Saturday, April 9, 2011

Figgy Duff

Originally coming from Newfoundland I wanted to share a little bit of my Christmas history.  This pudding is usually served on Christmas Day for supper, with the leftovers (if there are any) fried up for breakfast.  While it sounds like the name of a band or some sort of dance, figgy duff is actually a steamed, dense cake.  And despite the name, there are no figs in this traditional Newfoundland Christmas dessert, usually raisins.  For some reason, raisins are were called figs in many parts of the province.  Also, many people in England, of which many Newfoundlanders originated, called any type of dessert a "pudding" unlike today where a pudding conjures up memories of a creamy, custard-like dessert.  Closely resembling Spotted Dick, the pudding is boiled in a cloth bag or it can be steamed in a pudding mold. 

Here's how you make it:

Sift together:

2 cups flour, ½ cup sugar, 2 tsp baking powder

Add - 1 cup raisins and mix in.

Add 1/3 cup melted butter, ¾ cup milk, 2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all together with a wooden spoon just until a soft dough is formed. Put dough into a pudding steamer or a wet heavy cotton pudding bag, tying the bag with a piece of butcher string but leaving about an inch of slack at the top to allow the pudding to expand. Boil for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. This is most often done in the pot with the boiled root vegetables, cabbage and salt beef included in a Jiggs Dinner but can be done in a pot on its own as well.

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