Sticky Figgy Pudding & A Christmas Carol
Updated: Jan 15
Oh, bring us some figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer!”
In our Dinner and a Movie segment this week, we’re going to pair one of the most iconic holiday movies of all time with a dessert that, if you’re like me, you’ve rarely, if ever, had.
One of my favorite lines that Scrooge utters early in A Christmas Carol says, “every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!” And at the Cratchit’s Christmas dinner, Dickens writes that the pudding had “ A smell like an eating-house and a pastrycook’s next door to each other, with a laundress’s next door to that!” Who wouldn’t want such a smell in their own homes at the holidays, so I’ve decided to provide for you a recipe for a figgy pudding.
Before you tell me that the texture of pudding makes you squirm, you should know that figgy pudding is less like the pudding cups of our youth and more like a chewy, hearty banana bread. It’s warm, spiced and substantial, plus it has the added option to be able to be set on fire at the table.
The recipe comes from the Food Network website courtesy of Jade Thompson and it mixes chewy dates and dried figs with dark chocolate to make the pudding base, then we top it with a sauce of heavy cream and brown sugar and add fresh figs and whipped cream on top. The recipe is VERY straightforward-- just the fruit, plus sugar, flour, eggs, butter, baking soda and water-- and all the ingredients are easy enough to come by. If you can bake a cake, you can bake a figgy pudding.
Now, about the fire. If you’re planning to flambe the pudding at the table, just drizzle a tiny little bit of brandy or rum where the crosshatches meet and light it up. A little goes a long way here, please be careful. Also, ideally all of the alcohol content burns off, so there’s no need to worry about kids getting hammered or your sober friends falling off the wagon, but do be sure to let them know beforehand so they can opt out. There’s always a possibility that a little liquor will soak into the cake, so, again, be careful how much alcohol you add. And be sure to wait until the fire is out before you add the fresh figs and cream on top.
I think you’ll find this recipe to be a chewy, creamy winter delight, and the production of A Christmas Carol will startle and touch you with the epic journey of awakening to the light within that is the centerpiece of all holiday celebrations.
We want to see your finished product! Upload photos of your figgy pudding to our Instagram or Facebook pages.
Also, feel free to share your favorite holiday recipes for cookies, pies, turkey, goose or roast beast with the Lounge Community. We’re always eager to see what you’re up to. recipe at: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/warm-sticky-figgy-pudding-recipe-1918585
My Dearest In-Law Shell Closs has provided substitutions to this recipe for 50% Guilt Free FIGGY PUDDIN in red. Substitutions for “ethical consumption” are in blue
ingredients can be found online at Thrive Market Ingredients 1 1/2 cups chopped dried pitted dates *Organic - more taste and less pesticide exposure *Harvest yourself in Dateland, AZ 1/2 cup chopped dried figs *Organic - more taste and less pesticide exposure *Dried figs with no added sugar or sulfites for preservation 2 cups water *Reverse osmosis or structured water 1 teaspoon baking soda *no aluminum 100 grams (3 1/2 ounces or 7 tablespoons) butter, softened *Pasture Raised Ghee - milk solids removed *Myokos European Cultured Vegan Butter - Coconut and Cashew butter substitute 1 cup superfine sugar *Organic Coconut sugar blended into a powder - lower glycemic index 2 eggs *Organic and Pasture Raised for optimal nutrient level *Egg whites, whipped to stiff peaks just for the workout 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour *Bob’s Red Mill - Gluten Free self rising flour 75 grams (2 1/2-ounces) dark chocolate, grated *Fair trade for ethical tastiness * 100% raw cacao powder you harvested and milled yourself for deeper spiritual meaning Butter, for coating ramekins *Pasture Raised Ghee Ice cream or whipped cream, for garnish *Non-dairy Coco whip Sauce: 2 cups brown sugar *Organic Coconut Sugar - lower glycemic index *Two ripe bananas and a bit of maple 2 cups heavy cream *Heavy Coconut Cream 200 grams (7-ounces or 14 tablespoons) butter
*Pasture Raised Ghee - milk solids removed
Fresh figs, quartered, for garnish Vanilla ice cream, optional Whipped heavy cream, option
This production was presented in 2018 here in Los Angeles, and it's available for online streaming through the end of the year. It’s an absolutely stunning one-man show adapted by Jefferson Mays, Susan Lyons and Michael Arden. It’s performed by Mr. Mays with Mr. Arden directing.
Mr. Lyons is our narrator and he also plays every single character in the story. It’s a tour-de-force performance but one that’s never showy or hammy. Every moment is finely tuned to get Dickens’ point across. The scary parts are properly scary (my greatest beef with most adaptations is that they aren’t scary enough), the heartbreak is palpable and the transformation is earned and appropriately cathartic. The production is also world-class with a brilliant rotating stage, and sound and lights and projections intricately layered to support and expand the story.
Also, it’s very faithful to the source material, so you get to hear all of Dickens’ delicious prose over the course of its 100 minute running time.
It’s a pricey stream at $50, but the money will help keep one of the best mid-sized theatres in Los Angeles afloat. Also, when you factor in what you’d spend to take your family out to a night at the theatre, you might realize that this is a true bargain. And one that I cannot recommend highly enough.