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Figgy pudding

27 October 2015

Try this recipe from Mary Norwak for a traditional figgy pudding that dates back to 16th century England.

Figgy pudding
Figgy pudding

Cooking time

5 hours




  • 2 cooking apples
  • 1 lb (450 g) dried figs 
  • 1 medium carrot 
  • 8 oz (225 g) butter 
  • 4 oz (100 g) dark soft brown sugar 
  • 6 oz (150 g) wholemeal breadcrumbs 
  • 4 oz (100 g) wholemeal flour 
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 2 tablespoons black treacle


As Christmas carol time came around again, my carload of school fodder used to shriek their favourite ‘Yes we all love figgy pudding’ taught to them by an inspired master. For some reason, it was a very enthusiastic shouting song, and they made the most of it, although their taste for dried figs was minimal. Possibly ‘figgy’ indicated just a rich fruit seasonal pudding in the old days, since in Cornwall the word is still used for raisins in cakes and puddings. This recipe, which comes from Yorkshire, is really the nearest to what dried fruit puddings once tasted like.

Peel and core the apples and cut them into pieces. 

Put the figs, apples and carrot through the fine blade of a mincer. 

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 

Work in the breadcrumbs and flour, and then the minced fruit. 

Put the lemon rind and juice into a bowl with the eggs and treacle, and mix well together. 

Add to the pudding and beat well. If necessary, add a little milk; the mixture should be stiff. 

Put into a large greased pudding basin, or two smaller ones. 

Cover with a piece of greased greaseproof paper and kitchen foil, and tie securely. 

Put into a pan with boiling water to come halfway up the basin. Cover and steam for 5 hours, adding more boiling water to the pan from time to time to prevent it boiling dry. 

This pudding may be kept like Christmas pudding.

Recipe extracted from English Puddings Sweet & Savoury by Mary Norwak.


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