Friday, December 6, 2013

What Was That Stuff?

Grandma Rice always made some raisin-like cake for Christmas and she topped it with some truly disgusting white sugary syrup.  Maybe the raisins were actually figs.  Maybe what she made was actually Figgie Pudding.  It wasn't the kind made with flaming brandy as one Wiki article says.  At least I never saw any flames or brandy.  All I knew is that I wouldn't even be in the same room with the stuff.

Also, you wouldn't believe the effort that goes into making real figgie pudding:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons rum extract (or flavored extract of your choice)
  • 2 apples, peeled and cored and finely chopped
  • 2 pounds dried figs, ground or finely chopped
  • Grated peel of 1 lemon and 1 orange
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups dried bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 large egg whites, stiffly beaten
  • 1 strip of bacon, finely crushed (optional - New England variant)
  • 1 teaspoon of hot sauce, for drizzling


  1. Preheat oven to 325 °F. Generously grease an oven-proof 2-quart bowl or mold; set aside.
  2. Cream together butter and shortening.
  3. Gradually add sugar, egg yolks, milk, extract, apple, figs, lemon and orange peel.
  4. Add next 6 ingredients, mixing well. Fold stiffly beaten egg whites into mixture.
  5. Pour into prepared bowl or mold and place into large shallow pan and place on middle rack in oven.
  6. Fill the shallow pan half-full with boiling water and slowly steam pudding in oven at 325 °F for 4 hours, replacing water as needed.

Feel free to try it if you like to cook and have all the time in the world. Please don't worry about me.  I'll be fine without any.


  1. I am aghast that you did not like the fig pudding and the sauce. It was absolutely the best thing in the world. Dad and I would try to save room for it on Thanksgiving. The other delicious thing Grandma made was custard. Oh, my gosh, I'm salivating.

  2. Well, that is the only other truly disgusting stuff Grandma ever made, custard. You can't blame me if you never got enough of either :). I did like those little custard bowls, though. I knew Dad liked the sauce stuff, but he liked rhubarb pie and horehound candy, too. I thought he ate that stuff to show how tough he was.

  3. Ooh, I forgot about rhubarb pie. I love that! It's hard to find, though. If you do find it or gooseberry, they have put too much sugar in it.