Sunday, December 21, 2014

Figgy Pudding! Grain-free and Vegan.


Have you ever had figgy pudding? Me neither! Until I made it. Therefore, I have no idea if it tastes like figgy pudding should taste! Haha! But it's GOOOOOOOD. What is figgy pudding anyway, other than the dessert that those carolers who sing We Wish You a Merry Christmas are demanding?

I researched the internet but the answers were vague: "Figgy pudding is a pudding resembling a paler coloured Christmas pudding containing figs." Ooookay. What's Christmas Pudding then? Can one actually go out to eat and order figgy pudding from a menu in Great Britain? Any of my wonderful readers across the pond have an answer for me?



Okay, so with all of my meddling about on every site I could find that talked about figgy pudding and/or had a recipe for it, here is what I surmise: Figgy pudding is a moist, almost bread-pudding-like dessert that contains figs and other fruits, flour of some kind, spices and booze. And you can light it on fire when it's all done and you've poured a good bit of spirits on top (I didn't do that). You're also supposed to wrap it in booze-soaked cheesecloth with it's finished baking and let it set out for days. I didn't do that either. We're not huge on alcohol in our house so the little bit of rum in the sauce was just perfect for us. At any rate, figgy pudding is a traditional English dessert that's actually more cake-ish than pudding-ish. Apparently, it's very similar to fruit cake. But lighter in color. And it contains figs. Duh. Did I get it right, historians and English friends?

It seems there are a myriad of ways to cook figgy pudding, too, but the most authentic is to steam it. I didn't do that either. Alas, I do not own, nor do I know where to get, a figgy pudding steamer thingy. But I tried to replicate the shape of it, using individual-sized ramekins, and baked them, which I think worked pretty well! I also made mini figgy puddings. ADORABLE and perfect to bring to a party. Little fluffy finger foods, spiced with happy, holiday flavors and topped with rich rum sauce. Merry Christmas!!!


Now bring us some figgy pudding
Now bring us some figgy pudding
Now bring us some figgy pudding
And a cup of good cheer

We won't go until we get some
We won't go until we get some
We won't go until we get some
So bring it right here

So bring us some figgy pudding
So bring us some figgy pudding
So bring us some figgy pudding
And bring it right here!

Okay, alright already. Calm down. I have it right here...

Ingredients:

~ for the pudding
  • 1 cup dried, chopped figs
  • ½ cup brandy*
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • ½ cup fresh, whole cranberries
  • ½ heaping cup chopped apples
  • ½ cup unsweetened, plant-based milk
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 TBS ground chia seeds
  • 2 TBS tapioca flour
  • 2 TBS liquid sweetener such as agave, maple syrup, date syrup or coconut nectar
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
~ for the rum sauce (a.k.a. hard sauce)
  • ½ cup cashews, soaked overnight
  • ¼ cup unsweetened, plant-based milk
  • 2 TBS liquid sweetener such as agave, maple syrup, date syrup or coconut nectar
  • 2 TBS rum*
  • 1 TBS fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
*NOTE: You can sub apple juice or prune juice for the brandy and the rum if you prefer a non-alcoholic version. You could also simply top your creations with vegan whipped cream if you like, instead of the sauce.




Directions:
  1. Soak the figs in the brandy for 24 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  3. Lightly oil 9 ramekins, or 36 mini cupcake molds.
  4. Pulse the figs (with the brandy they soaked in), walnuts, almond flour, cranberries and apples in a food processor until combined and slightly chunky.
  5. Turn out into a mixing bowl and stir in remaining ingredients. Mix well.
  6. If you're using ramekins, portion ½ cup of batter per dish. If you're making mini puddings, use 2 TBS per mold. It helps a LOT to use pre-measured scoops like these, available at my Amazon store.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes (ramekins) or 20 minutes (minis) until golden brown on top and springy to the touch.
  8. Let cool completely before unmolding. 
  9. To make the sauce, simply blend all sauce ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth. If you like a lot of sauce, just double the recipe.
  10. Top with sauce or whipped cream. I also garnished with some dried cranberry and candied orange peel.


Makes 9 ramekins or 36 mini puddings. Enjoy!

I am taking a brief respite from posting, guys. I've been wearing myself too thin this holiday so I am taking some time to enjoy the season with family and friends. Have a blessed and joyous holiday and I'll see you after the new year (well, I may pop in once more with a New Year's dessert… I can't help myself :)

Shhhh… Santa says, don't tell anyone they're vegan and they'll never know!

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Hanukah, 
Happy Festivus, Kwanza and all other faiths! 
Be well. Be joyful. Celebrate.










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