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ISLAND FLAVORS It's time to 'bring out the figgy puddings'
As Christmas draws near, I find myself singing Christmas carols, and longing for our familys traditional holiday foods. When I was young, our neighborhood joined together each year to go caroling. One of my favorite songs, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, included the softhearted demand: Now bring us some figgy pudding! This was followed by We wont go until we get some!
I didnt know what figgy pudding was, but I was very familiar with my mothers Orange Marmalade Pudding, which made its way to all of our holiday tables. Steaming hot, and infused with the wonderful scent of orange, this rich pudding was topped with a creamy sauce flavored with rum that melted into it, soaking into every delicious nook and cranny of the pudding. For me, nothing speaks of the holidays more than this humble dessert.
We still make Orange Marmalade Pudding at Christmas and Thanksgiving, a tradition that started with my Grandma DuPuis. When we feel a need for change, we turn to her other recipe for Brownie Pudding. This rich pudding is made in a very interesting manner (as you will see in the recipe). It comes out almost like an upside down cake, with a rich chocolaty sauce on the bottom and a luscious, dense pudding on top. We top it with sweetened whipped cream or ice cream. If you love chocolate, this is for you.
Now, Im off to search for my collection of Christmas music, but Ill wait a bit until I decide which pudding it will be this year. Perhaps I will even try concocting a real Figgy Pudding.
ORANGE MARMALADE PUDDING WITH HARD SAUCE
This pudding reheats beautifully and will keep up to four days. To reheat, wrap it in foil and place in a preheated 350 F. degree oven until heated through. The Hard Sauce can also be re-warmed. The original recipe called for suet, but you can substitute any other hard shortening, such as Crisco, butter, or margarine (to substitute, reduce the amount of shortening by 1/2).
1teaspoon baking soda
1teaspoon baking powder
1cup ground suet or 1/2 cup Crisco, butter or margarine (chilled and diced)
1 1/2cups whole wheat bread crumbs
1egg, lightly beaten
1cup orange marmalade
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Into a mixing bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the ground suet and breadcrumbs, and mix thoroughly with your hands, until the mixture resembles rough cornmeal. Stir in the egg, orange marmalade and milk, mixing well.
Grease a 1-quart capacity pudding mold, or an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 bread pan. Pour the batter into the mold, cover tightly with foil, and set the pudding in a larger baking pan filled with water halfway up the sides of the pudding mold.
Bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Run a knife around the edges and invert onto a plate.
3/4cup melted butter
1cup powdered sugar
1teaspoon vanilla extract, brandy, or rum
Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Serve warm drizzled over the pudding.
2teaspoons baking powder
2tablespoons melted butter
1teaspoon vanilla extract
2ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1/2cup granulated sugar
1/2cup brown sugar
4rounded tablespoons cocoa powder
1cup warm water
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8 X 8 square baking dish.
Sift together the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in the milk, vanilla, melted butter, and melted chocolate, mixing well. Spoon the mixture into the baking dish. Mix together the 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa powder. Sprinkle this mixture over the first mixture. Pour the water over the top. Bake, uncovered, for about 40 minutes, or until the cake portion is set. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.