Sunday, December 27, 2009

Figgy Pudding

1 egg
¾ cup of eggnog or Half & Half
3 slices of white bread, torn into pieces

2/3 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup margarine or butter, cut up
2 Tbsp rum or brandy
½ cup chopped walnuts
2 cups of regular or golden raisins
(or a mixture of both; can also include part figs or dates)

¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground nutmeg

Beat the egg, add eggnog; then add bread and let stand until softened (about 3 minutes). Stir in sugar, margarine, and rum; then raisins and nuts. Finally, sift in the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Lightly grease a 6-cup mold or heat-safe mixing bowl and pour in the pudding mixture. Cover with foil, pressing tightly against the rim of the mold or bowl to create a firm, leak-proof seal. Place the pudding, foil side up, on a rack inside a deep soup kettle or spaghetti pot. Add boiling water, up to 1 inch from the top of the pudding. Cover the kettle and bring the water to a gentle boil. Continue to steam the pudding for 2 ½ hours or until a toothpick comes out clean. Add more boiling water occasionally during steaming.

After cooking, cool the pudding on a wire rack for 10 minutes; then invert the pudding and remove the mold. You might want to stick a sprig a holly on the top, but this festive touch makes the pudding difficult to ignite!

If you want a flaming pudding, heat 3 tablespoons of rum or brandy until hot, pour it over the pudding, and quickly ignite. Then, command your entire family to sing "Oh, bring us some figgy pudding, and bring it right here!" while you carry your flaming creation to the table! We usually like to ignite ours several times to get the full effect! When the applause dies down, serve the pudding with rum butter.

1 cup sifted powdered sugar
¼ cup margarine or butter, softened
1 Tbsp rum or brandy

Beat sugar and butter together in the food processor for 3 minutes; then add the rum and beat for another minute. Spoon the butter into a small serving bowl; cover and chill for 3 hours before serving.

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