit quantities sold. Prices and labels may vary by location.

     

     
     

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