Figgy Pudding Recipe

December 22, 2011 by staff 

Figgy Pudding Recipe, It’s easy to love Christmas cookies. They’re sweet and simple, agreeable and charming. Who can say no to a reindeer shaped sugar cut-out, covered in a sheen of white frosting and embellished with a cinnamon candy on its nose? Not me, at any rate.

But as the holidays approached this year, I couldn’t help but feel a little twinge of guilt for neglecting the great desserts of Christmas past. The more I considered them, the worse I felt.

Suddenly I couldn’t get figgy pudding, mincemeat pie, fruit cake and the traditional buche de Noel out of my mind. It’s not often you hear anything about these desserts. Their reputations have been seriously damaged over the past few decades, in part because of their less-than-ideal names. Figgy pudding is seriously retro — and not in the ironically hip way.

If you ask me, though, it’s the laborious and daunting cooking processes that made us hide the recipes in the back of our recipe boxes.

A buche de Noel, or traditional yule log, is essentially made up of three different, equally complicated recipes. A spongy, springy genoise cake layered with pastry cream and painted with buttercream frosting? How on earth would we have time to make all that and still wrap presents?

Figgy pudding requires playing with open flame, and mincemeat pie demands a delicate and flaky pie crust. These aren’t mindless recipes, made in one pan. The clean-up can be daunting, and the chance of failure is great: Cracked sponge cake! Dry pudding! Heavy crust!

But I didn’t want to let all this deter me from getting to know them. I figured I’d consider them charming old curmudgeons, stuck in their ways and, well, more than a bit fussy. But I assumed if I just spent some time with them, really got to know them, I’d find they’re full of beautiful stories and sophisticated taste. I’d find that taking a bite of any of these retro desserts was like wrapping a warm blanket around my shoulders by a fireside.

And I was right. Sort of. Turns out, not every dessert and I are compatible. Figgy pudding and I got along famously, our generational gap turning out to be an asset. I was surprised at how much we had in common, and found much to love. As for the buche de Noel? We didn’t quite see eye to eye. More on that later; let’s talk about happier things now.

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