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Figgy Christmas pudding

  • 250g pack butter, softened, plus extra for the bowls and paper Butter butt-errButter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
  • 750g dried figs Fig figAlthough not juicy, the fig is an incredibly luscious fruit, with a delicate aroma and sweet…
  • 150ml brandy Brandy bran-deeBrandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…
  • 700g mixed sultanas and raisins (we used Waitrose mixed vine fruits from the Wholesome range)
  • 3 eating apples, peeled, cored and grated Apple ap-pelGrown in temperate regions, apples are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. There are…
  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 175g dark brown soft sugar Sugar shuh-gaHoney and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…
  • 200g breadcrumbs
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp allspice
  • Butter a 500ml, a 1-litre and a 2-litre pudding bowl, then line the base of each with a circle of baking parchment. Butter 3 large sheets of greaseproof paper, lay each on a large sheet of foil butter side up, and fold a pleat in the middle of each.
  • Roughly chop 250g of the figs and set aside. Put the remaining figs, butter and brandy into a food processor and whizz until smooth-ish, then scrape into your largest mixing bowl. Tip in the chopped figs, mixed vine fruits, grated apple, sugars, breadcrumbs, flour and allspice. Stir everything together, allowing as many helpers to give a stir and adding as many wishes as you like. Divide between the pudding bowls and smooth the surfaces.
  • Cover the puds with the buttered paper-foil sheets, tie with string and trim. Lower the puds into separate saucepans with upturned saucers or scrunched up bits of foil in the bottom (so the puds don’t touch the bottom), then fill each pan with enough boiling water from the kettle to come halfway up the sides of the bowl. Cover with a lid and simmer the small pud for 1-1½ hrs, medium for 2-2½ hrs and large for 3 hrs, topping up the water as needed. Remove and leave to cool. If giving as a gift, put a new piece of parchment on top. Will keep in a cool, dry cupboard for up to a year.