Figgy Pudding

Here's an early holiday present: A festive dessert loaded with dried fruit and brandy that can easily be made up to a week in advance because its flavors just keep improving.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 5 min (includes steeping and cooling times)
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

Figgy Pudding:

8 ounces dried black mission figs, stems removed and coarsely chopped

6 ounces golden raisins

1 cup brandy, warm (see Cook's Note)

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing the pan

2 large eggs

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup breadcrumbs

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Zest of 1 large orange 

Brown Sugar Sauce:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

For Serving:

Whipped cream

Directions

Special equipment:
a 1.6-liter covered pudding pan
  1. For the figgy pudding: Combine the dried figs and raisins with the brandy in a small bowl and let sit 30 minutes to plump the fruit. Strain, then reserve the brandy and fruit separately. 
  2. Meanwhile, grease a 1.6-liter covered pudding pan generously with butter. 
  3. Whisk the eggs together with the milk and sugar in a medium bowl. 
  4. Whisk together the flour, breadcrumbs, baking powder, allspice, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a separate large bowl.  
  5. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined. Stir in the soaked fruit and orange zest. Add the batter to the prepared pan, tapping the pan gently on the counter to settle the batter, and smooth the top.  
  6. Put a metal trivet or aluminum foil ring in the bottom of a large stockpot. Put the pudding pan on the trivet and add enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the pan. Set the pot over high heat and bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour. Turn off the heat and let sit for 20 minutes.  
  7. For the brown sugar sauce: Meanwhile, combine the cream and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced by half, the bubbles become the size of quarters and the sauce starts to pull away from the side of the saucepan, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Keep warm.
  8. Carefully remove the pudding pan from the pot using oven mitts. Remove the lid and let cool another 15 minutes. Run a small offset spatula around the sides of the pan to release the pudding, then use a skewer to poke about a dozen holes in the cake. Pour the reserved brandy over the top of the cake, then allow it to sit and soak in until the cake cools completely. Invert onto a serving platter and serve immediately with the sauce and whipped cream or store the cake at room temperature wrapped in plastic.

Cook’s Note

Brandy is extremely flammable. Never leave it unattended over an open flame. Once it has reached a simmer, turn it off and remove from the heat.